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Famous Family History Christopher Columbus Children

About the family history of famous explorer Christopher Columbus; the history of his children two sons described.

ROOTS AND FRUITS: A FOREST OF FAMILY TREES

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS (1451-1506),

Italian-Spanish explorer

His Fruits: Columbus had two sons, who served him well. Both boys worked as pages in Queen Isabella's court at Granada, and both were schooled in Cordoba.

Don Diego Colon (1480?-1526) was the only child of Columbus's marriage in 1478 to Dona Felipa Perestrello e Moniz (d. 1484?), daughter of a wealthy Portuguese. Diego became a soldier in the queen's bodyguard and his father's intercessor at the Spanish court. As legitimate heir to his father's estate, he assumed the title of second admiral of the Indies after Columbus's death and was appointed governor of Hispaniola in the New World in 1509. His short administration was competent despite his lack of experience; but he spent most of his life in Spain trying to secure his hereditary rights as viceroy of the Indies. Diego's son, Don Luis Colon (1521?-1572), turned out to be an incompetent wastrel who married four times and left numerous children. For him, Diego's widow renounced all privileges of the family in exchange for a pension, the island of Jamaica in fief, an estate on the Isthmus of Panama, and the titles of duke of Veragua and marquis of Jamaica. Luis died while exiled in Oran, Africa.

Ferdinand Columbus, also known as Don Fernando Colon (1488-1539), was the result of widower Columbus's liaison with Beatriz Enriquez (1465-1520), daughter of peasants in Cordoba. Relations between Columbus's legitimate and illegitimate families were remarkably cordial despite his refusal to marry into a family whose common status might have hurt his "pull" with royalty. The half brothers sailed together, and Ferdinand later defended Diego's rights as their father's legitimate heir. Ferdinand accompanied his father on his fourth voyage in 1502 and embarked with Diego in 1509. Returning to Spain, he settled in Seville and built a sizable fortune from lucrative royal appointments plus his own considerable holdings in Hispaniola. An amiable scholar, collector, and traveler, he assembled a library of 15,000 volumes. According to Morison, he was "the first European intellectual to bring fresh air from the New World into European letters." Ferdinand never married. His biography of his father, the Historie, is the best primary source on the explorer's life; it was completed shortly before

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