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My 14th Great Grandfather, Tenisor Semidan

November 1, 2012
Tenisor Semidan by Orlando Ortega-Media
Tenisor Semidan, a photo by Orlando Ortega-Medina.

Statue of my 14th Great-grandfather (on my dad’s side) Tenisor Semidan, the last king of Gran Canaria. The Spanish forced him to convert to Catholicism, and to change his name to Fernando Guanarteme. Guanarteme means “king” in the now extinct Guanche language.

Tenisor Semidan is a controversial figure in that he sided with the Spanish conquerors, whether he did this willingly or through coercion can never really be known.  As I was doing my own research on him, I found myself oscillating between, “He sold us out!” and “Well, he saved his people from the slaughter that befell the natives of Tenerife.” But then I thought about it and  I can’t really judge him from my cushy perspective here in the 21st century. And honestly, I am a product of his actions; my very DNA is partly Spanish and partly Guanche. If he would’ve died bravely/hastily fighting the Spanish in the hills of Gran Canaria with wholly inadequate clubs and stone spears, then I would never have been born to muse on his very tough predicament. What would I have done in his place…probably the same exact thing. (There’s a novel somewhere in there!)

Here’s the lineage courtesy of my 3rd cousin Orlando Ortega-Medina:

1. Tenesor Semidan is Alexander Hernandez’s 14th Great-grandfather.

Tenesor is the father of:

2. Catalina Hernandez Guanarteme (1482-1526)

Calatlina is the mother of:

3. Luis de Vega Guanarteme

Luis is the father of:

4. Pantaleon de Vega Palomares (1584 – ?)

Pantaleon is the father of:

5. Blasina de Vega (1584 – ?)

Blasina is the mother of:

6. Maria de Vega Montesdeoca (1609-1678)

Maria is the mother of:

7. Juan de Vega (1671-?)

Juan is the father of:

8. Francisca de Vega

Francisca is the mother of:

9. Ana Montesdeoca de Vega (1756-1834)

Ana is the mother of:

10. Salvador Cristobal Sanchez (1781-?)

Salvador is the father of:

11. Ana Maria Antonia del Pino Sanchez Aleman (1811-?)

Ana Maria was the mother of:

12. Agustin Tomas Mondesoca Sanchez (1847-?)

Agustin is the father of:

13. Dolores Montesdeoca Pena (1888-1959)

Dolores is the mother of:

14. Leandro Alejandro Hernandez (1906-1997)

Leandro is the father of:

15. Evaristo Evelio Hernandez

Evaristo is the father of:

Alexander Hernandez — YOU

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Cheo Hernandez permalink
    November 2, 2012 5:39 pm

    Alex, that would make this great man my 13th grandfather since I am of the same generation as your father, who is my first cousin.

    • November 2, 2012 5:52 pm

      Yes, exactly. And to complicate matters, we may actually descend from him more than once, because if you look at the lineage there are two Hernandez intersections and two for Montes de Oca. So he could be your 13th great grandfather on this line and maybe your 12th on another unknown one.

  2. November 4, 2012 1:28 pm

    Excellent! I can’t wait to break the news to my husband. From this point on when he tells me I’m a princess…it will have a completely different meaning. I will agree with him and wait for more displays of reverence from him as I am now descended from true royalty. 😉

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