Footnotes and Commentary

1. In this document, Señor, is rendered as "Lord". It is the hereditary title assigned to the head of a Señorio, a feudal expanse of land ceded by the king in perpetuity in recognition of conquest, and passed in toto to the eldest son (or daughter, if no male issue). A heiress of a Señorio is referred to as a Señora, rendered in this document as "Lady". In later centuries it was not unusual to hear of Señores who inherited more than one Señorio. Titled nobility (e.g., counts) especially often accumulated Señorios and apparently were able to relax the rule of primogeniture and pass individual Señorios to secondary sons and daughters as patrimony.

Because the Señorios of northern Spain (especially during the early days of the reconquest of Spain from the moors, say, before 1100) were depopulated, the Señores of the time resorted to granting special privileges in order to attract settlers -- commoners referred to as colonos, or colonists. Because of the dearth of settlers and the dangers of living on the front lines of the war, these special privileges, or fueros, each negotiated separately and set down in writing, were often generous. Like the Señores, the colonos retained their rights in perpetuity, but unlike the Señores, they were often allowed to subdivide their holdings between their children and were able to sublet their holdings to third parties, thus allowing them in later centuries to become absentee landlords. This gave the descendants of the colonos great advantage in later centuries when land became scarce and the rents payment required of them to the Señores, fixed centuries before, was relatively insignificant as compared to the new higher value of the land. The Señores retained administrative and judicial powers within the Señorios, but crimes which incurred the death penalty had to be referred to the king.

By 1800, the Señores of northern Spain became a "working nobility". It is ironic that in the liberalization movement of the 1800's it was this working nobility and not the so-called "peasants" that lobbied for and obtained the elimination of the Señorio legal entity, shedding their title, but allowing them greater control over the land, including the right to subdivide it between their heirs.

For a discussion of these topics, refer to Spain, 1808 - 1939 by Raymond Carr, Oxford University Press, London,. 1966, particularly pp. 38-78.

2. i.e., major players.

3 casa solar, i.e., the physical, principal house of residence of a noble family, often referred to as their "palace".

4 A Memorial was a document tracing the geneology of an individual. This kind of document was required when the individual in question applied for membership in one of several institutions, for example, the Knights of Santiago.

5 The term used here is antiquísimo, which can also mean "most ancient"".

6 lit. "A este son comen los de Ron." Note the irony: The Gallegos, or natives of Galicia, are renowned in Spain for being stingy. The Rones (at least the ones who lived in Galicia) were said by some to be the only generous Gallegos.
(See, for example, Leyendas Genealógicas de España, vol. II, by Antonio de Trueba, Daniel Cortezo y Cia., Editores, Barcelona, 1887, pp. 215-217.)

7 Academic degrees were ordered in the following manner: Bachiller (in past centuries, equivalent to the U.S. Bachelor's degree (from which the word derives); today it is equivalent to the high school diploma); Licenciado , i.e., "licensed" in a particular area of knowledge (today, it is the first university-level degree, and requires somewhat more study within an area than the U.S. university Bachelor's degree); Magister , offered by some institutions; and Doctorado, the terminal academic degree in a field.

8 Lit. Ricoshombres.

9 Fernando I, "The Great", king of Castille, Leon, and Navarre. Lived 1017(?) - 1069.

10 Also referred to as Soto Mayor in other texts, such as to the "Solar de la Casa de Olloniego" of D. Felipe Bernaldo de Quirós (1688). This trunk was apparently the originator of all the Soto line (e.g., Soto, De Soto, Sotolongo) which was quite distingued. Soto Mayor implies great(est) grief. The story of how it was adopted is quite interesting: The story goes that a King of Galicia saw in a dream that his son, the prince and heir (the Infante) , was going to be killed. The king became protective of his son, preventing him from going to war, but acceeded in letting him go hunting, placing him under the protection the Infante's trusted Page, whose surname was Saavedra. (Note that the author of Don Quixote was Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.) While out hunting, a huge wild boar charged the Prince and to protect him, the Page threw a spear at the boar. The spear glanced off the boar and impaled the Prince, killing him on the spot. The Page presented himself to the king and in great grief explained what happened. Then, offering his own sword, kneeled himself in front to the king and requested that the king himself impale him with it, just as he had impaled his son. The king was so touched by his confession that he pardoned the Page, who then took the surname Soto Mayor to indicate the great grief that he felt for killing the Prince. (An alternate story tells of the Page Saavedra practicing throwing his spear and has the Infante running in front of it while he played with another child.) A descendant of this man was don Payo Gómez de Sotomayor, the first ambassador sent by king Enrique III of Castille to Tamerlaine, and as such, was the first Westerner to meet the renowned and ruthless conqueror, distant successor to Genghis Khan.

11 Alfonso VI, king of Castille and Leon. He was the king who had to swear in the presence of El Cid (and by El Cid's demand), that he did not have any involvement in the death of his (Alfonso's) brother.

12 The term Adelantado is an ancient name for a variety of positions, e.g., governor of a province on the frontier, Chief Magistrate of the Kingdom, Captain General in times of war. Adelantado de Mar was a ship captain who received in advance the governorship of whatever lands he would discover.

13 In paragraph 22 number 21, according to to the "Solar de la Casa de Olloniego" of D. Felipe Bernaldo de Quirós (1688).

14 Fernando III, king of Castille and Leon reigned during the years 1201 - 1252. He declared Castilian to be the official language of the kingdom. He was canonized and is considered one of the patron saints of engineers.

15 Alfonso XI, king of Castile and Leon (1312 - 1350).

16 Merino Mayor ancient title for chief magistrate.

17 Patermajor: roughly equivalent to the Latin Pater Familia, or "head of the family".
18 lit. solar, i.e., the physical , principal house of residence of a noble family, often referred to as their "palace".

19 lit. lugar de Ron, or "place of Ron". This comment is hard to understand, as I am unfamiliar as to what the term RON means. If it was an actual place name, or toponymn, the place appears not to exists today. Don. Felipe Bernaldo de Quirós in his "Solar de la Casa de Olloniego" of (1688) makes repeated mention of "the Ancient House of Ron", calling it one of "the primary families of the Asturian Principate". How ancient is hard to determine, but there are families of the region which claim to have been prominent before the Visigothic invasion in the late A. D. 400's. After his retirement and the death of his wife of over 40 years, Don. Felipe Bernaldo de Quirós kept busy by employing his extensive personal library (reputed to be the best in Spain, containing many ancient manuscripts) to write the "Solar de la Casa de Olloniego" as a tribute to the memory of his wife's family (who was, as his, also related to the Ron family). Although the Ron family was not his primary focus during the composition of this work (he promised to add more details on all sorts of historical events in a book on the history of Asturias, which is either lost or he never finished), he mentions several other Rones who are not referred to in this document. Upon his death, he donated his vast library to a monastery, where the books were left in crates for over 100 years due to lack of space. The monastery eventually sold the collection of non-religious books and they were burned in the siege of the city where they were located during the Napoleonic war in Spain. Due to the loss of the original sources, we may be unable to determine how old the Ron House is.

20 The Catholic Kings (or monarchs) = Fernando and Isabel = Ferdinand and Isabella.

21 Comendador was a title used to indicate a knight of a military order which had an encomienda (i.e., a commission, high office, or eminent title) and prelate of some religious orders. The former connotation is implied here.

22 Enrique II, King of Castille from 1369 to 1379 (lived 1333 - 1379). Was called "the fraticide" because he personally killed his brother King Pedro (known as "the cruel"), as described by the contemporary Froissart in his Chronicles. (Penguin Books, Ltd., ed. Geoffrey Brereton, Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England, 1981.)

23 The term Gentilhombre was used to describe a man of good family who served in the house of the king in one of a variety of tasks.

24 Pagador Mayor = head paymaster.

25 According to the "Solar de la Casa de Olloniego" of D. Felipe Bernaldo de Quirós (1688), this Diego Fernandez de Ron was also Señor of Ibias and a grandson of the house of the Marqueses de Astorga.
See "Biblioteca Historico-Genealogica Asturiana, ed. Senén Alvarez de la Rivera M.., vol. II, "Solar de la Casa de Olloniego", Impresa Cervantes, Santiago de Chile, 1925, p. 121.

26 Juan II (1405 - 1454), King of Castille.

27 Cabo (from the Latin caput,. head). Military term for squadron leader. Equivalent to corporal (?).

28 Ayuntamiento, the corporation which administers a municipality.

29 Note that this implies that this link between Lope Nuñez de Ron and doña Aldonza de Ibias y Quirós brought together three Señorios: that belonging to the Ron, the Quirós and the Ibias.

30 In contrast to a Señorio, which included only land, real estate, and the rents they provided, a Mayorazgo was a later legal entity which could include Señorios plus "movable" property (jewels, coinage, etc.). Like the Señorio, it was intended to be passed to the eldest (Mayor = eldest, or oldest).

31 Corregidor, one who corrects thing. Ancient military term for a justice in certain towns. Also a town mayor who also had judicial duties.

32 vinculos, lit. links. Can mean the link of a farm to the perpetual dominion of a family. Also, entailments.

33 This don Antonio de Ron y Valcárcel died in Cecos, in 20 June, 1648, requesting in his will to have 400 masses sung for his soul. He was buried in the main chapel of the parochial church of Santa Maria de Cecos, where the Rones were buried since antiquity ("Solar de la Casa de Olloniego" of D. Felipe Bernaldo de Quirós (1688), op. cit., pp. 184-185.)

34 Note that in this document, the surnames Valcárcel and Valcarce are used apparently interchangeably.

35 Presumably, a relative of Conquistador Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, conqueror of Panama and discoverer of the Océano Pacífico del Sur, Known today as the Pacific Ocean. Interestingly, the geneological chart included in the book "Solar de la Casa de Olloniego" of D. Felipe Bernaldo de Quirós (1688), op. cit., shows that an individual with the surname Cabeza de Vaca was married to a line that included several Rones. This individual was probably a relative of another Conquistador (i.e., Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca) who explored the Southwestern United States, including Texas, but was definitely not a direct descendant, as Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca did not marry nor have children, becoming a Friar after serving on his last post (Governor of Paraguay).

36 According to the "Solar de la Casa de Olloniego" of D. Felipe Bernaldo de Quirós (1688), op. cit., pp. 185-186, this don Antonio was actually the third son. The second son (omitted in this document) was Francisco de Ron y Valcárcel, who became Lord of Ron after his father's death (Lope Nuñez de Ron y Valcarce is stated to have died before his father, and although formally recognized as the successor, never became Lord of Ron). Francisco de Ron y Valcárcel however, became insane between the years 1650 and 1656, so the Señorio passed to his brother Antonio. Antonio was actually legally ineligible to become Lord of Ron because a clause in the Mayorazgo documents excluded clerics from inheriting the Mayorazgo. To avoid legal entaglements, his younger brother Alonso allowed Antonio to become Lord of Ron, and Alonso (recorded in documents as the "immediate successor") assumed the title upon his brother's death. Alonso is referred in documents as the "very magnificent Lord" ("el muy magnifico Señor") of the House of Ron. Alonso was born in Cecos and baptised in the parochial church of Santa María de Cecos on 2 September, 1628. Previous to his confirmation as Lord of Ron (when he assumed the name don Alonso de Ron y Valcárcel), he is recorded in separate documents as don Alonso López de Navia y Ron and don Alonso de Navia y Bolaño. He died in Cecos on 13 February 1683.

37 Canons are priests who do not have a parish and instead are assigned to a cathedral.

38 Calificador, Censor of the Inquisition.

39 They were married in Lena, on July 20, 1653. Alonso received 6,000 ducats (each about an ounce of gold) as a marriage gift. One of the two official witnesses of the marriage ceremony was don.
Felipe Bernaldo de Quirós, author of the ("Solar de la Casa de Olloniego". ("Solar de la Casa de Olloniego" of don. Felipe Bernaldo de Quirós (1688), op. cit., pp. 183, 186.)
40 Colegial, belonging to a chapter of Canons.
41 Regidor, member of a group which administers a municipality.

42 Note that Lope Benito de Ron Queipo del Llano was a cousin of this Count of Toreno (whose name was Jóse María Queipo del Llano). Lope Benito's mother, doña Josefa Simona Queipo del Llano y Valdés was (given the date of her marriage) probably the grand-aunt of the Count. Jóse María Queipo del Llano (1786 - 1843), Count of Toreno was an influential Spanish writer and politician. In 1835, the Queen Regent, María Cristina de Borbón, made him head of govenment. He supported the liberalization laws and took decidedly anti-clerical political positions, which created tensions with the Holy See.

Note also that Lope Benito bypassed his father's first surname (before adopting the surname Ron, i.e., Valcarce) possibly because his mother's surname was more prestigious.

43 Bracing myself to spend what I expected to be a couple of hundred dollars, I wrote to the records office of the Cortes and requested photocopies of all the speeches made by this individual during his tenure. A few weeks later, to my surprise, I received a letter from the head of the records office. She indicated with a tone indicating confusion that don Estanislao de Ron y Caballero apparently did not make a single speech on the floor during the three terms that he served. His name was brought up during some speeches, however, and she included copies of those instances. Although he was elected to this post three times (and thus apparently served his district satisfactorily), he seems to have been a behind-the-scenes player. This punctuates the taciturn demeanor of many Ron men that I have met.

After the Señorios were dissolved, Estanislao de Ron y Caballero quite possibly became an extremely wealthy man. He was able to raise rents and subdivide his holdings (probably in Galicia and Asturias) between his descendants.


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