Don Juan de Villaseñor y Orozco is, perhaps, one of the most well-known Spanish conquistadores. Partly because he belonged to a noble and distinguished lineage but also because of his deeds in the American territories.
Juan de Villaseñor was born in Torrubia de Uclés in the province of Cuenca, Castile-La Mancha as one of the sons of Diego de Villaseñor who served as bailiff of the castle of Uclés. Diego was married to Guiomar de Orozco y Sandoval who, in turn, was daughter of Diego de Orozco and Guiomar de Sandoval.
While the agnatic line is well-known and has been thoroughly investigated, the linage of Diego de Orozco remained largely unknown until I found his family.
The only information that was known before this finding was that Diego de Orozco had the encomienda of Pozorrubio of the Order of Santiago.
However, a document from 1537 from one of his sons provides precious genealogical information that remained largely unknown until now.
Francisco de Orozco, an old bailiff of the Inquisition and who at the time was a resident of Mazarambroz in Toledo began the process of certifying his nobility on August 8, 1537 and ends favourably eleven months later: “because Francisco de Orozco was a noble person and of good lineage, without any race of converts, he had possession of the rod of bailiff of the Holy Office of the Inquisition in Toledo, that it is an office of such quality that the officers of it are noble people and clean hidalgos”.
In said document it is declared that his parents were Diego de Orozco and Guiomar Gutiérrez (Guiomar de Sandoval), residents of Torrubia del Campo. In addition to Francisco, they were also the parents of another Diego de Orozco who was the father of the governor of Uclés: a Francisco de Orozco. This younger Diego had control of the castle of Uclés and was commander in Pozorrubio de Santiago (Cuenca) as his father was. That is, both Diegos were commanders in Pozorrubio.
The grandparents were Gonzalo de Orozco and Margarita García de Cornado. Gonzalo was described as “the best hidalgo there was in all of Quenca (Cuenca)”
To sum up, this is the family relationship:
1.- Gonzalo de Orozco (b. ca. 1420) who was married to Margarita García de Cornado or Coronado.
1.1- Diego de Orozco y Cornado, Commander of Pozorrubio, born ca. 1445; with Guiomar Gutiérrez or de Sandoval he had:
- a) Diego de Orozco, Commander of Pozorrubio as well as his father. He had one son: the warden of Uclés Francisco de Orozco.
- b) Francisco de Orozco, bailiff of the Holy Office in Toledo. Born ca. 1480. This son is the one that obtain certification of his nobility. He was probably the youngest son.
- c) Guiomar de Orozco, wife of Diego de Villaseñor, parents of the conquistador Juan de Villaseñor y Orozco, her brother Diego and Francisco.
1.2.- Jaime de Orozco y Cornado, Commander of Santiago. A witness mentions that Francisco de Orozco, the one who litigated, had another brother who called himself Horozco, a notorious hidalgo, who served in the house of Luisa de Acuña y Portugal, Countess of Paredes de Nava and in that of her son, the sixth count. Title that is currently in the power of my relatives by my García-Sancho blood, the Travesedo family.
It is important to mention that the Encomienda of Pozorrubio was actually known as the Encomienda de la Cámara de las Privilegios, Pozorrubio referred to its location at the time. This will allow us to discover a tad more about the Orozco family and their relations with the Coronados.
The first commander was a Diego de Orozco and its seat was established in the castle of Uclés. The encomienda was created by the Order of Santiago and its main objective was to guard and protect the documents of the Order that were kept in locked chests. We know that Diego de Orozco was commander in 1474 when the Count of Benavente and the Marquis of Villena besieged the castle of Uclés so, based on the dates, this must be Diego de Orozco y Coronado, son of Gonzalo.
The article “Poder y parentesco en la nobleza santiaguista del siglo XV” by D. Miguel Rodríguez Llopis mentions that Diego de Orozco (y Coronado) was made commander of the Cámara de los Privilegios in 1467, and that he was nephew of Juan Díaz de Coronado, the Prior of Uclés in 1440. D. Miguel Rodríguez also mentions other relatives of Diego de Orozco: Juan Coronado, bailiff of Uclés in 1442, and Alfonso Díaz de Coronado, commander of Villafranca and brother of Juan.
Although the term “nephew” was not always restricted to the son of a sibling, we know now that Margarita García de Coronado, mother of the commander Diego de Orozco, was closely related to the Prior Juan Díaz de Coronado.
This finding could also point to the possible relationship, albeit distant, between the conquistador Juan de Villaseñor de Orozco and Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, covernor and captain of the Kingdom of the Nueva Galicia, who, in turn, was a distant relative of Hernán Cortés.