Diego de Alcaraz

Brief Biography: 
Diego de Alcaraz was born sometime around 1507. In 1530 he served in Guzmán's expedition and was a conqueror of Culiacán. He also served under Cherinos in Petlatlan. He was in his 30s when he joined the Expedition in 1540. His birthplace is not known. Prior to joining the Expedition, Diego de Alcaraz was a lieutenant of Captain Melchor Díaz. Diego de Alcaraz could sign his name. He died at Los Corazones. He may have had a son of the same name.
Gender: 
Male
Date of Birth: 
ca. 1507
AGE-1540: 
33
Age Set: 
25-35
Date of Death: 
12/1541
Death Details Known?: 
Yes
Died on the Expedition?: 
Yes
Last Known Location: 
Los Corazones
Position on Expedition: 
Captain
Ability to sign name: 
Yes
References-Documentary: 

pre-1530:

Tello, Libro Segundo [136: 1531-Juan de Alcaraz, vecino and conquistador of San Miguel de Culiacán; 180: 1532-captain Chirinos sent captain Diego de Alcaraz to reconnoiter land from Petlatlán; 183-186: 1532-went to find Cabeza de Vaca, et al., how Cebreros and Alcaraz found the Cabeza de Vaca party; 306:Cabeza de Vaca party met up with Alcaraz and Melchor Díaz; 409:says Juan de Alcaraz [means Diego]; 411:Díaz's lugar teniente, properly honoring the death of Melchor Díaz];

Hillerkuss, Diccionario Biográfico, vol.1  [1529 soldado under Guzmán; 1536 captain under Hernando de Cherino during conquest of Sinaloa and Sonora; 1538 in pueblo of Jalisco, around Tepic, I:49];

1530-1540:

Garmendia Leal, Fundadores, p.102 [soldados de Nuño de Guzmán, 1529, listed among the jinetes y peones]

AGI, Justicia, 337A, “Guzmán Residencia” [1537, witness- vecino of Culiacán, 30 years old more or less; didn't like Guzmán's division of encomiendas, signed (no signature), fol. 65r; represented San Miguel, 30 April 1537, fol. 84v];

AGI, Justicia, 338A, “Guzmán Residencia” [1537, Guzmán characterizes Alcaraz as: Diego de Alcaraz es honbre pobre e que tiene por costumbre de nunca dezir verdad e es enemigo e quiere mal al dicho Nuño de Guzmán e lo hera antes e al tiempo que dixese sudicho e publico como tinador(?) e por tal estuvo persona e si hiziera justicia del sino fuera por ser hombre de peor suerte];

1540-1550:

 Castañeda in Flint & Flint, Documents, Document 28 [died at San Gerónimo, fol. 134v.]; 

AGI, Justicia, 267, N.3, “Proceso de Francisco Vázquez” [witness Francisca de Hozes and Alonso Sánchez: Alcaraz left as captain at Corazones; killed by Indians]; [he was made captain when Melchor Díaz went off to the coast and remained so after Díaz died; Vázquez de Coronado picked up some people while passing through Culiacán];

Other Info:

Piferrer, Nobiliario, 3:141-142, #1302 [family name originated in León and Lorca, Vizcaya; with San Fernando Rey; escudo in 4ths - upper right is an verde arbol manzao with red apples on a field of gold, at the foot and trunk 2 black bears empinados, puestas las manos en el, one on each side trying to get the fruit; 2nd to the left, red cross floreteada, like Calatrava in a field of gold for being at the battle of Alcaraz; the 3rd, at the right a silver castle, at its foot a Moor tendido and dead with a silver sword drawn in the right hand on a field of blue, for killing a lot of Moors; 4th, left, black eagle flying and rapante desplegadas its wings of gold all bordered with gold x's on a field of red];

Relatives:

?Encisco Contreras, Testamentos [p.161: 23 Oct. 1564; Diego de Alcaraz, el mozo, estante in the mines of Zacatecas, witness for formation of a company between Pedro de Ortiz and Hernán Rodríguez de Loarca; source-AGI, Contratación, 202b, N.24 and 203, N.1, R.4];

?AGI, Contratación, 199, N.15 [Bienes de difuntos de Pablo de Añón, mercader, Mexico City, November 1561; almoneda is conducted in June 1553 in Mexico City; a Diego de Alcaraz (son?), sedero, buys guantes adobados for 7 pesos];