TGSA Famous Ancestors of Northeastern Mexico Series

Descendants of Gobernador Diego MONTEMAYOR and his wives Inés RODRÍGUEZ, María ESQUIVEL, and Juana PORCALLO CERDA

ALTERNATE NAMES: Diego de Montemayor; Juana Porcayo de la Cerda


Diego de Montemayor was an early Spanish explorer, conquistador of New Spain, and founder of Monterrey, Mexico. It is thought that he entered military service soon after his arrival in the New World and eventually was recruited by Luís de Carvajal, the well-connected Spanish Crown officer who had been awarded a large territory named Nuevo Reino de León. He put Captain Montemayor in charge of the territorial capitol city of León, later named Cerralvo.

It has not been definitively established as to the family origins of Diego de Montemayor. The prevailing theory as stated in the Catalogo de Pasajeros a Indias is that he is the named individual Diego Montemayor, who sailed from Sevilla, Spain destined for Nueva España in 1548, described as a resident of Malaga, Andalusia, Spain, son of Juan de Montemayor Hernandez and he is traveling with his young wife, Inés Rodríguez “who is of good body, with large eyes and dark eyebrows, seventeen years of age...”.

It is believed by many that Diego Montemayor's oldest daughter was named María Inés Rodríguez who married early Saltillo colonizer Baltasar Castaño de Sosa. On the opposite of that question are those that do not agree that Diego’s oldest daughter married Castaño de Sosa. They believe his first daughter was María Rodríguez without a husband or children. The latter is what you will see in this Descendant Report.

Diego’s second marriage was to María de Esquivel with whom he had a son and heir named Diego de Montemayor, el mozo (Junior). In mid-life Diego married the much younger Juana Porcallo de la Cerda who gave birth to his second daughter Estefania Montemayor. Don Diego scandalously murdered his third wife Doña Juana around 1581 because of her extramarital affair with Alberto del Canto, the founder of Saltillo, thus setting up a rivalry between the two men as they continued to cross paths for the remainder of their lives. It did not help matters that his daughter Estefania later married the said Alberto del Canto and had three children with him, who for complicated reasons carried the Montemayor surname instead of del Canto.

After Governor Carvajal's death due to his and his family's suffering at the hands of his political enemies and the Spanish Inquisition in Mexico, the Nuevo León grant including León (Cerralvo) was abandoned and Captain Montemayor was forced to leave.

Years later, from Saltillo where Don Diego was living near his unhappy daughter Estefania and her children as she was separating from del Canto, he boldly decided to return to the Nuevo León grant site that he knew so well. He recruited twelve of his old friends who agreed to bring their families as well as herds, tools, and other possessions that they would need for the founding of a colony. His first choice for the new settlement was his old post at Cerralvo but the distance from markets was too great, so this time, he chose an area near a large spring that had been unsuccessfully settled twice before, first by del Canto and then by Carvajal. On September 20th, 1596, the town of Ciudad Metropolitana de Nuestra Señora de Monterrey was founded. The young community desperately struggled for two decades suffering many privations, floods, disease, and Indian attacks but stubbornly survived and eventually prospered. Thanks to the vision of its founder Diego de Montemayor, the City of Monterrey is today one of the largest, wealthiest, and most beautiful cities in Mexico.

Governor Diego de Montemayor died in 1610 at the age of eighty-two leaving the leadership of Monterrey to his son, Diego, el mozo. The story goes that shortly after the elder Diego died, his son moved the father’s body from the cemetery to higher ground because it was flooding. Diego, el mozo, then became very sick and it is thought that he may have contracted some illness from the dirty water around the cemetery. He then rode all the way to Mexico City to claim the governorship of Monterrey and when he returned, he was so ill that he died within a year of his father. That's when Diego Rodriguez (son of Castaño de Sosa and brother of Lucas García) temporarily stepped into the position until Martín de Zavala was appointed governor.

The two Diego de Montemayors were both buried where the Convento de San Francisco was previously located.

This Descendant Report extracted by Crispin Rendon from his personal database in September 2022 consists of 10 generations and 54,254 descendants and spouses.

Catalogo de Pasajeros a Indias Durante los siglos XVI, XVII y XVIII – Volume 3 by Cristóbal Bermúdez Plata.

With All Arms by Carl Laurence Duaine, revised and edited by his son Laurence A. Duaine.

Intro by TGSA
DNA association & Descendant Report by Crispín Rendón

Table of Contents