Who was Christopher Columbus?
A lot of myths and uncertainties characterize the backgrounds, life and stories of and about Christopher Columbus. But, as a whole, a number of scientists agree upon this: Wherever he may have come from, he was not an italian.
Historians have lined up at least three possible and appealing theories about his backgrounds and ancestors:
1. CC was an Italian born in Genova - as most history books state
2. CC was a portoguese spy and Jew - Salvador Fernandez Zarco
3. CC was born in Gloppen, Norway - a small place near the Norwegian west coast - and immigrated to Genova 1470 at the age of 19.
Why I support the last theory? Here are my arguments - some believe in them, some don't. I do, I think! Let me briefly try to inform you. Most of these facts, thoughts and circumstantial evidence I have found in a book written by the Norwegian author Tor Borch Sannes. They may be as true as the theory that claims that Jesus Christ fled from Jerusalem after his crucification and then died in Srinagar, India, where he also was buried. But these stories may also be exactly that - good stories.
Was Christopher from tiny Gloppen?
When I first read the book Christopher Columbus, a European from Norway?, I had a good laugh, but afterwards it struck my mind: Could this anyway still be true? Was Christopher born in Gloppen in Nordfjord, Norway? Was he related to the nobleman or local king Karl Knutsson Bonde? Was he and his father political refugees in Genova, Italy? The author doesn't know, neither do I, but no one has been able to prove otherwise.
The first biography about CC was written by one of his sons, Fernando, 30 years after Christopher's death. It was incomplete and unfinished. Here, Fernando does not at all mention where his father Christopher, grandfather Dominicus or great grandfather Iohannes came from. Note that name! Iohannes is a nordic name, which in later, local, italian documents has been translated to Giovanni - the Italian edition. The Latin name of his father is written as Christophorus Colonus.
Nothing contradicts the theory hat that Christopher was a descendant of the Norwegian nobleman Karl Knutsson Bonde who struggled for the thrones of Norway and Sweden in the middle of the 15. century and eventually lost. He died 1470 and since then neither he nor his relatives have been mentioned in any documents - until Dominicus, born 1418 and son of Iohannes, a cousin of Karl Knutsson Bonde, appears from nowhere in Genova about 1445 and then works as a gate keeper at the city wall in Olivella. Italian biographers have not paid attention to that one of Dominicus' neighbors in Genova were called Antonii Bondi.
No wonder that Fernando is vague about his father and family origins. May be he did not know, but he may also have had the intention of hiding the fact that his father Dominicus probably was identical to the nordic tax collector on behalf of the Pope in Rome. He was accused of embezzlement!
Father Dominicus and son Christopher were named Colon - later transcribed to Columbus. The meaning of the italian word colon? Farmer! In Norwegian - bonde, the same family name as the nobleman. Bonde/farmer is colonus or agricola in Latin. The original family name in Genova was Kol or Col - later Colon.
1447, Dominicus works as a gate keeper at Olivella. 1448 rumors reach him that Karl Knutsson Bonde at home was triumphant and won the kingdom of Sweden and Norway. He resigns as gate keeper, travels to Nordfjord 30 years old and marries Susanna/Sozana. 1450: Karl Knutsson Bonde loses his kingdom and Dominicus must return to Genova. Close relatives of Karl Knutsson Bonde now stop using the family name Bonde. Susanna and Christopher stayed in Gloppen for the time being. Now Dominicus gets his position as papal tax collector. He regularly visits the city of Bergen, Norway, on the west coast, and Nordfjord. Bartholomeus, the brother of Christopher, was born 1461.
Neither Bartholomeus nor Christopher spoke or wrote italian. That indicates that they grew up outside Italy and that also their mother was not Italian. Christopher never used the Italian language. He used Spanish.
Very little is known about Christopher before 1476. He then sails as an officer in the fleet of the French king Renee. His commanding officer was admiral Guillaume de Casenove Coullon. Translated and transcribed into Norwegian: William Nygaard Bonde.
Also Christopher's coat-of-arms show resemblance to details in those of the Bonde-family.
It all fits!
Death and burial places.
The history in between is well known. I will skip the discovery of the Americas and how he failed in finding a quicker way to India going westwards rather than going eastwards around Africa. It is strange, though, that when Christopher landed at Cuba and Haiti, he first thought that he had landed at the island of Zipangu (Japan) off the coast of Katai (China).
Christopher died in Valladolid, Spain, 1506, and was buried there. 1509 his son Diego transferred his coffin to a monastery near Sevilla. 1537 his daughter in law, Maria de Toledo, got a permission from emperor Karl V to move Christopher and his son Diego to the cathedral in Santo Domingo, Isla la Espanola - Haiti/Dominican Republic. He probably was moved 1549. As a result of the Basel Peace 1795, Spain had to give Haiti away to France, who had no objections to moving the remains of Christopher to the spanish Cuba and the cathedral of Havana. 1898 Cuba got it's independence and the remains of Christopher are said to have been transferred to the cathedral of Sevilla, Spain.
But the main question remains: Is he really resting in Santo Domingo, Havana or Sevilla? I overheard a tourist guide in the Sevilla cathedral claiming that some DNA testing, funded by UNESCO, in the near future hopefully would clarify the question.