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


12 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!

  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

  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


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