Robert de la Rocha
Birth Name: Robert Isaac de la Rocha
Place of Birth: Wilmar, Los Angeles, California, United States
Date of Birth: November 26, 1937
Ethnicity: Mexican [Spanish, some African and Sephardi Jewish]
Robert de la Rocha, nicknamed “Beto,” is American painter, graphic artist, and muralist. He was part of Chicano art collective Los Four.
He is the son of Cecilia Torres Cañedo and Isaac de la Rocha Beltrán, an agricultural laborer. His parents were Mexican immigrants. His ancestry includes Spanish, and some African and Sephardi Jewish. With his former wife Olivia Lorryne, he is the father of musician Zack de la Rocha.
Robert’s patrilineal ancestry can be traced back to his fifth great-grandfather, Juan Ignacio de la Rocha.
Robert’s paternal grandfather was José Isaac de la Rocha Acosta (the son of Francisco de la Rocha Coronel and María Cecilia Acosta García). José was a Mexican revolutionary, who fought in the Mexican Revolution. Francisco was the son of Manuel Mercedes de la Rocha Esquer and María Gertrudis Coronel Machado. Cecilia was the daughter of Ignacio Acosta and Leandra García.
Robert’s paternal grandmother was Sahara Beltrán Ojeda (the daughter of Juan Beltrán López and María Loreto Ojeda Félix). Juan was the son of Sebastián Beltrán and María Navor López. Loreto was the daughter of Lázaro Ojeda and Catarina Félix.
Robert’s maternal grandfather was Francisco Torres Angulo (the son of Cirilo Torres Medina and María Cecilia Angulo Partida). Cirilo was the son of Dionicio Torres and Eugenia Medina. Cecilia was the daughter of José María Angulo Angulo and María Tomasa Partida González. Tomasa’s father, José Mónico Partida Sandoval, was described as “mulatto” on records, indicating that he was of partial African ancestry.
Robert’s maternal grandmother was María Josefa Cañedo Benítez (the daughter of Francisco Cañedo Aguilasocho and Elodia Benítez Lizárraga). Francisco was the son of José Justo Ramón Cañedo Landeta and María Felipa de Jesús Aguilasocho Avendaño. Elodia was the daughter of Dionisio Benítez and María de Jesús Lizárraga.
Sources: Robert de la Rocha on the 1940 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Baptismal record of Robert’s maternal grandfather, Francisco Torres Angulo – https://familysearch.org
Record of Robert’s maternal great-great-great-grandfather, José Mónico Partida Sandoval – https://familysearch.org