Columbus, Colombo or Colon

Today is Columbus Day in the US. It is the day we celebrate the “discoverer” of the Americas. Although their have been recent new theories of his birth, the most accepted place of birth for Columbus is that he was born in the Republic of Genoa (now part of Italy) about 1450-1. His parents were Domenico Colombo and Susanna Fontanarossa. In his youth Columbus would have been known as Cristoforo Colombo.

After Columbus got his grant to find a route to the west from Ferdinand  and Isabella, records usually refer to him by the Spanish spelling of Cristóbal Colón. In fact, most of his descendants use the surname of Colon.

The name Christopher Columbus comes about as an Anglicisation of the Latin spelling of Christophorus Columbus. So records may have any of the spellings of his name.

In doing our family research, we also need to know that records of a person could be spelled many different ways. Most older records were recorded as they sounded by the person that was recording an event. Don’t ever limit your research to a single spelling.