I was only a child when I first heard of “aunt Luz”. Once in a while my father would tell us about how he used to visit her when he was a child. The Marquise he said, was a lady of notorious beauty.

His memories of aunt Luz would take him back to a big manor, he would be sitting next to his parents and the Marquise would sit in front of them accompanied by her two dogs, Irish setters he recalls.

Many years later, while in college I decided to research more about our aunt Luz, I wanted to know what she looked like, when she was born and all the details I could find about her.

Luz Vizcarra y García-Teruel was the legitimate Marquise of Pánuco and she was first cousin of my third-grandfather José Federico Elías Miguel Palomar y Vizcarra (1876-1918), the eldest of the Palomar y Vizcarra and who had a brief career as a politician.

Her baptism record can be found in the “Bautismos de hijos legítimos 1889-1893” number 454, located in the Sagrario Metropolitano of Mexico City (Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de la Santísima Virgen María a los cielos de Ciudad de México).

The record states the following:

454 María de la Luz Dolores Carolina Francisca Gregoria Vizcarra y García Teruel.

En veinte de Mayo de mil ochocientos y ochenta y nueve con Licencia del Señor Bachiller Don Pablo de Jesús Sandoval, cura primero de esta Santa Iglesia y examinador sinodal, yo el presbítero Florentino Ordóñez bauticé a una niña que nació el día nueve del presente, púsela por nombres María de la Luz Dolores Carolina Francisca Gregoria, hija legítima de legítimo matrimonio de Don Luis Vizcarra y de Doña Manuela García Teruel; nieta por línea paterna de Don José María Vizcarra y de Doña Guadalupe Portillo, y por la materna de Don Manuel García Teruel y de Doña Carolina Manzo (sic); fueron sus padrinos Don Manuel Sánchez Navarro y Doña Paz García Teruel de Sánchez Navarro, advertidos de su obligación y parentesco espiritual (1).

<Pablo de J. Sandoval> <Florentino Ordóñez>.

Summary:

Date of baptism:

20.May.1889.

Full name:

María de la Luz Dolores Carolina Francisca Gregoria Vizcarra y García Teruel.

Parents:

Luis Vizcarra and Manuela García Teruel.

Paternal grandparents:

José María Vizcarra and Guadalupe Portillo.

Maternal grandparents:

Manuel García Teruel and Carolina Manso.

Godparents:

Manuel Sánchez Navarro and Paz García Teruel.

This lady, known for short as Luz Vizcarra y García-Teruel was the sole heir of not only a vast fortune but also of the title of Marquis of Pánuco, a title that has been in our family since 1772.

Luz Vizcarra was also graced with physical beauty and she was widely known as one of the most distinguished ladies of the time (2)

Her father.

Her father Luis Vizcarra y Portillo owned the Haciendas La Sauceda, La Cofradía de la Luz and el Salitre in Jalisco but unfortunately he was not very active in them. He was diagnosed with various immunity issues and a gallbladder disease since he was young and that would limit many of his activities. Doctors treated him unsuccessfully and his health issues lasted for several decades until his death on July 1924. On the 8th day of that month and year he would die in his house located in Leandro Valle No. 4 (Historical Center of Mexico City).

He was buried in the Cemetery of Tepeyac in Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico City.

Her mother.

A widely known story surrounds the figure of Manuela García-Teruel y Manso. Antonio Mier y Celis, President of the Bank of Mexico was one of her pretenders. He asked her for a portrait to carry with him but she refused. Feeling dismayed he obtained her portrait from one of the members of the household García-Teruel and as a revenge Antonio would print her image in all the bills of the time. If she would not be his, then her portrait would be in the hands of every citizen. Another version, more noble and romantic, states that he did it to gain her favour. He tried to immortalize Manuelita in the bills that would be circulating in the entire country. Manuela remained one of the key figures of the Mexican society. On January 1891 the actress Felicita Prosdocimi dedicated her first grand play to a group of high society ladies such as Carmen Romero Rubio, wife of Porfirio Díaz, Amada Díaz de la Torre, Juana Maza de Dublán, Alejandra Vega de Redo, María Goríbar de la Torre, Dolores Mora de Lancaster-Jones and of course, Manuela García-Teruel y Manso.

Luis and Manuela raised Luz with care and undivided attention since she was their only daughter. As one of the richest women in Mexico she had also a significant amount of pretenders but the one he would choose as her husband would be someone of her own blood: her first cousin Senén Palomar y Vizcarra. Before this happened she did the following:

Succeeding the title as Marquise of Pánuco.

Her personal coat of arms

In 1912, Luz Vizcarra decided to rehabilitate the title of Marquis of Pánuco since her father was the eldest male son of the Vizcarra y Portillo family and therefore, the rightful heir to the title.

In this Royal Letter Don Alfonso XIII, King of Spain approves by what is disposed in the Royal Decree of the 27th of May of 1912, and according to the dictaminations of the Council of the Grandees of Spain, Section of the Ministry of Grace and Justice and Permanent Commission of the State Council, by proposal of the Ministry of Grace and Justice and by Royal Decree of the past 14th of December, he rehabilitates in favour of Luz Vizcarra without prejudice of a third party of better rights, the title of Marquis of Pánuco, to her, her children and legitimate successors.

Six years after becoming the rightful Marquise of Pánuco she married her first cousin Senén Palomar y Vizcarra (1918):

The Marquise and her husband would be active in diverse areas, they were among the founders of the Mexican Red Cross, they were Dame and Knight of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and Honorary Consuls for the Dominican Republic in Mexico.

Luz and Senén had two children: Senén (1919-1922) and Ana Luz Manuela Palomar y Vizcarra (1921-1924) who unfortunately were born with haemophilia and passed away of this disease. They adopted their third child, an american girl from Columbia, USA that they named María Guadalupe Palomar y Vizcarra (Peggy). María eventually married in 1948 an Spaniard, Luis Robina Cofiño but, as tragedy would strike the life of the Marquises of Pánuco once again, she passed away while giving birth.

Senén Palomar would pass away in 1944 aged 60. He was putting away his coat in the trunk of his car when another vehicle lost control and pinned him between both cars. He passed away of the multiple injuries sustained.

Sixteen years later she would follow the rest of her family. In 1960 Luz Vizcarra y García-Teruel, Marquise of Pánuco passed away in her manor located in Liverpool 91. Before her death she kindly accepted being the godmother of religious confirmation of my father, as she was cherished and treasured by the rest of the family.

1) Her godfather, Manuel Sánchez-Navarro y Osío -husband of Paz García-Teruel y Manso- had an scandalous affair with the actress Virginia Fábregas and as a result he had a bastard son named Manuel Fábregas (Sánchez-Navarro y Fábregas), father of the famous Spanish-Mexican actor Manolo Fábregas (1921-1996).
(2) Revista Jalisco. Vol. 4-6. Page. 81. Unidad Editorial del Gobierno del Estado de Jalisco.
(3) Distrito Federal, México, Registro Civil, Matrimonios. 1861-1950.