The Loya Posse


Alex Loya's grandfather, Tirso Loya (middle) was born in El Paso County, Texas in 1875. His sons Rodolfo Loya (Alex's father on left) and Antonio Loya (Alex's uncle on right) were also born in El Paso County, Texas in 1919 and 1922 respectively. Tirso Loya was the son of Gabino Loya, who was born in San Elizario, Texas in 1847. Gabino Loya served as a private at the age of 22 in Captain Gregorio N. Garcia's Company D, Texas Frontier Forces from 1870 to 1871. Gabino Loya also appears in's Civil War Pension Index which lists Union soldiers of the Civil War. Gabino Loya was the son of Arcadio Loya and Loretta Montes, both born in San Elizario, Texas (then part of El Paso del Norte) circa 1817. Loretta Montes was possibly the half sister of Captain Telesforo Montes, she was the daughter of Ramon Montes and Antonia Lasse (appears as Antonia Chavez in some documents but as Lasse in the oldest, handwritten documents). 


Note: I received the following e-mail from Alex Loya on November 11, 2004.

I was thinking about something today that I just had to share with all of you who were at the reunion, and I pray I explain it clearly enough for you all to understand and to share it with as many original Texans, those of us whose ancestors were there since the Spanish Colonial Period of Texas, as you can share this with. You will remember how at the reunion I shared a little bit of history which is not widely known, that Texas and Texans played a major role in the American Revolution. Briefly, Texas, as well as Louisiana, belonged to Spain at the time of the American Revolution, our ancestors were subjects of the King of Spain. In 1779 the King of Spain declared war on England and ordered his subjects to fight the British wherever they could find them. Consequently, Governor Bernardo de Galvez of Louisiana, who had previously been a Lieutenant of the Spanish forces in Chihuahua and had led in numerous incursions against the Apaches, effectively linking our area with Louisiana, since West Texas was part of Nueva Viscaya also known as Chihuahua, mustered up an Army and Navy to fight the British. In what is known as the Galvez Expedition for American Independence, Governor Galvez, who corresponded with Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson etc., defeated the British in battles all over the South, from Baton Rouge and Manchac in Louisiana, Natchez in Mississippi, and Mobile, Alabama, to Pensacola, Florida. Spanish forces under his command also defeated the British in battles as far North as St. Louis, Missouri and St. Joseph, Michigan along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. There were Texans in this army, plus Texas also aided with money, prayers and thousands of heads of cattle to feed Galvez' army. Governor Galvez effectively opened a third front in the American Revolution setting George Washington's Continental Army free to fight in the East without fearing an attack from the South. Louisiana and Texas and the other provinces of Northern New Spain played such a huge role in the war, that were it not for us, it is entirely possible the 13 British Colonies would not have been successful and the United States of America would never have been born. All men 14 years old and older had to join the militia in the Spanish provinces, so that all male ancestors would have been, if not soldiers, militiamen.

As I thought about this, what I had been realizing became crystal clear! It is such a terrible mistake when original Texans think of themselves as a separate people from the United States, who were forced to join the U.S. through shame and defeat just because our land was part of New Spain in colonial days and became a part of Mexico for only 15 years! Remember, Louisiana, including the “Isle of New Orleans”, as well as all the land west of the Mississippi River as far north as Canada was also a part of New Spain only 20 days before the French, to whom Spain had ceded the land, sold it to the U.S. in 1803! Twenty days! Yet the many Spaniards in Louisiana never had a problem calling America home. And Spaniards our ancestors were, or Italian Spaniards for some of us. Think about it, Texas belonged to Mexico for only 15 years. Only 15 years! Truthfully, those 15 years were only a step in the process of the formation of this country at a time when all countries in the Americas were being formed. Think about what this means. My great great grandfather Arcadio Loya was born in 1817, four years before Mexico, which had begun its struggle for independence in 1810, actually gained its independence from Spain in 1821 after 11 years of not a continuous struggle but a series of confrontations, he and certainly his father before him were born subjects of the King of Spain. Arcadio Loya's son, Gabino Loya, my great grandfather, was born in 1847, within the border officially claimed by the United States, which had been claimed by the Republic of Texas. It is no surprise that Gabino Loya's family considered themselves Spaniards, as the obituary of Pilar Escontrias Loya, my grandfather’s half sister, indicates, and as the oral inheritance my own father passed down to me agrees. None in that line were born under fully Mexican jurisdiction, they went from being born citizens of Spain and subjects of her king born in Northern New Spain during troubled times, to being born American. Being called Mexican Texans to them was not the truth as the truth was what they considered themselves to be, Spaniard Texans, especially since the degree of intermarriage with Indian tribes in Northern New Spain, for various historical reasons, was nowhere near the degree that it occurred to the south. The so called "mestizaje", the intermarriage of Spaniards, or any other Europeans, with Indians, just did not happen in Northern New Spain to anywhere near the degree that it occurred in the south. It just did not happen. They were Spaniard Americans just like the ones in South Louisiana... and so it was with many if not most of you, as, indeed, the faces of the El Paso County Commissioners clearly show!

We are Americans! We have been part of it all along! From the very start! We have been here from the very beginning of the United States! We are descendants of the very first Europeans to settle on American soil, who fought the Indians and were pioneers in the land! We fully participated in the formation of this country from the very start! We celebrated the very first Thanksgiving on what would be the United States of America before the Pilgrims did on Plymouth Rock, yet together with the Pilgrims and their Thanksgiving, we effectively established this country as a Christian land at its foundation, from end to end! We fought and prayed and gave money and cattle for the American Revolution against England, we fought during the Civil War, some Union, some Confederate, and in San Elizario the town voted unanimously to join the Confederacy. Among the leaders of San Elizario that voted to join the Confederate Army were Captain Gregorio N. Garcia I, Telesforo Montes and Arcadio Loya. Additionally, all the men from San Elizario also voted to be part of the Confederacy. Voting to join the Confederacy signified that these men believed in honor and heritage. Further, to our pioneers from San Elizario the Confederate Flag was about pride, loyalty and love for our great country. A year into the Civil War, however, San Elizario was occupied by the Union Army, bringing the war effectively to an end in West Texas, and, evidently conscripting some of the young men to serve in the Union Army, whose cause to set a whole race of people free and preserve the Union, was a better cause. We fought the Indians in the Indian Wars, we suffered in the trenches of WWI, and we shed our blood in WWII. We fought in the bitter cold of the Korean War, we poured blood, sweat and tears in the jungles of Vietnam, we liberated Kuwait in the Persian Gulf, we fought to set 50 million people free from the yoke of cruel and vicious tyrants in Afghanistan and Iraq, through the years wearing the boots of an American fighting man!…And even as I write this we are doing so! We are Americans! If anybody is an American, we are Americans! And we have fully participated from the very start! Do not think of yourselves, as some original Texans do, as a dispossessed people, we are not, we are an American people, who went through the necessary pangs of birth in the formation of a new country, as, indeed, the whole continent was. But we were there with those who came after from a little more to the north in Europe, side by side, shoulder to shoulder, weapon with weapon, together as a single people fighting a common enemy, with celebrations of Thanksgiving making this a Christian land, and we have been so ever since. So wear your cowboy hats and sing your country music, eat your Thanksgiving Turkey and, indeed, celebrate the Fourth of July, after all, there probably would not be any such celebration without us! We are Americans!

Alex Loya
November 11, 2004.


Note: The following appears on the back cover of the book written by Alex Loya.




Author Alex Loya and family: Clockwise: Dr. Alex Loya, Keenan, Kirsten, Connor (Lil’ Alex), Karaleigh, Carissa (little bit) and his wife Sandra.


Well before the Pilgrims set sail for New England, Italian subjects of the king of Spain had arrived in boats, not to Ellis Island in New York, but to Brazos Santiago Island on the coast of Texas. In this exhaustively well researched book, Dr. Alex Loya presents a mountain of historical and trace evidence that would establish in the minds of any jury that, indeed, Italian families were established in Texas as early as 1535, and Spaniards as early as 1520… and their descendants have lived here ever since.


Dr. Alex Loya has completed over 10 full years of full time, formal, resident education. He earned a Bachelor of Theology Degree from International Bible College in San Antonio Texas, and a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Theology Degrees from Slidell Baptist Seminary in Slidell, Louisiana, which he pursued for personal enrichment. He graduated Magna Cum Laude at all levels. Dr. Loya holds a second Master of Divinity Degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he was invited to the Ph.D. fellowship. He was Instructor of Systematic Theology and Biblical Studies at Koinania Bible College in Marrero, Louisiana and he has been endorsed by the North American Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention, to the Active US Army Chaplaincy. This military endorsement seeks to ensure that clergy in the United States Armed Forces have the same width and depth of professional education as lawyers and doctors serving our armed forces. Dr. Alex Loya hosted the Knowing God Broadcast and is presently the Senior Pastor of the Venice Community Church in Venice, Louisiana.


Conrado Montes
December 16, 2004