Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Origins of the De La O Family in the Americas

Following is very interesting email and Genforum thread shared with us by our cousin Joseph Valles, Richard Barela and Daniel De La O of Mexico City. Thanks guys!

Dear Daniel,

Many thanks for posting your message! And your English is perfect; it is my Spanish that is poor.

Several De La O relations in the United States have been trying to get to primary historical documents in Mexico for some time, but so far none of us has been able to go. Your communication is very welcome indeed! (I have added it at the bottom for others to see)

Some of us have been aware of the various clans of De La O in Veracruz, Acapulco, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Costa Rica, Peru and Chihuahua, but we have not discovered how they are all related exactly.

All the members of our group trace our heritage back to Cristobal De La O and particularly his son Pasqual, whose children all moved from Senecu in Chihuahua, a town that no longer exists, to areas around Dona Ana and Mesilla in New Mexico. We have no substantial records yet of Cristobal's generation, nor of his ancestors. We know you are able to have access to some very old material in Mexico City, and hopefully there are traces of information to be found that will be able to link all the various De La O families together.

If you are willing, please send what details you can, particularly if you can work with GEDcom documents. We will be happy to share what we can. Appended is an outline of the Cristobal De La O line from Chihuahua / Dona Ana.

Joseph Valles

Our group consists of:

Joseph Valles
Juanita De La O Gordon
Carol Herrington
Randy De La O
Gwynne Chastain
Mary Kersey
Michael DeLaO
Henry Turrey
Cindy Fahrbach
Frank Romero

Gwynne and I have met here in Atlanta, while Mary Kersey, Michael DeLaO, Juanita De La O Gordon and Randy De La O have just this year met each other out in California--Randy has photos of this up on his website at:

It is an extremely exciting thing that 6th and 7th generations of the descendents of the children of Pasqual De La O--widely separated in time and space--have been able to find each other and meet after having been apart for 5 generations!


From Daniel De La O

Hello, everybody, I'm writing from Mexico city, hope you can understand my english. My name is Daniel De La O I was born in Acapulco (1974) in one of the oldest families in the port. I'm a researcher for the Mexico College, and during my masters degree I made an investigation about one of the first De La O in the pacific of Mexico. I was surfing the net when I discovered this site about the De La O genealogy and I was amazed to read your mails about the origins of the name. I don't know exactly about the other family lines from which you may decent, I do know that the cuban line is the one that migrated to florida, and that there are three mexican origins known of the De La O: Veracruz, Guadalajara and Acapulco.

This last one, goes all the way back to 1561 when Fray Andres de Urdaneta receives the order of sailing from Acapulco to the philipines, with the objective of finding islands nearby the chinesse continent and japan that may serve to the spanish rute of silver and gold. One of the companions of Urdaneta was the young Alonso De La O who came to Mejico with his brother in search of fortune. His brother stayed in Veracruz and became a merchant, I haven´t found much about him, although there is a lot of De La O's in Veracruz.

Perhaps your parents come from that line...

Anyway, Alonso didn't stay with his brother because he wanted to follow the religious path, and started the process to become an agustino like urdaneta, but it wasn't an easy thing, because the De La O in Spain from which these two brothers came, had Moro blood in their veines. This is why if you feel like you have a nose or some other arab like characteristics you don't know were they came from, well, ok, you are not crazy. As matter of fact, you have to know that Spain had a couple of centuries of ocupation by the moros. There is not a clear reason of why Alonso didn´t go with the others to Japan, but the thing is that he stayed in Bahia de Santa Lucía, today Acapulco to build the first chapel. We know this because Urdaneta, as most agustinos, kept a record of his travels and evangelizations, and in the Acapulco old archive is a copy of these records. He stayed in the port working in the construction of the chapel, which didn´t go well because it was more urgent the edification of a fort, eventually the fort of San Diego.

Alonso started to make money when the turnaroute was ready, but sorry he didn´t became one of the richest colonizers on the port, however he was married to Anita (don't ask me the surname) and had children and died. How do I know about that marriage? Thanks again to the agustinos, who keep records of everybody married in those years, and were kind enough to receive my petition in Spain for the information concerning this affairs. That's all I could find about Alonso, it took a lot of research in the old, I mean OLD mexican archives, so don´t expect to be able to google something about it with out a bunch of readings before you.

The next I can tell you is that Alonso and his children, and his brother in Veracruz, lived in a very special time, marked with the continuous crossing of merchandise and people. So is not surprise to speculate that they had children with different people over those years. For example, in Acapulco was a small but very well registered slave trade for the portuguese and holland. A lot of De La O in Acapulco are clearly african descendent, so of you have black characteristics in your resemblance it may be possible that you come from this line. Although the veracruz De La O have a lot of mixture with black people too, there are more mulatos, white person with black, that the acapulco's (black with indigenas).

In other things more recent, you may probably be related to María De La O a very important women rights' fighter in Mexico. And perhaps you are related with Genovevo De La O who fought the revolution following the Zapata's ideals, he tried to help the poor and is consider a hero.

Finally, my research has pointed one of the origins of the surname in France, in the region of la Vierge de l'eau. Which means Virgin of the Water, this place is famous because the Virgin Mary apeared over a water spring. Someone took the surname De l'eau, -probably happened around the 1485 by orders of the Vatican (long story)- and consequently when he or she moved to Spain the name changed from eau to O, because the word eau is pronounced exactly like the letter "O" in spanish. I'm sure that the ones of you who speak spanish will understand it better. After one or two generations the name became De La O, hiding it's relation to the virgin. This may be the origin of De La O and it would say that your surname actually means: of the Water... Daniel of the Water...
Well is almost four in the morning here in Mexico, and I hope I've been helpful to you. I'm at your orders in this mail

I wish to you all the best, the best of fortunes, the best of lucks, the best of health the best of everything, my dear brothers, my dear sisters, where ever you are...


De La O in NM c. 1890''s

Re: Meaning of De La O name?
Richard Barela (View posts) Posted: 13 Jun 2009 8:43PM GMT
Classification: Biography
Surnames: De La O, DeLaO, delao
I found your post interesting and collaborates with what I found on the De La O name history on from Daniel Antonio De La O in Mexico City. While attaining his masters from Mexico College he researched the family name and found some facts similar to yours. He notes the name originates from the french "la Vierge de l'eau", referring to the Virgin appearing over a spring of water in France, and literally means "of the water" with "eau" meaning water in french; when pronounced having an "O" sound in spanish. When the De La O ancestors moved to Spain the name transformed to its current. This appears to be the origin of the church name you mention in your post. Daniels post is very interesting and I have pasted it below for anyone interested. Daniel also states that it was a command from the Vatican around 1485 that "someone" take the name "de l'eau." I found that very interesting and quite believable.
My gr gr grandfather was Severio De La O, son of Pasqual De La O, son of Cristobal De La O. My grandma was Juanita De La O Barela. (my thanks David)
Richard Barela


Meaning of De La O name?
JValles (View posts) Posted: 12 May 2003 1:42PM
Classification: Query
Surnames: De La O, Delao
The name De La O refers to the Virgin Mary at the moment of the birth of Jesus. What is missing that makes this clear is this name for the Virgin Mary in full, "Nuestra Senora De La O". This name for the Virgin Mary is sometimes rendered "Nuestra Senora de la Redonda". In English, this could be, The Virgin of the Parturition".

Some have said the the "O" refers to the cry of the mother during birth, or of the child afterwards. Others have said that it refers to the fullness of pregnancy, and still others say it refers to the alpha and omega, i.e., that the birth of Jesus is prophecy fulfilled.

There is a church, with a black Madonna, at Salinas de Anana in Spain with the name Nuestra Senora De La O. After the habit of past times, its use as a family name might mean that the family originated from there, or from the locale of another church with this name, or that someone took this name in honor of the Virgin.


Jesse said...

The last line is what got me. My name is Jesus De La O Jr. Hijo de Jesus De La O and Maria Luisa De La O. I was born in McAllen and move up here to Nebraska. The part that I guess that I don't understand is that am gay and that nobody else up to me has been gay as far as I know. I think twice about the future generation with the world understanding. I have the beggining and the end. I had my CHRISTopher taken from me when I was young and an Angel was sent to me on Christmas just like my dad. My grandfathers Name was Guadalupe De La O. Born on the 12 of December, dia de la virgen. I AM the Antichrist. The seven heads are a month. The ten horns are days with the other ten crowns. The wound take's away one crown, but still in Awe...That is the day of my birth. This is a bit of my philosophy, I have more to post about what I had to understand for myself.

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¿Mi nombre Importa? No lo creo said...

My name is Luis E. Laó from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Your blog is very informative, with it I learned that De La O surname is different from the Laó surname which came originally from Müchen Germany (Bavaria) and moved Laon France. Our ancestors moved down to Le Ch:ef, Algiers and to Senegal where they settle a large city. Also they arrived to Spain at the time of expulsion of the Mohrs and fought them. After that they settle in Armería. The Laó family in Spain is one of the richest. google Grupo Cirsa and you will see. My family is tall red and white skin, we have lots of light brunet to blondish hair and also very black.

Since our family spreaded through Europe and Northen Africa I would suspect that there is a big mix with Black (African) and Bereber (White Africans). Here in Puerto Rico we have Back and white Laó.

as for me and my kids, the germanic, french and spanish line is very very strong.

As for lineage, all I know is that is royalty decending directly from Charlemagne and linked to the House of Borbón. The coats of arms of the Laó is Azure eith three fleur d Lis and a tower. The coats of Arms of the House of Borbón is azure with several Fleur d Lis. You can see it in the dead center of the Coats of Arms of the King of Spain Juan Carlos de Borbón.

The Laó surname is so evasive that getting informantion about it is very, very hard. I have told you all of this because our surnames are phonetically very similar but its origins seems to be different. I hope if helps by bringing clarity!

Little Wing Alita said...

I have also found a free site for search.
I have only searched little info, but it is another branch for search. And is owned by The Latter Day Saints (they have kept records for a long time).

Emmanuel De la O said...

I was looking for origins of my last name since my family is not closely knit and we do not have records. I came across Cafe De la O and this has given me quite alot of information. Id like to one day find as many De la Os as I can and reunite. maybe just once since i take a strong sense of pride in my last name. My family comes from ojo de agua, a small village close to what is Acapulco, Guerrero. Information on them and how we branched off would be helpful
Thanks again for this valuable information

Donna Chapman said...

I am researching the family of Roman De La O, of Presidio, Presidio Co., Texas. He died in 1917, under mysterious circumstances. His widow Tomasa moved away soon after his death, and the Family lived in Terlingua, and Alpine, Texas. My grandchildren are descendants of he and Tomasa. Roman had two wives with children from both families. The first wife's name is unknown. If anyone is searching this line, I would like to correspond with you. My grandchildren's grandfather (on their father's side), is Roman Molinar DeLaO, grandson of the original Roman De La O.

Aarón X. De La O said...

I'm not going to lie, I was a bit shocked to see a website about the name De La O because, to me, it seems so rare. My geography teacher once asked me what my last name stood for and its origin and it got me thinking of how far back I could trace the name. I haven't been at much luck because I don't know that much about my great grandfathers and onward. I guess, all in all, I would like to help contribute to this as much as possible and just meet as many other De La Os as possible. Oh btw I'm from El Paso :D

Joseph Valles said...

Adding to the commentary on the origin of the name, this bit was extracted from The Catholic Encyclopaedia 1913 Vol. 5 Pg 712 ff.

--Joseph Valles

"Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Exspectatio Partus B. V. M.), Feast Of The, celebrated on 18 December by nearly the entire Latin Church.

Owing to the ancient law of the Church prohibiting the celebration of feasts during Lent (a law still in vigour at Milan), the Spanish Church transferred the feast of the Annunciation from 25 March to the season of Advent, the Tenth Council of Toledo (656) assigning it definitely to 18 December. It was kept with a solemn octave. When the Latin Church ceased to observe the ancient custom regarding feasts in Lent, the Annunciation came to be celebrated twice in Spain, viz. 25 March and 18 December, in the calendars of both the Mozarabic and the Roman Rite (Missale Gothicum, ed. Migne, pp. 170, 734).

The feast of 18 December was commonly called, even in the liturgical books, "S. Maria de la O", because on that day the clerics in the choir after Vespers used to utter a loud and protracted "O", to express the longing of the universe for the coming of the Redeemer (Tamayo, Mart. Hisp., VI, 485 [or: Juan Tamayo de Salazar / Anamnesis sive commemoratio omnivm sanctorvm hispanorvm, 1651-1659, 6 vols. in 8]). The Roman "O" antiphons have nothing to do with this term, because they are unknown in the Mozarabic Rite. This feast and its octave were very popular in Spain, where the people still call it" Nuestra Senora de la O ".

It is not known at what time the term Expectatio Partus first appeared; it is not found in the Mozarabic liturgical books. St. Ildephonsus cannot, therefore, have invented it, as some have maintained. The feast was always kept in Spain and was approved for Toledo in 1573 by Gregory XIII as a double major, without an octave. The church of Toledo has the privilege (approved 29 April, 1634) of celebrating this feast even when it occurs on the fourth Sunday of Advent. The "Expectatio Partus" spread from Spain to other countries; in 1695 it was granted to Venice and Toulouse, in 1702 to the Cistercians, in 1713 to Tuscany, in 1725 to the Papal States. The Office in the Mozarabic Breviary is exceedingly beautiful; it assigns special antiphons for every day of the octave. At Milan the feast of the Annunciation is, even to the present, kept on the last Sunday before Christmas. The Mozarabic Liturgy also celebrates a feast called the Expectation (or Advent) of St. John the Baptist on the Sunday preceding 24 June.

Holweck. Fasti Mariani (Freiburg, 1892); De La FUENTE, Vida de la Virgen Maria (Mexico, 1883), 206; Liturgica Gothica in P. L.

F. G. Holweck."

mvrdz said...

Hi my name is Veroncia De La O and I too have been wanting to know so much about my last name and it's history. My grandfather lived in Guadalajara, Jalisco all his life and reading through the postings I did see that one of the main places this last name can be traced to is Guadalajara which caught my attention. If anyone has more information about the histroy of De La O in Guadalajara, please post it would be very interesting and find out about awhole lot more. May I mention that alot of peope confuse my father with being Phillipine and not Mexican.

Andy De La O said...

My name is Andy De La O I was born in Dona Ana, NM my parents were Jose and Natalia De La O our home was on Cristo Rey St, just south of the De La O y De La O Saloon now the vistor center. I'm glad to see, as to how many of us are so PROUD of our name and heritage. My father told me once of the many relatives we had in Califonia. Thanks you for this blog an its information.

Mucha Lucha said...

Hi. My name is Julio Paul Lopez. I'm told that my Grandpa, Julian De La O was a Colonel in Pancho Villas Army & was shot 3 times while breaking Villa out of Prison. My JulIan changed hIs age & name 2 JulIo Lopez when he escaped 2 El Paso, Tx. I have dark hair, light skin, an orange beard & hazel eyes and I don't take any bs from ANYONE! Love, Loyalty, Honor& Respect 2 all De La O!

Anonymous said...

Hi My great grandfather was Natalio Garcia De La O and he was also from the Guadalajara Mexico. I live here in the US. It is amazing how family trees can spread. If you have any information regarding the De La O in Guadalajara Please email me @ thank you ...

Anonymous said...

My boyfriends name is Daniel De La O and we live in California. His family comes from Chihuahua. I wanted to find out more about his heritage because I had never heard that last name before and he is very proud of it. This blog was very informative.

George Macias said...

Hello all. I'm following my maternal line for De La O as well. My forebearers were from Durango, around the area of Canatlan. I have hit a roadblock with Lorenzo De La O, whose son Nestor was my grandfather's maternal grandfather. Does anyone else have a link to Durango via their De La O lines?

George Macias

Anonymous said...

Hello. My name is Diana De La O. I know very little of my father. He is from las nieves Durango. His name is Felix De La O. We all have somewhat slanted eyes and look Philippino. I would love to know more but we lost contact with my father.

Unknown said...

Hello, Everyone my name is Carlos De La O III Ive become very interested in tracing my family tree, here is where I'm at my father carlos De La O Jr. and my Grandfather Carlos De La O Sr. are both form Mexico City, was my grandfathers father was Agustin De La O and his father was Cristobal De La O and died in Mexcio City but he does not know where he was from. I believe my dad even knows where Cristobal died meaning what part of the city in Mexico if my memory serves me right. Please feel free to contact me at

Unknown said...

Hi my name is Alejandra De La O and my dad's name is Jose Carlos De La O. We are from Nayarit, Tepic of Mexico. We live in the United States. I always wondered about my last name because it was so different and unique and I thought very little people had my last name. I'm glad I found this website and to be honest I was quite shocked when I found it. Well I'm a girl with pale skin, dark brown hair and brown eyes. If anyone would like to contact me, you can contact me at

rgod1001 said...

Emmanuel, I am a De La O from Dallas, Texas but my family is from Acapulco as well. We are from Las Lomas near Coyuca. My grandfather's name was Genarito De La O and great grand fates name was Efron (or maybe Efrain). I look forward to hearing from you.

Unknown said...

Hello everyone.
I'm David De La O from Orange County, California. My grandfather, Braulio De la O, died in Mexico City. I have no idea if he had any brothers or sisters, to further track my family tree. If any De La O out there knows any information that could help, reach out to me. Thanks.

rgod1001 said...

Hi everyone! My name is Oneyda De La O from Dallas,Tx. It's great to see that there are so many De La O out there. I'm interested in finding out more of my history. My family is from a small town in Guerrero, near Acapulco called Las Lomas. I'd love to get in contact with anyone who has any info.

Anonymous said...

My Name is Michael Vela, I am the Grandson of Elvira Martinez-Atencio who is the daughter of Juana De La O-Martinez and Francisco (Pancho) Martinez. Juana was one of several children of Rafael De La O and Margarita Madrid. I have been trying to find information about my ancestry but it has been difficult due to limited information, until I happened upon this website! I did a DNA test very recently and it was determined that my ancestry is from the Iberian Peninsula (Spain). Feel free to contact me at

Unknown said...

Hi I'm from las cruces, New Mexico. My name is Rhiana De La O. My father is Jesus De La O, and grandfather Alexandro De La O. Maybe we are related?

Anonymous said...

My name is Elida im from Pecos Texas about 6 hr from Dallad my grandfather is Jose Angel De la o he was born in Redford Texas but i believe all his family came from Mexico. He lives in Grandfalls Tx

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Hello everyone my name is David Lopez and I'm descended from a De La O family from Julimes, Chihuahua, Mexico. I am looking to find anything about that family. They apparently Iived on a Hacienda near Julimes circa 1800-1850 and the name of the male head of household was Francisco or Fernando but I think it's Francisco and his sister was my great great grandmother I would appreciate any information anyone can give me.

Anonymous said...

Hello since the last post I found a blog ( detailing the De La O family around Jimenez, Chihuahua, Mexico and I am from that group.I read that the De La O brothers who came to Vera Cruz had North African ancestors but I have no North African genetic connection so where did my De La O come from?

Anonymous said...

Correction I discovered that Francisco De La O was my 3rd greatgrandfather not my uncle.

Unknown said...

Hello I’m Olga and my ancestors are Garcia de Noriega, Ortega, Lucero, Candelaria, Varela, Flores and a few more from New Mexico & El Paso territories. I have a distant cousin with the last name De La O. Her 4th great grandfather was Luciano De La O and his wife was Francisca Lucero. They possibly married around 1875. They maybe from New Mexico, but most of their children were born in Ysleta, El Paso Tx. I have been doing my family tree for a couple of years now and have gone back with my main lineage to the 1500’s. I am trying to connect my distant cousin to my tree but I cannot find either parents of her 4th great grandparents. If anyone is related to this branch, please contact me. I have found that most of these New Mexican families are all related and extend from different branches of the original 1st and 2nd colonists who married into most of these families. Here are some names, Aragon, Archuleta, Baca(Vaca), Apodaca, Candelaria, Garcia, Garcia de Noriega, Griego, Jorge, Olguin, Lucero, Madrid, Aguilera, Rael, Varela. There are more. If you have any of these last names, then you would be related to most of these other families. Most of theses families went to Parral, Paseo del Norte & Nuevo México in 1598 to 1690. They were Spanish soldiers whe came from Mexico City or Zacatecas. I read about one who came from Michoacán. On my mothers side, she comes from conquistadores who settled in Jalisco, Zacatecas, Puebla. A couple of her ancestors were founders of Puebla. So, since some of our ancestors stayed in Mexico, some went north and we are New Mexicans. A few of the higher ranked soldiers in Nuevo Mexico, like my ancestors Garcia de Noriega, were founders of Albuquerque and other towns.
I recommend a book called Origins of New Mexico Families. ( this information I share with you, is from what I researched from original documents and some from indexes/sources without the original documents. If I am wrong with any information, please let me know so I can research it and correct it). Sincerely Olga Garcia

Unknown said...

I’m from Albuquerque New Mexico my name is Isaac De La O and my father is Theodore De La O I have my brothers Nathan and Greg De Lao as well I bee trying to find out about my last name for awhile now I know my brother who is in the military as a recruiter said he only heard of others De La O in las cruces until this website I never knew there were so many around maybe we are related some how

Unknown said...

Hello Isaac...I, along with my cousin Gloria are continuing our reserach of the family name De la O for our family tree. We will keep in touch. Do you know your grandfather’s name and your great grandfather’s name as well? It will help with finding our ancestors.
Thank you,
Olga Garcia de Flores

Bruce and Leticia said...

George Macias, my family were also from Durango and Lorenzo De La O is also in my family tree, I have found some records on Lorenzo De La O and Nestor.

Anonymous said...

Hello my maiden last name is De La O but as I read a lot are from Mexico. My family's origin is from El Salvador and I have always wondered where our last name came from. As read the article I tend to wonder if we tie in as well.

John Martin De La O said...


Anonymous said...

Julio, my grandma's brother was also named Julian De La O who served with Villa.

Tanisha De La O said...

My name is Tanisha De La O, I live in Albuquerque, NM, and my father is Patrick De La O, my grandfather is Lupe De La O. My grandfather is from El Campo, Texas and his father Jose De La O migrated from Mexico. Not sure what part of Mexico. Wonder if I have any relatives in New Mexico. I have my grandfathers immediate family in El Campo, TX.

Unknown said...

Hello, my name is Alberto De La O Almager. My mother was Monica De La O from San Antonio del Bravo, Chih. She lived and is buried in Levelland,Texas where I was raised. My uncle Jose De La O lived in Roswell,NM and my uncle Librado De La O lived in Hagerman, NM. I also had an aunt named Casimira that lived in Morton, Texas and an aunt Feliz that lived there after moving back from California. I was reading about Genoveno De La O last night after researching Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata. I know that my mothers family migrated from central Mexico which is where General Genoveno De La O was born, lived and spent his final days. I was wondering if anyone else in here shares the same background and where their family line ended up.

Marc DeLaO said...

Howdy Y’all!
Marc DeLaO
San Antonio, Texas

Unknown said...

My name is Sergio De La O, my grandfather was born in Bustamante or Aldama Nuevo Leon Mexico. I would like to find out more of our ancestors.

Unknown said...

Well, I married to the De La O family. My husband Clemente De La O Lange was from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He had an uncle that lived the majority of his life in San Francisco, CA. His father was Clemente De La O Santana, he was from a small town in Jalisco. I have only known of two other De La O families in Fresno, CA. I have two dsughters and I would love to learn more about the history of the De La O's.
Thank you,
Lucía Flores-De La O

John Martin De La O said...

I would like to think that the "O" comes from the "OMEGA" .

John Martin De La O said...

John Martin De La O, from San Antonio Texas.

I'm an Aquarius and blood type "O-". Viva La Veda Buena!

John Martin De La O said...

San Antonio Texas here too.

Robert Gunn said...