Resource Page Provincia of Coahuila

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Location: Coahuila, Mexicomap
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Categories: Coahuila | México | Mexico | Spanish History | Texas History | Texas Colonies | Mexican History | Nueva España | Virreinato de Nueva España | Texas.

Nueva España or in what would be come part of the USA.

Mary Richardson, Michael Stills, Allan Thomas are the leaders of this sub-project along with Jason Crews and Judy Wardlow on a more limited basis at this time. If you have any questions, or would like to see something specific addressed on this colony please consult with them.

Overall project leaders are Paula, Mags, and Nae X.

Spanish Colonies Home Page links to the other Spanish Territories of Texas, Florida, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and resources relevant to Spain and



Present-day Coahuila de Zaragoza, northeastern Mexican state of Coahuila de Zaragoza, established as the Province of Nueva Extremadura. Nueva Extremadura was re-named Coahuila.


1550-1580 Spanish colonization began. Efforts were hindered by the vast deserts, lack of water, and indigenous American Indian raids.

1577 The first Spanish settlement in the region now called Coahuila was at Minas de la Trinidad;

1586 Saltillo was established and settled;

1689–90 Alonso De León, governor of the Spanish province of Coahuila y Tejas[1]

1693 Spain withdrew the Catholic missions from East Texas;

1694-1715 Texas included in Coahuila[2]

1702 Martín de Alarcón re-extended control over Texas;

1726 The two provinces of Coahuila y Tejas were separated with the capital of Texas at Los Adaes in present-day Louisiana) and the capital of Coahuila at Monclova;

16 Sep 1810: Father Miguel Hidalgo Castillo delivered his "Cry for Dolores" beginning a revolution in México. Father Hidalgo declared his loyalty to -King Ferdinand VI. -King Ferdinand VI abdicated and he was replaced by Joseph Bonaparte.

1821: México finally gained its independence from Spain at the cost of a million lives. Agustín Iturbide establishes the Imperio Mexico (also known as the First Mexican Empire).

1823: Saltillo, Coahuila is the capital of the state;

1824: was merged with Coahuila as one state of the newly independent, federal republic, United Mexican States (referred to as Category: First Mexican Republic;

1833-1835 Monclova was the capital of Coahuila

1834 Monclova lapsed into confusion due to Antonio López de Santa Anna's Plan of Cuernavaca[3];

1835 Department of Texas seceded to form the Republic of Texas. The severance of Texas and Coahuila was made final by the Texas Revolution and the Mexican-American War.

1856 Santiago Vidaurri annexed Coahuila to Nuevo León;

1868 Coahuila regained its separate status as an independent state.

Original Structure

By the time Coahuila y Tejas was created, the Spanish had an efficient and relatively successful system for expanding Spanish culture and politics to new lands. This system was embodied in the Laws of the Indies and included the construction of missions and presidios and the formation of civil settlements. The Spanish had a penchant for organization, bureaucracy, and documentation. Coahuila y Tejas was divided into several departments. Departments were subdivided into municipalities, which were governed by alcaldes, similar to a modern-day mayor. Each municipality also had an elected ayuntamiento, similar to a city council. Originally, all of Texas was included in the Department of Béxar, while Coahuila comprised several departments.

Evolution of Government Structure

Mexico states evolution

1512 The Laws of Burgos, signed by King Ferdinand II of Aragon, focused upon the welfare of the conquered native peoples

1542 Leyes Nuevas, issued November 20, 1542 by King Carlos I and V of Spain regarding the Spanish settlements of the Americas. Leyes Nuevas are also known as the "New Laws of the Indies for the Good Treatment and Preservation of the Native Americans", and were created to prevent the exploitation of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas by the Encomenderos (large enterprise landowners) by strictly limiting their power and dominion.

1548 Royal Audiencia of Guadalajara was the highest tribunal of the Spanish crown in what is today northern Mexico and the southwestern United States in the Viceroyalty of New Spain. It was created by royal decree on February 13, 1548, and was originally located in Compostela and permanently seated in Guadalajara in 1560. Its president was the chief political and executive officer of the district, subordinated only to the Viceroy of México.

1573 The Laws of the Indies were an attempt to guide and regularize the establishment of presidios (military towns), missions, and pueblos (civilian towns), King Felipe II developed the first version of the Laws of the Indies.

1776 Provincias Internas or Commandancy General of the Internal Provinces of the North was a colonial, administrative district of the Spanish Kingdom, created to provide more autonomy for the frontier provinces in the Viceroyalty of New Spain (present day northern Mexico and southwestern United States). The goal of its creation was to establish a unified government in political, military and fiscal affairs.

1821-1823 The Mexican Empire (Imperio Mexicano) was the official name of independent Mexico under a monarchical regime, Agustín de Iturbide, was proclaimed emperor of Mexico.

1824 Constitution of Mexico The Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1824 (Spanish: Constitución Federal de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos de 1824) was enacted on October 4 of 1824, after the overthrow of the Mexican Empire of Agustin de Iturbide. In the new constitution, the Republic took the name of United Mexican States, and was defined as a representative federal republic, with Catholicism as the official and unique religion.

1835 President Santa Anna revoked the Constitution of 1824. In October 1835, Santa Anna abolished all state governments.


Rafael Gonzales, 1824 - 1826
Victor Blanco, 1826 - 1827
José María Viesca, 1827 - 1830
Ramón Músquiz, 1830 - 1831
Juan Martin, 1831 - 1833
Juan José de Vidaurri, 1833 - 1834
Juan José Elguézabal,1834 - 1835
José María Cantú, 1835
Agustín Viesca, 1835
Marciél Borrego, 1835
Ramón Músquiz, 1835


The state passed its own colonization law in 1825. Despite the influx of settlers from the United States after the colonization laws were passed, the majority of settlers within Coahuila y Tejas were either Indigenous American Indians, Mestizos, or Tejanos.[4][5]


Kingdom of New Spain (México) before 1821

In 1492, the Moors were completely driven out of Spain. This was/is known as the Reconquista and lasted for more than a century. Like most of Europe, the Iberian Peninsula was divided up into several kingdoms. The marriage of King Fernando II and Queen Isabella I united the largest of these kingdoms and also brought other kingdoms under their control. Spain was more unified during this time than it had ever been. King Fernando II and Queen Isabella I are known as The Catholics. They wanted to establish Catholicism throughout Spain. Therefore, religious persecution was pursued toward anyone who was suspected of practicing a different religion. At first, non-Catholics were given the choice to convert and these people were known as conversos. Some Conversos only converted to escape persecution and even though they converted they still practiced their religion in private. Between the years of 1492-1522, some of these non-Catholics and/or Conversos left Spain on ships in order to escape persecution.

So, who was emigrating to the Kingdom of New Spain? Jewish people, Spaniards, French, Germans, Irish, Italians, Portuguese, Indigenous Caribbean Islanders, Indigenous American Indians, Ex-slaves, Escaped/Runaway slaves, Multi-racial people with African Ethnicity, etc.[6]

Before 1811, for the most part, the Spanish Governors would grant freedom to escaped/runaway slaves as long as they pledged an oath of loyalty to the Category: Spanish Monarchs and became Category: Catholics.[7][8]

Indigenous American Indians and Mestizos were also immigrating to the Iberian Peninsula. In fact, descendants of Moctezuma still reside in Spain today.

México since 1821

Spaniards, French, Germans, Irish, Italians, Portuguese, (East Coast and Northwest) Indigenous American Indians, Ex-slaves (from Europe, British and French colonies/territories), Escaped/Runaway slaves, Multi-racial people with African Ethnicity, Americans, etc.


Indigenous Peoples of Mexico (and Mesoamerica)

See: Category: Indigenous Peoples of Mexico

The Coahuiltecan Peoples were first encountered by Cabeza de Vaca and other survivors of the Narvaez Expedition.

Spanish archives recorded at least 1,000 Bands that occupied the Coahuiltecan Region (the region between the Sierra Madre Occidental and the San Antonio River).



In 1811, Spain abolishes slavery at home and in all colonies except Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Santo Domingo. However, in the years just after Columbus's discovery and after hearing about the atrocities abroad, Queen Isabella was faced with a huge "human rights" issue. She attempted to abolish slavery and indentured servitude of the Indigenous Peoples of the Spanish Territories. The Conquistadors were supposed to treat the Indigenous Peoples in a peaceful manner and convert them to Christianity. However, many Conquistadors did what they wanted. Some honorable Conquistadors who became Governing Officials had their reputations tarnished because they refused to let their fellow countrymen oppress Indigenous Peoples.[9]

From the time México became independent from Spain there was public support for abolishing slavery and freeing all slaves. Fears of an economic crisis if all of the slaves were simultaneously freed led to a gradual emancipation policy. In 1823, Mexico forbade the sale or purchase of slaves and required that the children of slaves be freed when they reached fourteen. Any slave introduced into Mexico by purchase or trade would also be freed. Two years later, slavery was officially outlawed in Mexico[10]

Indentured Servants

By the time México declared, won her Independence, and in the years following, the territory of Texas had become more of a liability than an asset. Once prosperous communities were not so prosperous. Settlements were now faced with sieges and persecution by those who were loyal to Spain in addition to raids by Indigenous American Indians. Texas did not have enough people to work the land in order to increase its economic value. Government Officials recognized the need for more settlers and no one (or not enough people) from Spain or México wanted to settle in Texas. However, some Americans were willing and waiting for an invitation especially Americans from slave-holding states.

Finally, México started approving colonization plans on the condition that slaves were freed before emigrating to Texas. The future Mexican citizens (also known as Anglos or Colonists) complied by converting their slaves into indentured servants on paper. The slave-owners did not tell their slaves that they were free and since most slaves were illiterate they had no idea that their status had changed.

Economic Resources and Information

Only enough food was grown for use in the area; little was exported. This was partially due to labor shortages and partly due to raids from native tribes. Wild game was abundant, and many families survived by hunting, keeping a few head of livestock, and subsistence farming

Conflicts Within the Province/State of Coahuila (y Tejas)

Attacks by Indigenous Peoples of Mexico and Indigenous American Indians; Droughts; Floods; Disease; Wars; decline of economic prosperity; etc.

Present-day Estado de Coahuila de Zaragoza

Coahuila comprises 38 municipalities (municipios) and the state capital (and largest city) is the city of Saltillo.

MunicipalityMunicipal Seat
AcuñaCiudad Acuña
CuatrociénegasCuatrociénegas de Carranza
Francisco I. MaderoFrancisco I. Madero
FronteraCiudad Frontera
General CepedaGeneral Cepeda
MatamorosMatamoros de la Laguna
MuzquizSanta Rosa de Múzquiz
ParrasParras de la Fuente
Piedras NegrasPiedras Negras
Ramos ArizpeRamos Arizpe
San BuenaventuraSan Buenaventura
San Esteban de Nueva Tlaxcala
San Juan de SabinasNueva Rosita
San Pedro de las ColoniasSan Pedro de las Colonias
Sierra MojadaSierra Mojada
Villa UniónVilla Unión

Research Resources

Consiga su Arbol Genealogic Es el primer paso para su historia familiar o la de una persona que quiere, o la de un personaje que aprecia.


The Bexar Archives are the official Spanish documents that preserve the political, military, economic, and social life of the Spanish province of Texas and the Mexican state of Coahuila. Both in their volume and breadth of subject matter, the Bexar Archives are one of the most important sources for the history of Hispanic Texas up to 1836

UT Arlington Library's Special Collections has built a diverse research collection and collects materials in virtually all formats and makes them available to researchers.

Existing Categories
Related Free Space Pages

Provinces of New Spain

Surname/Family Pages


Free Resources

  • Rootsweb
Genealogía de México
John D. Inclan's 66 Family Trees
John P. Schmal
Crispin P. Rendon
Portal Archives of Spain (esp, sp)
Catalogue of the National Archives of Mexico
Mexican Military Archives 1821-1921 in spanish
The Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research
Biblioteca Digital Daniel Cosío Villegas Diccionario Geográfico, Histórico y Biográfico de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos. Antonio García CubasDictionary of Places in Mexico
Archives Portal Europe
Some Genealogical Societies are on social media such as facebook - For Example Rio Grande Valley Genealogical Society, South Texas Land Grant facebook pages (do a search and a few will come up).

Paid Resource Sites


Photos and Images

Sources for this Page

  4. Mestizos are/were multiracial persons. Euro-mestizos referred to Spaniards (Portuguese, French, Dutch, German, Irish) and Indigenous American Indians. Afro-mestizos (also known as mulatto/a) referred to person with African and Indigenous American Indian linneage.
  5. Tejanos were citizens of Spain who were born in present-day Texas and were of European blood (also known as criollo/a)
  6. Indigenous American Indians of the present-day United States East Coast and states East of the Mississippi River moved further west and south due to the expansion of the British and French Kingdoms in North America
  7. Spain officially abolished slavery in 1811 in all of its lands with exceptions of Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, and Cuba
  8. Some Mexican/Spanish slave owners would also emancipate slaves in their Wills
  9. Cabeza de Vaca, Hernando Cortés, and José Escandon all faced trials and had their reputations tarnished by their enemies

Consiga su Arbol Genealogic Es el primer paso para su historia familiar o la de una persona que quiere, o la de un personaje que aprecia.


The Bexar Archives are the official Spanish documents that preserve the political, military, economic, and social life of the Spanish province of Texas and the Mexican state of Coahuila y Texas. Both in their volume and breadth of subject matter, the Bexar Archives are the single most important source for the history of Hispanic Texas up to 1836

UT Arlington Library's Special Collections has built a diverse research collection and collects materials in virtually all formats and makes them available to researchers.

Images: 4
Province of Coahuila Image 1
Province of Coahuila Image 1

Provincias Internas de Oriente Public Domain
Provincias Internas de Oriente Public Domain

1884, Coahuila
1884, Coahuila

Province of Coahuila Image 5
Province of Coahuila Image 5

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On 8 Dec 2014 at 21:06 GMT Paula J wrote:


December 8, 2014