The surname Mosquera is not a very common one in the Philippines. It seems to have been originally localized
in the Western Visayas region -- specifically in the provinces of Antique and Iloilo in the island of Panay.
However, Mosquera is an ancient and very historical surname from Spain. In fact, the origins of the
name are fascinating, and makes for interesting research and inspirational reading.
Its origin is Galician (Gallego), and can be traced even before the year 1100, and first appears in the ancient records
of Castile. It came from the ancestral home of the founder, Ramiro de Mosquera, who took his name from his hacienda
Mosquera. By the 5th century, the family is linked through marriage to the Moscoso, one of the four very
ancient families of Galicia. Some Moscoso ladies and gentlemen obligingly used this union to appropriate for their varonia,
or male descendants, some of the mayorazgo, or hereditary rights, of the Mosquera. Thus it came to pass that
both families shared the same animal symbol in their arms: the black wolf.
The surname is listed in the Expedientes de Hidalguia, the authoritative guidebook to the Spanish nobility,
as well as the Historia Genealogica y Heraldica de la Monarcquia Espanola, Casa Real y Grandes de Espana, which was
published in 1879.
Proof of the nobility of the family is the repeated inclusion of its members in the ancient military orders of Alcantara
and Santiago. The Orden Militar de Alcantara was founded in 1156 as the Cofradia de Armas of knights
in the reconquista drive against the Moors. The Orden Militar de Santiago was founded in 1161 by 12
noblemen in the Kingdom of Leon to protect Christians making the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and safeguard the
borders of Extremadura against the Moors.
From the line of Vidal, Senor de Moscoso y de Altamira, who was a manorial lord in the late 1200's, the family
holds the titles Duque de Sessa, Duque de Atrisco, Marques de Leganes, Marques de Astorga, Conde de Altamira, and Baron de
Interestingly, in the subtle snobbery of the Almanach de Gotha, the authoritative guidebook to European nobility,
the titles of Duque de Sessa and Conde de Altamira are considered "mediatized" -- that is, the family that held them, being
great lords, had conflicting interests, because they were sovereign in their own territories, yet also pledged allegiance
to a sovereign. Thus, the family was considered a notch above, with precedence over, ordinary created dukes or counts,
as they were among the "oldest of the old" and the "most noble among nobles."
This is evident in the colors of the family coat of arms -- "en campo de plata, con cinco cabezas de lobo de sable,
degolladas y sangrantes" -- black and silver. The heraldic colors symbolize that the family is obliged to protect
the Faith before Sovereign and Country, and has the obligation to care for orphans and defend damsels in distress. The
heraldic choice of animal, on the other hand, symbolizes that the family is a warrior clan, fierce and bloody.
The influence of the Mosquera is evident in various historical sites all over Galicia. Take, for example, the municipality
of Dodro, in the vicinity of Padron, where the Pazo de Hermida is situated, in Lestrove. In olden times, there
were two towers built on its farmlands for the defense of the Arosa river. These were collectively known as the Torre
Alta de Almenas. The town's second district is associated with the Mosquera, counterparts to the Moscoso
and the Solloso, equally noble families from the Villa Bayona. Here, the coat of arms of the Mosquera can be
seen, along with the burial vault of Gomez Ares Mosquera, Senor de la Casa de Cangas in the chapel of the Monasterio
de San Felix de Cangas. From Galicia, the Mosquera spread to Castile, Extremadura, and the Americas. In Portugal,
the surname is now spelled Mosqueira.
One of the more famous historical Mosquera is the Licenciado Cristobal Mosquera de Figueroa, one of Seville's
most illustrious jurist-administrators, who during his long career served the royal government as auditor of the armada of
the Marques de Santa Cruz against the Azores in 1582 and that of his native city as corregidor of several towns in the Sevillian
district. He was a most versatile man: a humanist who translated Greek and Latin works, a poet whose verses were eulogized
by the leading literary figures of his day, a soldier renowned for his bravery, and an accomplished musician who played the
vihuela with skill and feeling. Other famous Mosquera include the monk-nun Maria Colon de Toledo y Mosquera;
Felipa Colon de Toledo y Mosquera, Duquesa de Veragua; and Gabriel Mosquera, Luis Mosquera and Julian
Mosquera, who were listed in the Orden de Carlos III.
Other famous historical Mosquera: San Juan Mosquera, hermit of Galicia, otherwise known as St. John of Tuy (also
alternatively spelled as Tui), who died in the 9th century. His feast day is celebrated every June 24, with a special
devotion in Alcalali in Spain. In fact, in the parish of Encamp in the independent and Roman Catholic episcopal principality
of Andorra, there is a Romanesque church, renovated in the 17th century, called Iglesia de Sant Miquel y Sant Joan de
la Mosquera -- dedicated to Saint Michael and Saint John of the Mosquera. And Blessed Narcisa de Jesus,
from Ecuador, daughter of Pedro Martillo Mosquera and Josefina Moran, whose memorial falls on August 30.
Cristobal Hernandez de Mosquera, a conquistador who served with the famous Hernan Cortes, Marques
del Valle and Capitan-General, in Mexico. Don Juan Mosquera, Alcalde de Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic,
whose sepulcher lies in the baptismal chapel of the Catedral Primada de America built in 1540. Ruy Mosquera,
Spanish colonist and adventurer who joined Sebastian Cabot in the 1526 expedition of the Rio Plata. He settled
Asuncion, Paraguay, where he died in 1555. Don Antonio de Mosquera, who served as Governor of Puerto Rico from
1597-1598. Don Joaquin Mosquera Figueroa, who was a member of the Regency Council for Spain and the
Americas, which ruled Spain and its dominions for Fernando VII de Borbon (arguably the worst Spanish king in history)
during this king's imprisonment by Napoleon at the Chateau de Valencay from 1808-1813. Don Tomas Cipriano
de Mosquera, who was the president of Colombia for a quarter of the 19th century, and perhaps the most important man in
his country in his time. Don Juan Nepomuceno Mosquera, justice of Boca de San Pablo, who founded the town of
Istmina in Colombia in 1834. And Aurelio Mosquera Narvaez, who was the elected constitutional president of Ecuador,