Delgado, Miguel (ca. 1775–1835)

By: Gloria Candelaria Marsh

Type: Biography

Published: August 1, 1995

Updated: June 24, 2016

Miguel Delgado, also known as José Miguel Delgadoand as Miguel Moya y Delgado, early South Texas rancher, the son of Manuel Delgado and Angela de Arocha, was born around 1775 in San Fernando de Béxar (now San Antonio, Texas). He was a descendant of one of the Canary Islanders who helped found San Fernando de Béxar, and he lived there with his parents and brothers. During the early 1800s Delgado established the San Pedro Ranch in the Goliad jurisdiction, in an area where Antonio Montreal and others were living. By 1809 Delgado had petitioned the Spanish government for this land, stating that he had 1,066 head of beef, cattle, sheep, and horses, and needed four sitios in the district known as Nombre de Dios, twenty-five leagues south of San Antonio de Béxar. He also stated that this parcel of land was bounded on the north by public lands, on the west by lands claimed by Antonio Montreal, on the south by the Nueces River, and on the east by lands of Martín De León. Later in 1809 Delgado is listed as married to María de Jesús de la Garza and living on his new Rancho de San Miguel de Buena Virtud on the banks of the Nueces River. According to a ranch report of November 10, 1810, Delgado's six children lived at the ranch, as well as his brothers, Francisco and Manuel, and their families. In 1810 or 1811, however, Delgado was reported as married to María Juana de la Garza and had moved his headquarters to a new location on the Nueces River in the jurisdiction of La Bahía del Espíritu Santo Presidio (Goliad, Texas). His new ranch, Delgado's Rancho,which was also known as San Miguel de Buena Vista, had grown from an original group of eleven people in 1809 to a group of twenty-four residents by 1811. He received title to the land as a "prominent and respected citizen" with his three sons, Juan, Pedro and Nepomuceno, under the McMullen and McGloin empresario grant (see MCMULLEN-MCGLOIN COLONY) on November 26, 1831. By 1828 Delgado and his son Pedro had moved to Nacogdoches to live near his sister, Candida Delgado, wife of Encarnación Chirino, and her son, José María Chirino. On April 23, 1835, his sister Candida administered Delgado's will. Immediately after the Texas Revolution Walter Henry obtained the four sitios of land, called the Delgado Grant. Henry in turn sold the four leagues of the Delgado survey for a dollar an acre to the Coleman, Mathis, Fulton Cattle Company (see COLEMAN-FULTON PASTURE COMPANY). The city of Mathis lies in the heart of this survey. In 1974, some of Delgado's descendents formed the Moya Association of Texas, a nonprofit family genealogical-historical association, honoring their ancestors' contributions to Texas history. Some Delgado descendents continued to live in the area in the early 1990s.

Adán Benavides, Jr., comp. and ed., The Béxar Archives, 1717–1836: A Name Guide (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1989). Rachel Bluntzer Hébert, The Forgotten Colony: San Patricio de Hibernia (Burnet, Texas: Eakin Press, 1981). Jack Jackson, Los Mesteños: Spanish Ranching in Texas, 1721–1821 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1986). Nacogdoches Archives, Steen Library, Stephen F. Austin State University; Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin; Texas State Archives, Austin.

  • Peoples
  • Canary Islanders
  • Business
  • Ranching and Cowboys
  • Ranchers and Cattlemen
Time Periods:
  • Mexican Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Gloria Candelaria Marsh, “Delgado, Miguel,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 28, 2022,

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August 1, 1995
June 24, 2016

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