The surname Montoya is of Spanish origin.  The earliest documented Montoya families  lived in the mountainous Basque region in northern Spain.  It was derived from the Spanish word monte which means “hill” or “highland.”   

Montoya – Coat of Arms

Bartolomé de Montoya, a Spanish Conquistador, arrived in New Mexico on 24 Dec. 1600.  A conquistador is a term used for a soldier or an explorer.  The conquistadors in the Americas were more volunteer militia than an actual organized military. They very often were required to supply their own materials, weapons and horses.  Bartolomé was described in census records as being short in stature, black bearded and 28 years old in December of 1600. 

Spanish Conquistador

He arrived in San Gabriel del Yunque with his wife Maria de Zamora (born in Mexico City at San Sebastian, the daughter of Pedro de Zamora (Mayor of Oaxaca, Mexico)).  With the couple were their children:  Francisco, Diego, José, Lucia and Petonia.  The family came as part of the second Onaté  expedition, whose colony consisted of 65 settlers.  The Montoya family brought with them 25 servants, cattle and equipment needed to start a new life in Nuevo España.  Bartolomé was a Spanish Loyalist who settled and remained in New Mexico.  He was a native of Cantillana, Spain, the son of Francisco de Montoya. 

From the family of Bartolomé de Montoya the Montoya surname was firmly established in New Mexico – and virtually all Montoya families from New Mexico descend from him.  


 My Montoya research focuses on: 

Jose Ylario Montoya (1844 – 1902) and mistress Maria Augustina de Herrera

Maximiano de Herrera Montoya (1871-1945) and wife Maria Juana Adelia Martin

Jose Celestino Montoya (1905-1988) and wife Pearl Eva Spencer


50 responses to “Montoya

  1. Debi Stubbs

    July 29, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    You’ve written a very nice condensed biography. Found you by searching for San Gabriel del Yungue in connection with Bartolome Montoya. I am a10th great-granddaughter of Bartolome Montoya.

    • Judy Curbow

      July 29, 2011 at 7:49 pm

      Hi Debi – thanks for stopping by! Wow…..ten generations. I am having a very difficult time getting past my great great grandfather. I think I know…but can’t prove it just yet. Frustrating! Any advice on researchng New Mexico church records? That seems to be key.
      Best regards, Judy

  2. Debi Stubbs

    July 29, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    This is the web site of the Hispanic Genealogical Research Center which I recently found and which has allowed me to trace my Hispanic ancestors. Until last year, I didn’t know my great-grandmother was of Hispanic descent. This website has documentation from many church records and Spanish government records. It’s a treasure. I also just enter whatever I’m currently looking for into a search engine, usually google and just like I found your blog, I often find what I need. And like you, I especially enjoy learning about the places and events that my ancestors lived and lived through. Good Luck and Happy Hunting.

    Debi Stubbs, Barboursville, VA

    p.s. I was lucky enough to be born when I had 6 great-grandparents living and I quizzed them constantly about what life was like when they were young and I heard many (sometimes hair-raising) tales of my ancestors from them.

    • Judy Curbow

      July 30, 2011 at 5:34 pm

      Debi – thanks for this tip…I’ll go check it out. Thanks!

    • C Bazar

      April 14, 2020 at 11:00 pm

      We are Basque, Spain and consider our lineage of Caucasian, not hispanic

  3. Debi Stubbs

    July 29, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    One last request, can I quote you in my family tree on

    • Judy Curbow

      July 30, 2011 at 5:35 pm

      Not a problem. You can also go to and look at my Montoya family to see if we have a connection somewhere. Most of mine were from Rio Arriba County.

  4. Gene DeHerrera

    January 22, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Hi Judy. I am Gene DeHerrera. I am the son of Ester Lujan, the daughter of Lucas Lujan, and Reveca Montoya of Canones, New Mexico. I am also the great grandson of Edibujen Abeyta, and Antonia Garcia, of New Mexico. On my father’s side I am a decendant of Luciano Herrera of Chamita, Estanislada Dominquez of Abiquiu, and the Chacon family of Abiquiu. Our family is of mixed heritage. Of course of Spanish descent with marriages to Tewa, Cochiti, and Navajo indian blood mixed in. We call ourselves the descendants of the Genizaro’s of Abiquiu. I would love to invite you to my family tree with as some of the names you mention tie right into my ancestry. Keep in touch cuz!!

    • Judy Curbow

      January 22, 2012 at 7:41 pm

      Yes, I would love to connect with you! Thank you for stopping by the blog and for taking the time to comment. My Montoya research is farily slow going because I’m just not that well versed in the New Mexico genealogy AND I have a lot of trouble figuring out the church records. Please drop me a line at when you get a minute. Thanks again. Judy Curbow

    • Michelle

      April 27, 2017 at 9:16 am

      Did you find out where the lujans came from

      • Judy Curbow

        April 27, 2017 at 11:32 am

        This isn’t a family that I’ve done much research on. My grandfather’s first wife was a Lujan from Rio Arriba County, New Mexico. I am assuming that they are one of the founding families of New Mexico and have been there for generations. I presume that they would appear in the book, Origins of New Mexico families……and they probably came from Spain.

  5. nicholas ortega

    April 6, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Hi my name is nicholas ortega and i am the great grandson of david montoya and the grandson of david`s doughter madeline. I live in salt lake city utah, i live just a few blocks from him and i acually showed him thiz website and all of the pictures u have of him and his family and he thought it was really cool and he rembers who you are and would love to get in tuch with you so if there is any way he can get a hold of you that would be really be nice he would like that alot !

    ps: I am onl y14 years old and i really eprecuate you putting this stuff on the internet ! i really think it is cool knowing about my family.

    • Judy Curbow

      April 9, 2012 at 9:45 am

      Hi Nicky! I’m so glad you found the website. I love connecting with family. I send you an email on your private address. I hope I hear back from you. Give your great-grandpa David my love. Judy

  6. Greg Montoya

    February 13, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Hello Judy,
    My Grandfather Alejandro Montoya was born in 1873, Tularosa, New Mexico, Do have any information about Montoya’s in that area ? I have also send you an e mail requesting your help.

    • Judy Curbow

      February 17, 2014 at 10:14 am

      Dear Greg: I am sorry – I don’t. My family for at least three generations was located in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico. Good luck on your search. Judy

  7. christinafajardo

    June 15, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Hi Judy, I am a Montoya and related to many Montoyas in New Mexico. I really enjoyed your blog. My father was Felipe Montoya Fajardo and his mother’s maiden name was Montoya.

    • Judy Curbow

      June 16, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      Hi Christina – thanks so much for stopping by the blog and for taking the time to leave me this note. My grandfather was Jose Celestino Montoya – most of his ancestors came from Rio Arriba County – which is in northern New Mexico. I am sure we are all somehow related! Best of luck on your family search. Judy

  8. Henry Paul Montoya

    August 14, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Judy, My name is Henry Montoya. My Father was Ray Montoya and my Grandpa was Frank (Francisco) Montoya. I know my father was born in Cleveland, N.M. and my grandpa moved to Ut. (no sure when) I also know that my family does trace back to Bartolome Montoya. But I don’t know anything in between. Do you have any info that would help in my family search.

    • Judy Curbow

      August 21, 2014 at 2:29 pm

      Hi Henry – thanks for stopping by the website and for taking the time to post this note. Unfortunately, I am not recognizing any of these Montoya names. Most of my Montoya family (at least back to 1850) resided in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico…which is in northern New Mexico. Where is Cleveland? My research has been slow going on this family tree. Best of luck to you! Judy

  9. Pricilla G. Montoya

    November 23, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    Pricilla G. Montoya

    Judy, I have been doing research on the Montoya’s for about five years. I was a nosy little girl growing up and very curious. I always wanted to know about my ancestry. What’s strange is that my father and mother were both Montoya’s. They always figured that they weren’t related because he was from San Pedro, NM (Socorro County), and she was from Madrid, NM (Santa Fe, County). Her father, Luis Montoya, was born in La Jolla, (present-day Velarde) New Mexico, Rio Arriba County.
    So, I began searching at the Hispanic Genealogy Research Center in Albuquerque. About the fourth time that I went there a gentle man overheard my cousin talking about running into a road block on one of the Montoyas. He came over and offered his information on the Montoya’s. It was a gift from up above! Yes, my parents are descendants of Bartolome. They are both descended from Diego
    Montoya I. My father descends from Capitan Antonio Montoya, and my mother from Diego Montoya II.
    Once I started putting the information together, it started falling into place. What is so great is that Diego Montoya was an encomendero and that encomienda (land grant) is still in my family. It was an encomiendo by the San Pedro native Americans, which as far as I know do not exist any more. It is quite big and sits on the bosque.
    I would also like your permission to quote some of your work. I will be willing to answer anyone’s questions, if I have the info. g, Thanks for your patience.

    • Judy Curbow

      November 28, 2014 at 11:58 am

      Hi Pricilla – thanks for taking the time to send me this note. Since your Montoya family is from Rio Arriba County, New Mexico – I feel certain that we are related….but how?! My grandfather was born 1906 and his name was Jose Celestino Montoya; my great grandfather was Maximiano de Herrera Montoya and my great great grandfather was Jose Ylario Montoya – and after that I hit a brick wall. I’ll send you a note on your email address. Thanks again. Judy

  10. Pricilla G. Montoya

    December 1, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Judy, my grandfather’s name was Jose Luis Montoya. He worked on the railroad and traveled up and down northern NM. I’m still researching his side of the of the Montoya’s. I was busy researching my paternal side of the Montoya’s, which I am pretty satisfied with….I will contact you when I have more info on the northern NM Montoya’s. May I please use your info for my tree? You are more than welcome to use mine. MORE TO COME!!!!

    • Judy Curbow

      December 10, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      Pricilla – please do keep in touch. Your family is from Rio Arriba County – and so is mine. My grandfather worked on the railroad – and so did mine. We probably are connected and just need to figure out how. Please feel free to use whatever information you need of mine to further your search. Good luck ! Best regards, Judy

  11. Pricilla G. Montoya

    December 12, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Judy, thank you so much for keeping in touch and also letting me use your info. Here is what I found: Francisco, Bartolome & Maria de Zamora y Abarca; Diego I & Maria Ortiz de Vera; Diego II & Maria Josefa de Hinojos; Salvador & Maria Manuela Garcia de la Riva, Manuel Antonio & Maria Gertrudis de la Luz Pena; Nicolas Maria & Maria Rosalia Flores; Salvador & Maria Micaela Jiron;
    Jose Miguel & Maria Isabel Archuleta and Jose Luis & Catalina Dimas; Hortencia (my mother) & Florentino (my father); my siblings and I.

    • Judy Curbow

      December 16, 2014 at 2:29 pm

      Let me know what you find out as you move along. I don’t have any of the more recent names in my database…..I have no idea how we are connected.

  12. Pricilla G. Montoya

    December 16, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Will do…….good luck to both of us!!

  13. Aubrey N Anita Robinson

    January 3, 2015 at 3:17 am

    I am researching my wife’s family of Montoyas from New Mexico. Her great grand father Ursulo Montoya ( 31 Oct 1883 in NM – abt 1942 – Cleveland, Mora, NM) He married Adelida Aragon (21 April 1888 CO – 23 March 1977 Sacramento, CA). They had three children. One one died young and is unknown. Louis Montoya Sr ( 22 Aug 1906 in NM – 11 Mar 1996 in Sacramento, CA. Eralia Montoya (2 Sep 1910 in Raton, NM – 21 Sep 1995 in Sacramento, CA).

    Any help or pointers to locate they information would be greatly appreciated.
    Aubrey N Anita Robinson

    • Judy Curbow

      January 17, 2015 at 9:23 am

      Thanks so much for stopping by the website and for taking the time to leave a comment. Unfortunately, I do not recognize any of the names you mentioned. Montoya is a very prevalent name in New Mexico. I first started with trying to find my grandfather in the census records. I also found a lot of baptismal records at That is how I started piecing the family together. Facebook has a great New Mexico genealogy page – and the New Mexico has a great historical society. I wish you the best of luck on your family search! Judy

  14. Pricilla Gloria Montoya

    January 17, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Cleveland, NM is farther north of Santa Fe. I believe it’s near Mora,NM. I don’t know which one of Bartolome’s children were that far north. Will let you know if I find out anything.

  15. Isidro Cazares Jr.

    February 1, 2015 at 2:21 am

    Hello, wanted to say hi, I like this historic Biography, Thank you, Happy New Year, Sincerely, Isidro Cazares Jr.

    • Judy Curbow

      February 7, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      Hi Isidro – thanks for stopping by the blog and taking the time to leave this comment. Best regards – Judy

  16. Angela Snyder

    April 9, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Hi Judy. My great grandmother father was a Montoya and her mother was a Moya, they came to the Agua Mansa, California (San Bernadino area) around the 1840′, took me sometime but I was finally able to find their New Mexico families. Thank our for allowing us to post our family histories. Angela Snyder

    • Judy Curbow

      April 11, 2015 at 11:33 am

      Hi Angela – thanks for stopping by the website and for taking the time to leave me this comment. My Montoya family is only traced back to about 1850 – all from Rio Arriba County, New Mexico. I’m at a brick wall now – and it’s been slow going. It’s a wonderful surname and family history to research !

  17. Lyn Overton

    October 14, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Hello. I am decidedly Anglo. I had my DNA tested through FTDNA and I continually receive match notices of connections to Hispanic people in the New Mexico area, including specifically Bartolome de Montoya. After intensive and frustrating research I found that I have one Spanish connection, from a family of Spanish Jewish converso people. They were driven out of Spain by the Inquisition about 1450 AD, went to Amsterdam, and then London. From there the family line moved to colonial Rhode Island and Virginia. My connection is to an Anthony family which came into Virginia in 1690. In England the surname was Anthony, and so I presume the Spanish surname was Antonio, although there are indications they used Mendez at times. After the expulsions from Spain in 1492, many Spanish Jews and conversos went to Mexico and then north into New Mexico around 1600. Other Hispanic surnames which have surfaced in my matches include Gallegos, Carrillo, Ortiz, Trujillo, Gutierrez, Anaya, Pereira, Herrera, Almeida, de Luna, and Andrade. I would like to trace my Antonio/Mendez family connections in Spain. Does anyone have data on Spanish connections to Antonio people before 1500? Thanks in advance. Lyn Overton, Missouri & Florida.

    • Judy Curbow

      October 24, 2015 at 11:02 am

      Thank you Lyn for stopping by the blog and taking the time to leave a comment. Unfortunately I haven’t done any research on Antonio or Mendez. I Also have Gallegos, Trujillo and Herrera in my family lines. Good luck on your search! Hopefully someone else will see this comment and respond with some helpful information.

  18. Paul Rojo

    December 25, 2015 at 12:14 am

    My maternal grandmother Telesfora Montoya was from Las Vegas NM, her father Celso Montoya was from Tecolote NM as was his father David, any relationship out there.

  19. Ralph Montoya

    March 16, 2016 at 2:22 am

    My Name is Ralph Montoya im 65 years old, my Father was Manuel Montoya he Transitioned 1973. From Lumberton New Mexico. does anyone connect to this info? please respond interested in my Liniage.

    • Judy Curbow

      April 9, 2016 at 1:05 pm

      Ralph – thanks for stopping by the blog and taking the time to leave your comment/question. Montoya is a really common name in New Mexico, and unfortunately Manuel Montoya from Lumberton does not ring a bell for me. I have about three generations out of Rio Arriba County, New Mexico. I wish I could help. Good luck on your family history search.

      • Maggie Riberal

        May 30, 2016 at 2:25 pm

        Hello, my name is Maggie Riberal. I am assisting my husband with his research regarding his great grandmother listed as Viavano Montoya and grandmother Dolores Montoya Chavez. I believe Viavano (which could be Viaviana) was married to Raymond Montoya. All from New Mexico and Colorado area. I’ve hit a roadblock after that. Have you come across any names associated with your research. I’d be most interested in any information you’d be willing to share.

        • Judy Curbow

          June 4, 2016 at 5:11 pm

          Hi Maggie – thanks for stopping by the blog and for taking the time to comment here. Tracing my New Mexico roots has been really hard. Montoya is a very common surname and it gets confusing because everyone seems to be named Jose or Maria…! I have only researched back to my 2x great grandfather – and I’m stuck after that too. My family was all in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico. None of the names that you mention fit into my family tree. I wish I could help you. The New Mexico Genealogical Society has a very active Facebook page that you should join. Good luck with your search….I hope you can find some answers. Best regards – Judy

  20. Jennifer

    June 10, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Judy – My husband’s family is part of the same Montoya line on your tree. I would love to discuss what I’ve got in the way of research with you. Jennifer

  21. Theresa Diana Baca Ragin

    September 8, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    Hello, I am Theresa Diana Baca Ragin I am I believe the 11th Great Granddaugher of Bartoleme de Montoya. I have managed to document my lineage back to Ana Ortiz (Pacheco) and Cristobal Baca. I would love to attach the lineage information for you to view but don’t see where I can do that.

  22. Paul Anthony Rojo

    March 14, 2017 at 11:44 am

    My name is Paul Rojo, my maternal grandmothers maiden name is Telesfora Montoya From Las Vegas NM, her dad name was Celso Montoya from Tecolote NM, his wife was Manuela Trujillo from El Rito de Salado NM, any info appreciate

    • Judy Curbow

      March 15, 2017 at 11:18 am

      Hi Paul – Good to hear from you regarding the Montoya family. None of these names sound overly familiar to me; however, Montoya is a VERY common name in New Mexico! Kind of like researching Smith or Johnson 🙂 Anyway, I did a quick search on Family Search – and found Celso Montoya’s marriage record. He married 5 Dec 1892 in Our Lady of Sorrow, Las Vegas Town, San Miguel County, New Mexico. I will check my database because we did have a segment of our family that moved to San Miguel County. As you know, he married Manuela Trujillo who was the daughter of Felipe Trujillo and Juliana Sandoval. Celso’s parents were Juan Montoya and Guadalupe Montoya. Interestingly, I found Celso in the 1880 census (born 1869) and he was living in Tecolote – and here it lists his parents as David and Ignacia Montoya (siblings: Irenia; Benicio; Felipe; Francisco; JOse Maria; and Sipriano). Hope this helps you jump start your research! Best regards – Judy

    • Anthony Montoya

      April 12, 2017 at 2:33 am

      Hi Paul, I am Anthony Montoya. By a fluke I was surfing the internet randomly this evening and discovered this website and your query by accident. Your great grandfather Celso Montoya was a younger brother of my great great grandfather Manuel Montoya both being the sons of Juan Montoya and María Guadalupe Montoya. That would make us third cousins once removed. The family was originally from Los Padillas and Albuquerque before they moved north into San Miguel County. Juan Montoya’s parents were Juan Montoya and María Manuela Padilla both of Los Padillas and María Guadalupe Montoya’s parents were José Rafael Montoya and María Gertrudis Chaves both from Los Padillas. I have the completed genealogies for all of them and will be happy to share all of it with you.

      • Judy Curbow

        April 12, 2017 at 9:05 am

        Thanks for stopping by the website and taking the time to comment; however, this is not my family line. I am sure we intersect somewhere down the line because all Montoyas in New Mexico are related somehow! My grandfather was Jose Celestino Montoya born in 1905 in Rio Arriba County, NM, and he didn’t have a brother named Manuel. My Celestino’s father was Maximiano de Herrera Montoya born in Rio Arriba County in 1871. My Celestino’s grandfather was Jose Ilario Montoya born Jemez area around 1844. I’d love to see your work so we could try to connect our families later on down the tree. Have you taken a DNA test? I will send you a private email also. Thanks again for taking the time to comment. Hahah….and then after I made this comment I realized that you were talking to one of the other commenters – Paul! Never mind!

  23. jacob

    March 31, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    Hi Debi,

    I’m Jacob Garcia my grandfather was Antonio montoya his father was Maximilian or something we just called him max.

    • Judy Curbow

      April 2, 2017 at 12:56 pm

      Hi Jacob – thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to send me this comment. My family was from Rio Arriba County. Do you know anything more about your Montoya family? It would be fun to see if we connect somewhere along the line! Best regards – Judy

  24. roaze

    July 4, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    Hello Judy! I am Roaze, the grand daughter of David Alfonso Montoya, my father is his son Anthony Montoya. My dad told me about this page so I came to visit. How can I be added to the tree along with my dad and my brothers? How do I go about the blood test? If you can guide me in the right direction that would be much appreciated! I would love to find more info and see more photos if possible! Thank you!!

    • Judy Curbow

      July 8, 2020 at 9:20 am

      Hi Roaze! Nice to meet you. Thanks for stopping by the blog and taking the time to leave a message. Your grandfather, David Alfonso Montoya, was my uncle and my godfather. I will try to send you a private message with more details.


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