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Longoria coat of arms (click to enlarge)The Longorias have a family coat of arms, as do many of the ancient families from Spain. Alas, not all Longorias can lay claim to that coat of arms and the Longorias from South Texas fall into that category. Although related by blood with the Longoria branches who earned the noble titles of knighthood, we are not descended directly from those Knights. We share a common ancestor but that ancestor lived long before the first Longoria became a Caballero de Alcantara (a Knight in the Order of Alcantara).

Francisco de Longoria y Garcia Castañon was made a Knight in the Order of Alcantara in 1766, and his brother Ramon Longoria y Garcia Castañon was made a Knight in the Order of Santiago in 1768. In the Diccionario Heraldico y Genealogico by Alberto and Arturo Garcia Carraffa, the great-grandfather of these two knights is identified as Alonso Longoria, native of the parish of San Bartolome in the Council of Tineo and Lord of “casa de la Pontiga” in the Council of Miranda. The Diccionario continues the lineage with Alonso’s son Pedro Longoria y Quiñones, who was also a native of San Bartolome and also became Lord of the Casa de la Pontiga. Then, Alonso’s grandson (and father of the two knights) is given as Jose Longoria y Florez, a native of la Pontiga in the Council of Miranda. From this it would be easy to conclude that Alonso Longoria was born in the Council of Tineo, had a son there and then moved to the Council of Miranda, where he was Lord of the Casa de la Pontiga and where his grandson was born.  However, there is some doubt as to whether the San Bartolome mentioned is really in the Concejo de Tineo; it quite likely may be the San Bartolome located between the villages of Longoria and Pumarada in the Concejo del Belmonte de Miranda.  Either way, Alonso Longoria would either have been a native of San Bartolome in the Council of Tineo (at most 15 miles from Casa de la Pontiga) or a native of San Bartolome in the Council of Belmonte de Miranda (less than 1 mile from Casa de la Pontiga).

I believe the Alonso Longoria mentioned in the Diccionario is not the same person as the Alonso de la Pontiga who was the father of Lorenzo Suarez de Longoria. Based on the dates that his great-grandchildren became Knights, this Alonso Longoria was probably born in the first half of the seventeenth century (ca. 1640?). As I note in the History section, Alonso de la Pontiga (father of Lorenzo Suarez de Longoria) was born in the second half of the sixteenth century (ca. 1570?). In my mind the most likely scenario is that Alonso Longoria was a nephew of Lorenzo Suarez de Longoria, being a son of Lorenzo's eldest brother who would have been the sole inheritor of the estate of Alonso de la Pontiga.  Regardless of their exact family relationship, there is little doubt that they were related by blood. However, we are not direct descendants of either of the two Knights and thus have no rights to the Longoria Coat of Arms; we will have to build our own legacies through our accomplishments, as our ancestors did.

UPDATE: I have now determined that the Alonso Longoria mentioned in the Diccionario is indeed a grandson of Alonso de la Pontiga. His father was Pedro Longoria de la Pontiga, a brother of Lorenzo Suarez de Longoria.

Be sure to view Photo Gallery 1 -- it includes photos of the coat of arms displayed in the Longoria ancestral homes; compare those to the highly artistic coat of arms in the photo above.

It is interesting to note that Francisco was knighted in 1766 and his brother Ramon was knighted in 1768. They were admitted to the Orders almost in the same year that Matias, Vicente and Pedro Longoria were officially being awarded their land grants (Porciones 93 and 94) by the King of Spain in 1767. The years 1766 thru 1768 were indeed proud years for the many Longoria branches in both Old Spain and New Spain.

My belief, as noted above, is that the Longorias of South Texas and the Longorias who can lay claim to the Coat of Arms are descended from the same ancestor. This common ancestor quite possibly could have been Alonso de la Pontiga, the father of Lorenzo Suarez de Longoria. To this day, the names Alonso and Lorenzo remain two of the most common given names among the Longoria descendants still residing in Spain.

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Copyright © 2001.  Raul N. Longoria.  All rights reserved.