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Ancestor 2: Alonso Estrada tie to King Ferdinand II still debated today

Genealogists today still debate whether King Ferdinand II of Aragon was the father of government leader Alonso de Estrada.
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This is the second article in the project "52 Ancestors in 52 weeks"

Alonso de Estrada was a high ranking official in colonial Spanish government, primarily in New Spain (Mexico).

Ask any genealogist who researches Spanish lineage and they will have an opinion about Estrada’s parentage.

For centuries, genealogists have debated whether Estrada was the illegitimate son of King Ferdinand II and Dona Luisa Estrada.The liaison that allegedly produced Estrada was to have occurred when Ferdinand was a teenager, before his marriage to Isabella of Castille.

Luisa Estrada was the daughter of Don Fernan Estrada, the Spanish Royal Ambassador to England. Alonso Estrada was born in Ciudad Real in Castille, Spain in 1470. He was raised at court.

Estrada’s ancestry has been revised more than once in the family tree – back and forth, depending on the latest research that comes to light.

After hiring a researcher specializing in Spanish genealogy, Estrada’s lineage was updated again, with the connection to Ferdinand removed. Estrada’s father is now listed as Juan Hernandez Hidalgo with no mother listed.

There is plenty of royalty in the family tree without Estrada. There is also still a tie to Ferdinand by his marriage to Isabella because the family connection runs through British ancestry in Isabella’s lineage.

Estrada had a successful career after his military service for the Spanish government.

  • Corregidor of Caceres (highest judicial position)
  • Royal treasurer of New Spain, 1523
  • Part of a triumvirate that ruled New Spain while Hernan Cortes was in Honduras in 1524
  • Ruled in New Spain again in 1525
  • Ruled New Spain again in 1526
  • Governor of New Spain 1527-1528

Estrada’s exact death date is unknown. He died between 1533 and 1537 in Mexico City.

In 1998, Jose Esquibel published “The Paternal Ancestry of Don Alonso de Estrada, Tesorero y Gobernador de Nueva España, and the Revised Genealogy of the Sosa Albornoz Family" in the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research Journal and this presents for many people the most compelling case against Estrada being of royal descent.

Other genealogists argue that if Estrada were not of royal lineage he would not have been raised at court and his surname would not be Estrada. There are reasons on both sides of the debate and they are all believable and logical.

This mystery may never be solved and there is no guarantee that the family tree will not be revised again. Alonso de Estrada is an ancestor who was raised with royalty and who governed a new country. Regardless of his lineage, he has a great story that adds intrigue to the family tree. He will always be worth another look.

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