Was Cristobal de Torres a Griego?

My personal paternal ancestry in NM is traced to a man named Cristobal de Torres who was born about 1668.  I cannot trace beyond him but keep in mind that New Mexico, at that time-frame had a small number of settlers so the genetic gene pool was small. The Y-DNA of Cristobal is confirmed as I have many other Torres Y-DNA matches that also trace to Cristobal from collateral lines.

I published an article in the New Mexico Genealogist Journal, Vol. 55, No. 1 (March 2016) on the Y-DNA of Cristobal de Torres.  Click on the link below to view the article and read the details for the Y-DNA validation of Cristobal. In the article, I list some of the surnames I match including Griego.  There are three men with the Griego name matching me, however, these three men can’t be traced beyond the early 1700s so I am not sure if they truly trace to Juan Griego, an Oñate period settler.

The progenitor for the Griego surname is a man named Juan Griego.   Origins of New Mexico Families shows that Juan “answered the Onate muster-roll at Casco in 1597, declaring that he was a native of the City of Candia in Greece, the son of Lazaro Griego.“ Juan is the only settler listed as having come to the New Mexico region directly from Greece.  Now, one may ask….could other Spanish settlers with Greek origins have lived in Spain and come over having merely been identified as Spanish?  I believe the answer is yes but I am not a world historian so I can’t reference any real timelines of Greek migrations.  However, I theorize that there may be a paternal connection between Cristobal de Torres and the Juan Griego.

I base my theory on several points.

  • The paternal ancestry for Cristobal de Torres can’t be traced beyond him.
  • I am matching three Griego men. Downside is that their genealogies can’t be validated beyond the early 1700s.
  • My Big Y-DNA matches have confirmed my paternal Haplogroup as I-A7134 (rare one among Iberia, current day Spain) as well as confirming my paternal origin as Greece. In addition, the FTDNA I2a Y-Haplogroup administrators have relayed that I have a close match to a man with very recent history in Greece “. This man lists his paternal ancestors as having lived in Messinia in the southwest Peloponnese peninsula, Greece.”

Since Cristobal de Torres’ Y-DNA is a dead end but the Big Y is indicating that I have a Greek origin, I am reaching out to Griego males interested in testing their Y-DNA.  We need males who can trace their paternal Griego origin as far back as possible. I hope there are some that are traceable with documentation back to Juan Griego, the progenitor of the Griego surname.

I am only interested in males with the Griego surname who can test Y-DNA.  Females do not qualify but if they have a male Griego relative…..that relative qualifies.

Click the link below to read the Torres Y-DNA Article. This article is for personal use and information only. It is copyright of the author and NMGS and cannot be reprinted/republished in any form.It may NOT be uploaded to a personal website, Facebook, etc. The link to this page MAY be shared on a personal website, Facebook, etc.

Torrez article 2016 March New Mexico Genealogist


If interested, please contact

Miguel A. Tórrez
NMGS DNA Project admin