Baltazar Castaño de Sosa is my direct 11th great grandfather. In other words, from father to son, my paternal lineage. Although I descend from him in other lineages within my family history, I find this ancestor of mine quite unique.
While investigating my ancestry, I took two DNA test, one from 23andme, and the second one from Family Tree DNA. The results are very identical and they almost match. But much to my surprise the results from 23andme revealed to me to which haplogroups I belong to. A haplogroup is a genetic population group of people who share a common ancestor on the patriline or the matriline. I will share my ancestry results in a youtube video at a later time.
So my paternal haplogroup is R-M153, which is of Basque origin and my maternal haplogroup is J1b, which is of Middle-Eastern origin, possibly of Jewish heritage!
Basque!! I had no idea! I was in shock! Maybe that explains why I feel such a connection with the Pyrenees Mountains. Soon I will travel to the land of my fathers, the Basque Country.
This leads to me Baltasar Castaño de Sosa. As I stated at the beginning, Baltasar is my 11th great grandfather and this new DNA discovery also makes him of Basque heritage. During my research on Baltazar, I have found numerous information stating that he was a New Christian. A New Christian was a person who practiced a different faith, like Judaism and Islam, but later converted to the Catholic faith. These conversions were forced or voluntary. In other words, the Church could take possession of the individual’s land, titles, and/or expulsed the individual if he/she refused to convert. If a person did not convert he or she could also be tortured and executed. Some converted but would still practice their true faith in secret.
This could have been the story of Baltazar’s family. He could have had relatives that were New Christians. Not much is known of his parents or other relatives. I have yet to found any information about his parents and so to state that they were New Christians is very unclear.
Here is what is known about Baltazar Castaño de Sosa:
According to David T. Raphael, in his book The Conquistadores and Crypto-Jews of Monterrey, Baltazar was born in Portugal, since Portugal was under the control of Spain at that time in history. According to Carl LaurenceDuaine, author of With All Arms, declares that Baltazar was born in Tampico, Nueva España. His place of birth is uncertain.
It is believed that Baltazar and Gaspar Castaño de Sosa were brothers.
Baltasar was one of the sixteen founders of Saltillo, also known as the Villa de Saltillo. He received his land grant from Alberto del Canto in 1577. He also served as councilman for the municipality of Saltillo. He married Ines Rodriguez, who was the daughter of don Diego de Montemayor, Governor of the Nuevo Reino de Leon.
He had three sons: Lucas Garcia, Diego Rodriguez, and Alonso Rodriguez. I descend from all three sons but I descend directly from the Capitan Lucas Garcia.
Now that Lucas Garcia is mentioned, I have found it difficult to figure out as to why he took the Garcia surname. In the book, Familias de Santa Catarina, written by Antonio Guerrero Aguilar, is a piece of evidence as to why Lucas was given or chose the Garcia surname. In page 30, according to the informant, Hidelbrando Garza, states that Lucas took the Garcia surname from his maternal grandmother. His maternal grandparents were Diego Rodriguez and Ines Garcia.
This is long and will be a challenge but my goal is to find out Baltazar’s parents and his paternal ancestors and to find other direct descendants of Capitan Baltazar Castaño de Sosa. Anyone interested in this journey is welcome to join and contact me with any questions or information.