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David Masnata y de Quesada Collection


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Subject Terms

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Gonzalo de Quesada y Arostegui Family


Genealogy Related to Other European Countries

José Martí

David Masnata y de Quesada Papers

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David Masnata y de Quesada Collection, 1861-1979 | University of Miami Cuban Heritage Collection

By Myriam de la Rocha, April 1992

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Collection Overview

Title: David Masnata y de Quesada Collection, 1861-1979Add to your cart.

ID: CHC0221

Creator: Masnata y de Quesada, David (1926-1988)

Extent: 114.0 Boxes


The  David Masnata Collection is organized into five series.

Please see the Finding Aid/Inventory section of this guide for more detailed information.

Languages: English, Spanish;Castilian

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The David Masnata Collection contains research material on Cuban and Spanish genealogy, heraldry and family names.

Biographical Note

David E. Masnata y de Quesada, Marquis of Santa Ana y Santa María, was a Cuban lawyer, professor, historian, and founder of the Instituto Cubano de Genealogía y Heráldica.

Masnata was born on September 11, 1926. He was the first child of Emilio Masnata y Azcue and Aurora de Quesada y Miranda, grandson of Gonzalo de Quesada, an associate of Cuban revolutionary hero José Martí, and great-grandson of Dr. Ramón L. Miranda, the family physician of José Martí.

Masnata’s interest in genealogy and history developed during his early years. He founded the Instituto Cubano de Genealogía y Heráldica (Cuban Institute of Genealogy and Heraldry) in 1950 and served as secretary until 1961. He was also a member of the Sociedad Cubana de Estudios Históricos y Internacionales (Cuban Society of Historical and International Studies) from 1956 to1961 and was an honorary member of the Academia Mejicana de Genealogía y Heráldica (Mexican Academy of Genealogy and Heraldry) from 1950 to1988.

Following Castro’s communist takeover of Cuba, Masnata moved to New York in 1961 and left behind a large collection of Cuban books and research papers on Cuban and Spanish history, genealogy, and heraldry. While in exile, Masnata compiled a new collection of approximately three thousand books and thousands of records and documents on Spanish and Cuban genealogy. He became a proficient genealogist, and traced his ancestors from the sixteenth century to the early twentieth century.

At the age of twenty-five, Masnata received his law degree from the University of Havana and practiced law in Cuba until 1961. From 1951 to 1961 he was a member of the Colegio de Abogados de la Habana (Bar Association of Havana). He received another degree from New York University in 1967 and entered the Bar Association of New York City in 1969. From 1970 to 1971 Masnata served as a professor at Columbia University. Masnata was acknowledged by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1973 and licensed to practice in Washington, DC, and New York. In 1979, Masnata was licensed to practice law in Spain and became a member of the Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Madrid.

He received the Prix de Liechtenstein in 1985 from H.R.H. Frank Josef II, Reigning Prince of Liechtenstein, for his work “La Casa Real de la Cerda” (“The Royal House of La Cerda”).

David Masnata died in New York on October 5, 1988.

Subject/Index Terms

Cuba - Genealogy
Europe - Genealogy
Masnata de Quesada, David
Masnata family

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: Requests to publish or display materials from this collection require written permission from the rights owner. Please, contact for more information.

Acquisition Method: Gift of Haydee Artecona de Masnata, 1989.

Preferred Citation: David Masnata y de Quesada Collection, Cuban Heritage Collection, University of Miami Libraries, Coral Gables, Florida

Finding Aid Revision History: Finding aid revised and published online by María R. Estorino, October 2008.

Other Note: Rights Statement: The text of this webpage is available for modification and reuse under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License and the GNU Free Documentation License (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts).

Container List (PDF):

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Gonzalo de Quesada y Arostegui Family, n.d., 1488-1980],
[Series 2: Genealogy, n.d.],
[Series 3: Genealogy Related to Other European Countries, n.d., 1938],
[Series 4: José Martí, n.d., 1893-1988],
[Series 5: David Masnata y de Quesada Papers, n.d., 1539-1988],

Series 1: Gonzalo de Quesada y Arostegui Family, n.d., 1488-1980Add to your cart.
The series contains documents, manuscripts and memorabilia of Masnata's ancestors from the nineteenth century through the early twentieth century.  Files include correspondence, manuscripts, documents, and other papers of Gonzalo de Quesada and Dr. Ramón L. Miranda, Masnata's grandfather and great-grandfather.  Gonzalo de Quesada, served as Cuban Ambassador in Washington, D.C.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Correspondence from Luis del Cristo to Porfirio Valiente, Cristo, Luis delAdd to your cart.
Valiente, Porfirio
Access Restriction: 1853
Series 2: Genealogy, n.d.Add to your cart.
The series contains the genealogy of Masnata's family, including the Twelve Generation Pedigree Chart and a Photo-Genealogical Chart.  Other materials include typescripts, manuscripts, and photocopies with information on hundreds of Cuban family names.  Documents and other information related to the early Cuban studies of fishes and the foundation of the first public aquarium in the Caribbean, opened in Havana in 1929 by Masnata's grandfather and other relatives, are also contained in this series.
Series 3: Genealogy Related to Other European Countries, n.d., 1938Add to your cart.
The series contains genealogical documents on Spain and other European countries.  The series also contains manuscripts and photocopies of Masnata's research related to the Ollendorf dynasty of Germany.
Series 4: José Martí, n.d., 1893-1988Add to your cart.
The series contains documents, manuscripts and periodicals related to José Martí, the Cuban patriot, and poet.  An unpublished poem "Envoi" written by Martí to Angélica Miranda  (grandmother of Masnata) and a "Pensamientos de José Martí" written by Ramón L. Miranda, the family doctor of José Martí, are arranged in this series.  Also included in this series is a copy of the baptismal certificate of Doña Leonor Pérez de Martí, mother of José Martí.  This important document states that Doña Leonor Pérez de Martí was born on the 17th of December, 1828, and not on the 18th of December as documented elsewhere.
Series 5: David Masnata y de Quesada Papers, n.d., 1539-1988Add to your cart.
The series contains manuscripts of two unpublished works by David Masnata: "Los Fundadores de la República de Cuba" (The Founders of the Cuban Republic)  and "Escalafón de la Guerra del 68" (Hierarchy of the War of 68).  In these manuscripts, researchers and historians will find data related to the Cuban Revolutionary War against Spain (1868-1878) also known as "Guerra de los Diez Años", and the Cuban Independence War (1895-1898).

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