Today is Columbus Day and it made me think of a poem that we had to memorize when I was in elementary school:
In fourteen hundred ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
However, those are the only two lines I remember and when I tried to locate the original poem, I discovered that the source of those lines is as much debated as the origins of Columbus himself.
First – This post isn’t geared towards discussing the social or political views held today about Christopher Columbus. He has become quite a controversial subject.
Rather, I was interested in learning more about his origins – I grew up taught that he was an Italian who sailed for Spain – and, more importantly, whether or not Columbus has any proven descendants living today.
This ended up being way more complicated than I ever expected. Right now, the definitive answer as to his origins is that his true parents and place of birth are unproven.
Here are some links so you can make up your own mind.
First – Who wrote the poem which begins with “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue?”
Second – Was Columbus Italian or Spanish?
Twelve-Generations Descendants Report of Admiral Christopher Columbus: the First Admiral of the Indies by John D. Inclan
Columbus apparently does have descendants, even though I haven’t found any scholarly research to cite, but his origins are anybody’s guess. DNA looks like the only way to sort it all out.
If today is a holiday for you, enjoy the day!