President Juan Rafael Estrella Ureña


Mentions of Juan de las Estrellas in the 1720s.


The first Estrella residing in Santiago de los Caballeros was the French merchant, Juan de las Estrellas. In 1721 during a Rebellion instigated by Captains in Santiago, Juan de las Estrellas was mentioned to the subsequent court case along with other people within the city of Santiago.

"Guillermo Vidó y Juan de las Estrellas, franceses comerciantes enemigos del Rey y que notoriamente se embriagan."

Guillermo Bidó and Juan de las Estrellas, French merchants enemies of the king and who notoriously get drunk.

"Guillermo Vidas y Juan de las Estrellas son franceses comerciantes enemigos del Rey y que comunican con su nasion en tiempo de Guerra y que notoria se embriagan y que el primero es gran - y que ha comprado haziendas en las colonias de g.a."

Guillermo Bidó and Juan de las Estrellas are French merchants enemies of the king and they communicate with their nation in wartime and and who notoriously get drunk and the first one is a great ? and has purchased plantations in the colonies of ?.

Making a connection to Juan de las Estrellas is currently not possible, but based on the history of this family, it seems he is the founder of the surname Estrella in the Cibao. The surname de l'Éstoile is a possibility for his original name as it appears in French families. His original name may have been Jean de l'Éstoile. He may have been the grandfather or great grandfather of the family in the next section.

Based on the records connecting the Estrella family from Santiago in the 19th century, they originated from three brothers born in the late 18th century. Jacinto, Juan, and Santiago (Facundo) Estrella populated the Estrella family and other relatives in Santiago. A good amount of marital dispensations from the 19th century allows us to go back to these men who propagated the surname in and around Canabacoa, Santiago. The many branches of the  Estrella family claim to be related to each other through lost ancestral roots. The family also claims through oral history to be descended from Jews from the Canary Islands though this seems to have been a false story based on the true French origins of the family. The family of Santiago (Facundo) Estrella's wife, Juana Fernández Rodríguez connects back to the Fernández of Santiago.

Also in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the Haitian revolution drove various families to emigrate from the island of Hispaniola. The Estrella were among these migrants with members of the family going to Baracoa, Cuba and Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. At least one branch of the Estrella family remained in Baracoa resulting in a generation in the mid 1800s with the surnames Navarro y Estrella. The Puerto Rican branch remained on the island after the death of their patriarch, Narciso Estrella, and relocated primarily to Camuy with connections to the northwest of Puerto Rico.

During the 20th century, the Estrella were a very influential family in Dominican politics with Juan Rafael Estrella Ureña, a lawyer, becoming acting president of the Dominican Republic on March 3, 1930 working with the future dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina. Estrella Ureña confirmed Trujillo as head of the police and army during his short time in the presidency and was vice president when Trujillo won the election on August 16, 1930. In 1932, Estrella Ureña resigned from the vice presidency. He died in 1945 during a surgery where it was rumored that Trujillo hired the surgeon to kill his former political ally. Trujillo declared a state of mourning in the country for three days.

Other Estrella figures during the Era of Trujillo were the generals José Altagracia Estrella Durán, uncle of the aforementioned president, and Pedro Antonio "Piro" Estrella Molina. José and Piro would be right hand men of the dictator during his rule over the country participating in egregious murders for political control. This time would come to an end when a son of Piro, Luis Salvador Estrella Sahdalá, and others were responsible for the assassination of Trujillo on May 30, 1961.

The families of Rafael Estrella Ureña and Piro Estrella Molina do not connect back genealogically to the well documented family of the three Estrella brothers due to a lack of records in Santiago. For the family of Rafael Estrella Ureña, there is a confirmed genetic connection through Y-DNA testing.

Passing through Dajabón

In the early 1780s, various members of the Estrella family passed through Dajabón into Saint-Domingue to sell andullos, Dominican tobacco product, to the French side of the island. The trips usually occurred in early summer, but there are outliers in February and April.

Facundo Estrella

April 1781

Facundo Estrella

February 1782

Juan de Estrella

June 1782

Facundo Estrella

June 1783

Narciso Estrella

July 1783

Joseph Estrella

May 1781

Facundo Estrella

June 1782

Facundo Estrella

February 1783

Juan Estrella

June 1783

Descendants of the Estrella Brothers


Death of Francisca Estrella Pérez, widow of Fernando Payán and daughter of Juan Estrella and María Pérez

September 29, 1849 - San José de las Matas

Marital dispensation of Fausto Payán Estrella and Petronila Estrella Polanco

1828 - Santiago de los Caballeros

Marital dispensation of Tomás Fernández Polanco and Victoria Estrella Gutiérrez

1834 - Santiago de los Caballeros

Marriage of José Rosendo Estrella Gómez and Filomena Estrella Villafaña

November 23, 1875 - Santiago de los Caballeros

Death of an Isidoro Estrella of Canabacoa married to María Gutiérrez. He is either Isidoro Estrella Gutiérrez husband of Petronila Villafaña Gómez or his father Pablo Estrella Fernández husband of María Gutiérrez.

July 20, 1885 - Canabacoa

Death of Juan Estrella Villafaña, son of Isidoro Estrella Gutiérrez and Petronila Villafaña Gómez

February 8, 1916 - Canabacoa

Marriage of Joaquín Antonio Estrella Medina and Ubaldina de Jesús Estrella Estrella

May 21, 1878 - Santiago de los Caballeros

Marriage of Federico "Fico" Estrella Medina and Juana Gómez Estrella

November 29, 1886 - Santiago de los Caballeros

Marriage of José de Jesús Estrella Medina and María Ramona Estrella Estrella

December 28, 1886 - Santiago de los Caballeros

       Eligió Félix Estrella Estrella


María Cristina Almánzar Fernández

(born 1893)

Maximiliano Estrella Estrella


José Dionisio "Nicio" Estrella Medina

(c. 1850-1946)

José del Carmen "Pijicho" Estrella Medina


María Mercedes Estrella Medina

(born c. 1856)

Gregorio Estrella Estrella


Descendants of Manuel Estrella and Úrsula Gil


General José Altagracia Estrella Durán with Rafael Trujillo.

General José Altagracia Estrella Durán


Descendants of José María Estrella de la Cruz and Petronila Molina

José María Estrella de la Cruz (c. 1847-1900) was the son of José del Carmen Estrella (c. 1815-1900) and Laureana de la Cruz. José del Carmen Estrella was the son of José Estrella and Francisca.

José del Carmen Estrella also was married to Mauricia Cabreja Rodríguez.

Pedro AntonioEstrella Molina"Piro"(1895-1978)
Luis SalvadorEstrella Sahdalá(1919-1961)
President of the Dominican Republic Senate, Rafael Eduardo Estrella Virella(born 1953)

Ambrosia Ercilia Pepín Estrella


Ercilia Pepín Estrella

Ambrosia Ercilia Pepín Estrella was born December 7, 1884 in Marilópez the natural daughter of José María Pepín and Edelmira Estrella Álvarez. The following year she was recognized by her father. She would grow up to be a leader of education in the Dominican Republic and an activist for woman's rights in the country. Read more here.

Her mother's family comes from the Estrella of Canabacoa. Edelmira Estrella's parents were Gregorio Estrella and Carlota Álvarez. A sister of Edelmira was Eudosia de Jesús Estrella Álvarez (born 1863) who's baptism indicated she was born in Canabacoa and that her father, Gregorio was deceased by October 12, 1863. This would mean that he died that same year when the records of Santiago were destroyed. The godparents of Eudosia were Luis Estrella and Martina Gómez. Luis Estrella Gómez was the son of Anacleto Estrella Gutiérrez, grandson of Pablo Estrella Fernández, and husband of María del Carmen Estrella. María Martina Gómez Liranzo was the wife of Juan Estrella Villafaña and the granddaughter of Bernarda Estrella Fernández. With the connection between godparents and family members as well as the location, Gregorio Estrella must have been a member of the Estrella family that descends from Santiago Estrella and Juana Fernández Rodríguez.

Descendants of Gregorio Estrella and Carlota Álvarez

Puerto Rican Branches

Aguadilla, Puerto Rico


Blas Laurentino "Lauro" Estrella Colón (c. 1836-1918)

Officials in Camuy, Puerto Rico

April 1900


Narciso Estrella and Dionicia Payán Tineo (c. 1770-1861) were natives of Santo Domingo who left their home for Puerto Rico at the turn of the 19th century. This couple were related to the Estrella and Payán families of Santiago de los Caballeros and likely left during the Era de Francia when in 1795 the French gained possession of the entire island of Hispaniola and a slave revolt led by Toussaint Louverture in Saint-Domingue drove thousands of white Dominicans from the island. These criollos left the island to neighboring Spanish possessions including Puerto Rico where they were given some land and compensation. Dionicia was the daughter of Bruno Payán and Leonor Tineo.

The Estrella Payán family traveled with their children to their new home settling in Aguadilla before moving the family to Camuy. Narciso Estrella died in Aguadilla about 1804. His death record's existence is only known from an index. Calculating from Francisco Espaillat, who is also in this index, I was able to estimate Narciso's year of death. A few years later, Dionicia Payán, widow of Narciso Estrella, with presbítero Don Ambrosio Caraballo sold a house to Don Antonio Moliary for 400 pesos. José Cayetano Estrella Payán, vecino de Camuy married María del Rosario Ostache Sánchez on February 28, 1823 in Aguadilla. A witness to this marriage was Manuel Estrella. It appeared after 1809 the family moved from Aguadilla to Camuy possibly as a result of the death of Narciso Estrella. Bruno Estrella Payán married Francisca Colón in 1835 in Camuy.

José Cayetano Estrella Payán lived in Barrio Zanja with his wife, children, mother, sister, and slaves. Bruno Estrella Payán lived in Barrio Abra Honda with his wife and children.

José Cayetano Estrella Payán was a reformista supporting the abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico. Despite this he did own slaves in Camuy, most of them freed during the abolition of slavery in 1872. On February 13, 1873 the opposing integristas who were against the abolition of slavery were able to get the Civil Guard and Volunteers (Spanish loyalist militia) to raid the country house of José Cayetano Estrella. The house was raided on the basis that reformistas were meeting there to conspire against Spain. Both sides were well armed and 12 men were killed, a Civil Guard and Volunteer were injured, and many were arresting including José Cayetano Estrella. He was eventually released. Members of this family served in local office in Camuy. In 1900, Blas Laurentino Estrella Colón was the mayor of Camuy; Joaquín Estrella Colón served as a councilman; and Antonio Estrella Colón served as a trustee.

Anther branch of the Estrella family to arrive from Santo Domingo was Juan Estrella Poyau who married the French descendent María Luisa Maisonave Duprey, daughter of Jean Pierre Maisonave and María Duprey, in Moca in 1818. It is possible that Juan Estrella was the son of Narciso and Dionicia. This union produced two children: Mercedes Estrella Maisonave (c. 1835-1906) who married Felipe Bisbal and Pedro Luis Estrella Maisonave who married the Portugese-Puerto Rican María Simplicia Lisboa Fuentes. Pedro Luis' lineage continued while Mercedes' did not. This family moved around from Aguadilla to Camuy, San Sebastián, and Lares.

Autosomal DNA testing has revealed a connection between the Estrella and Payán of Santiago de los Caballeros and the families of Estrella Payán and the Estrella Maisonave in Puerto Rico.

Boletín Empresarial de Puerto Rico

February 21, 1873

Segun nuestras noticias, los siguientes son los nombres de los individuos que hasta el 17 habia preso el Juzgado de Arecibo por creerlos complicados en las rebelion de Camuy. Entrelos nombrados figuran el alcalde que en Camuy puso presos á dos voluntarios que le fueron á pedir auxilio contra los rebeldes, un capitan de Milicias, peninsular, un sargento primero, dos hijos del alcalde Velez ó Vales y una cuantas mas personas de la situacion ayucil:

Francisco Ortiz, Pablo Santaigo, Celedonio Acebedo, Juan de los Santos Rosario, Jose Antonio Martinez, Ezequiel Hernandez, Tomas Rosado, Jose Vicente Acebedo, Antonio Moreno, Juan J. Rodriguez, Manuel de J. Concepcion, J. Desiderio Hernandez, Bernardo Rosario, Facundo Estrella, Juan Gimenez, Petro Marrero, Eusebio Vales, Manuel Perez, Salvador Davila, José Cayetano Estrella, Quintin Estrella, Narciso Estrella, Gonzalo Rodriguez, Jose Ramon Lacomba, Jose Suarez, Luis Martinez, Francisco Alcazar, Liborio Valdes, Manuel Maria Merado, Jose Rivera Cerero, Manuel Reyes Oram, Felix Pascasio Rivero, Francisco Borrel, Juan C. Rivera, Pablo Velez, Francisco Rivera, Nicolas Nieves, Ramon Muniz de Mendez, Estanislao Estrella, Jose Miranda, Antonio Torres, Domingo Olivera

Descendants of Narciso Estrella and Dionicia Payán

Death of Laurentino Estrella y Colón. States his parents were Bruno Estrella and Francisca Colón and that his grandparents were Narciso Estrella and Dionicia Payán.

Death of María Jacinta Estrella Ostache. States her father was Cayetano Estrella Pallán, native of Santo Domingo and her grandparents were Narciso Estrella an Dionicia Pallán, natives of France.

Slaves of Don José Cayetano Estrella Payán

Descendants of the Slaves of Don José Cayetano Estrella Payán

Registro central de esclavos for Don José Cayetano Estrella Payán in 1872. Page 1 of 4.

Registro central de esclavos for Don José Cayetano Estrella Payán in 1872. Page 2 of 4.

Grave site of Isabel Rosario Prudencia Navarro y Estrella in Baracoa.

Baptism of Ana Marca del Carmen Navarro y Estrella

Newspaper entry for Francisco Ramón de la Rosa Navarro y Estrella mentioning he was the municipal mayor of Baracoa in 1893.

Transcription of the baptism of Martín del Carmen Navarro y Estrella.

Cuban Branch

On July 16, 1804, the families of José de Estrellas and María Estrellas arrived at Baracoa, Cuba fleeing the Haitian Revolution. José brought his wife, Isabel de Torres (also known as Isabel de la Torre), and four children: Blas, María Ascension, Mauricia, and Antonia. María Estrellas was married to Pedro Díez and brought her children: Ramón, Joaquina, and Antonia. María departed from Baracoa with her family on January 29, 1806 for another destination. José stayed longer, departing from Baracoa on January 31, 1810. It is unknown what happened to these two families or how they are related.

A couple generations later, in the cemetery of Baracoa, there is a Doña Isabel Rosario Navarro y Estrella buried in the town where these Estrella wound up in. She was born March 1, 1850 and died March 18, 1871. In the local archive, her baptism appears with three siblings: Ana Marca del Carmen, Francisco Ramón de la Rosa, and Martín del Carmen Navarro Estrella. Their mother, María Josefa Genoveva Estrella y Torres was born in Baracoa and married Francisco Navarro y Guilarte, a native of Baracoa and son of Francisco Navarro Terreros and Rosa María Guilarte y Borges. In these baptisms, Genoveva's parents are noted as José Estrella and Isabel de Torres (de la Torre) connecting part of the Estrella family that remained in Cuba. The godmother of Martín del Carmen Navarro was Mauricia Estrella, the sister of Genoveva and daughter of José Estrella and Isabel de Torres indicating more of the family remained on the island than just Genoveva's family.

Francisco Ramón de la Rosa Navarro y Estrella married capitana Luz Palomares y García (1850-1948), a female commander during various Independence uprisings an wars in the late 1800s Cuba. Francisco was also the mayor of Baracoa in 1893 and left descendants.

Note: Various other families arrived in Baracoa the same day as the Estrella family and Josefa Domínguez, wife of Juan de Abreu, did return to the colony of Santo Domingo and have descendants in Santiago. Through the dispensation of her granddaughter, Antonia Fernández Abreu, the daughter of Juan Fernández and Petronila Abreu Domínguez, with her cousin Evaristo Domínguez Rodríguez in 1841, we are able to confirm Josefa's parents. Josefa Domínguez Hernández was the daughter of José Domínguez Fernández and Isabel Hernández, and José was the son of Juan Domínguez and Catarina Fernández. Interestingly, an uncle of Josefa, Damián Domínguez Fernández, married Josefa Estrella leaving descendants in Santiago. This Josefa Estrella is unconnected to any other known family, but it seems she was somehow closely linked to José de Estrellas and María Estrellas who traveled to Baracoa.

Baracoa Arrivals on July 16, 1804

DNA Testing

Through DNA testing, many barriers that are in place due to the destruction of records can be broken. Autosomal testing has confirmed a connection between the Estrella families of Santiago and those in Puerto Rico while Y-DNA testing had confirmed the paternal lineage of the family up to Santiago Estrella. The lineage of President Juan Rafael Bautista Estrella has also connected to the same haplogroup confirming that the Estrella are united even if the records are unavailable to support this claim. Another major connection was connecting with the Puerto Rican branch of Estrella originally from Santiago de los Caballeros and Y-DNA matching with a tester from that branch. The Puerto Rican branch of the family has also connected to the same haplogroup.

From Big Y testing, the haplogroup of all the Estrella is R-FTB66470. This branch originated from R-BY3222 which has their most recent common ancestor as being born about 1330 BCE. For R-FTB66470, the common ancestor is estimated to have been born about 1744 CE. For the Salcedo branch of the Estrella family, their common ancestor is predicted to be born about 1846 CE.

The remaining branches of the Estrella family to test are the Guazumal/Tamboril Estrella and the lineage of Piro Estrella. Testing more known related parts of the family would also help to define certain lineages within the Estrella haplogroup, but this is a secondary objective.


Santiago Main Family

Puerto Rican Branch