Gómez Suárez de Figueroa

Brief Biography: 
Gómez Suárez de Figueroa was present at the 1540 muster as a very well-equipped member of Vázquez de Coronado's company. He was most likely related to the condes and duques de Féria (Badajoz province), although he himself does not state where he was from or who his parents were. The Suárez de Figueroas were very prominent in the Badajoz area and many of the extended family members carried the same names through several generations, making it quite difficult to ferret out the expeditionary.
Title: 
caballero
Gender: 
Male
Title (Y/N): 
Yes
Birthplace
Country of Origin: 
Spain
Place of Birth (modern province/state/region): 
Badajoz
Last Known Location: 
Tiguex Pueblo (NM)
European Social Status: 
Caballero
Position on Expedition: 
Horseman
Within Viceroy Mendoza's Sphere: 
Yes
References-Documentary: 

1530-1540:

?AHN, Sección Nobleza, FERNAN NUÑEZ, C.541, D.9 [Fundación del mayorazgo de Gonzalo Suárez de Figueroa y Juana Romero que hicieron a favor de su hijo Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, 1535-01-01, not digitized:  nota: “dotandole en las casas principales de su morada en la ciudad de Málaga”; from the document itself: the parents are vecinos de Málaga; a cédula real (from 1526) grants permission to the parents to “dexar y traspasar los dichos bienes por via de titulo de mayorazgo en uno de vuestros hijos o hijas”; the casas are in the “collación de Santa María…en la calle nueva;” they specify various amounts of “tributos” that are to be paid each year to Gómez Suárez e Figueroa (whom their instructions imply is their oldest son) and list the various properties to be included in the mayorazgo, including 9 ½ caballerías de pan llevar and property in Badajoz that the father inherited from his parents, Gómez Xuárez de Figuero y doña Leonor de Silva; the son (younger Gómez) is to inherit the mayorazgo upon his parents’ death; he is also instructed to use the arms and name of of “los Sánchez de Badajoz donde vos por linea recta descendis;” “subcediendo al dicho mayorazgo de padre en hijo varón mayor siendo de ligitimo matrimonio;” Gómez (the younger)’s  second brother is Diego Romero; “nuestra intención es que vos el dicho Gómez Suárez nuestro hijo residais en Badajoz y alli se [h]abra su casa y asiento” and for this reason he may sell property in Málaga (this Gómez is supposed to live in Badajoz or Xérez de Badajoz, at least after his parents die) the actual document of creation of the mayorazgo is dated December 8, 1535]

AGI, Justicia, 258, pieza 1, “Relación de los salarios” [fol. 799r: Nov. 1539, a Gómez xuarez...cL pesos]

1540-1550:

1540, Feb: Muster in Flint & Flint, Documents, Document 12 [4 horses, native arms, sallet, beaver, several breastplates, Vázquez de Coronado's company]

Juan de Contreras testimony in Flint, Great Cruelties [p.115: witness Juan de Contreras: Gómez Suárez repeatedly wanted Vázquez de Coronado to kill Turco]

Castañeda in Flint & Flint, Documents, Document 28 [p.389: caballero];

Other info:

Figueroa y Melgar, Estudio histórico [III:211:  Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, cuarto hijo de Lope de Tordoya Alvarado (younger brother of Diego de Alvarado [to Peru] and Juan de Alvarado [to Mexico in about 1524, at age 23; was with Francisco Cortés en muchas conquistas de Nueva Galicia y despues en la última pacificación de ella with Mendoza, (see Icaza, Diccionario, #519) [vecino de la ciudad de Michoacán, 1547) and doña Blanca de Sotomayor y Figueroa (sobrina nieta del I conde de Feria, don Lorenzo Suárez de Figueroa; daughter of doña Elvira de Sotomayor  y Figueroa and Juan de Céspedes; granddaughter of Pedro Suárez de Figueroa and doña Blanca de Sotomayor, señora de los Arcos; this Gómez Suárez de Figueroa and his wife doña Catalina de Isla had one daughter (first name starts with N) who became a nun in the Convento de la Concepción de Almendral (Badajoz); Gómez Suárez de Figueroa’s older brothers were (1) García de Alvarado, (2) fray Juan de Céspedes, and (3) Diego de Alvarado; his father was Lope de Tordoya Alvarado (Badajoz) (younger brother of Diego de Alvarado [to Peru] and Juan de Alvarado [to Mexico]) these latter were Gómez’s uncles; and his mother was doña Blanca de Sotomayor y Figueroa; III:836: Lope de Tordoya may actually be Gómez de Tordoya, a conquistador del Perú, who died at the battle of Chupas in 1542; III: 210-11: his grandfather was García de Alvarado Moscoso, Comendador de Montijo en la Orden de Santiago, married to doña Beatriz de Tordoya before 1502, when he married a second time; therefore Lope de Tordoya must have been born in 1501 or 1502 (given that his older brother Juan de Alvarado was evidently born in 1500 or 1501), and his mother may have died in childbirth in 1501 or 1502; (therefore it is unlikely that Gómez could have been born before the early 1520s, putting him in his middle to late teens at the time of the Coronado expedition); III:198-99: his great-grandfather was don Diego de Alvarado Mesía, Comendador de Lobón; don Diego’s younger brother was don Gómez de Alvarado Mesía, whose sons included Pedro de Alvarado adelantado de Guatemala, etc.; Gonzalo de Alvarado, conquistador de México; Jorge de Alvarado, capitán and conquistador de México; Gómez de Alvarado, capitán and conquistador de México; and Hernando de Alvarado, capitán and conquistador, with Almagro as capitán at las Salinas; these are therefore all Gómez’s grandfather’s first cousins and Gómez’s first cousins twice removed; they also had an older sister Isabel Suárez de Moscoso Alvarado Mesía y Figueroa, whose son Luis Moscoso de Alvarado was Soto’s maestre de campo; he was also a first cousin twice removed; III:267: “Os aseguro que en una misma comarca y época he llegado a contar 10 Lorenzos de Figueroa, y otros tantos Gómez Suárez de Figueroa.”]; Poole, Juan de Ovando [p.131: Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, first duke of Feria, had ebolista connections, Comunero Revolt];

?RAH, 9/305 [fol. 13r: Tabla genealógica…Figueroa, vecina de Badajoz: This is a line descending from a Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, el viejo; of his 6 children the youngest is a Gómez Suárez, caballero de Badajoz; this Gómez’s older brother Gonzalo was married in 1526 (so it is possible that this Gómez is the right age to be our man, but he may not have included the Figueroa in his name) no other information is provided; on the other hand, another older brother, Hernán Sánchez (second oldest of the siblings), had a son Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, who married his prima hermana doña Juana, who held two mayorazgos; no other information (he, too, could be of the right age)];

?RAH, D-31 [fol. 90v and 91v-92v: tabla genealógica…Figueroa, condes y duques de Feria, second table has Gómez Suárez de Figueroa; later tables have collateral lines: From Lorenzo Suárez de Figueroa the descent is he has 10 children, including a (1) Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, señor de Zafra, whose son (2) Lorenzo is I conde de Feria, whose son (3) Gómez is II conde de Feria, whose son (4) Lorenzo (married in 1518) is III conde de Feria; he has no siblings named Gómez, but his son (5) Gómez Suárez de Figueroa is V conde de Feria and I duque de Feria; his older brother Pedro Suárez de Figueroa was IV conde de Feria; (5) Gómez Suárez de Figueroa became duque in 1567; married doña Juana Dormer; their children, Lorenzo Suárez de Figueroa, II duque de Feria, and Pedro who died young; no mention of Gómez’s early life; he did have a cousin, son of his father’s brother (García de Toledo and Mencía Manrique), also named (5a) Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, who married doña María de Orellana; this cousin Gómez did not inherit from his father, but instead, in 1544, his younger brother Lorenzo, suggesting he might not have been available [in the Indies? dead?]; (5a) Gómez and María had 5 children: García de Figueroa, Rodrigo de Orellana, Gómez de Figueroa, Mencía Manrique, María de Orellana, García de Silva y Figueroa, Alonso y María, all of whom seem to have been in Spain; (5) and (5a) seem to be the to be the only candidates for our man among the Feria line; the great grandson of (2) Lorenzo, that is, same generation as  (5) and (5a), Garci Laso de la Vega went to Peru; it was his son, El Inca, who wrote the Comentarios];

Croche de Acuña, Hijos Ilustres de Zafra  [p.137-43: wife of Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, primer duque de Feria, was Juana Dormer, an attendant of Mary Tudor and daughter of Sir William Dormer; they were married in 1558 while he was embassador to England; they had a son Lorenzo in 1559; she lived till 1611; a painting of Juana by Antonio Moro is in the Prado];

?AHN, Military Orders, Expedientillos, N.216 [Expediente para la concesión del título de caballero de la orden de Santiago a Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, 1609: this is the duque de Feria Gómez Xuárez de Figueroa y Córdoba: “el dicho duque nació en Guadalajara y es hijo de don Lorenzo Suárez de Figueroa y Cordoba, duque de Feria y de la duquesa doña Ysabel de Mendoza, su muger; el dicho duque don Lorenzo nació en Malinas de los estados de Flandes y es hijo de don Gómez Suárez de Figueroa y Córdoba duque de Feria y de doña Juana Dormer duquesa de Feria su muger; la duquesa doña Ysabel de Mendoza, nació en Guadalajara y es hija de don Yñigo López Hurtado de Mendoza, marqués de Cenete, duque del Infantado, y de la duquesa Luyza Enríquez su muger; el dicho duque don Gómez Suárez de Figueroa y Córdoba, nació en Zafra];

?RAH: Diccionario Biográfico Español, Índice Alfabético de Personajes: www.rah.es:8888/ArchiDocWeb-RAH [Gómez Suárez de Figueroa y de Córdoba, Conde de Feria (IV), Duque de Feria (I), born in Zafra 1514, died in El Escorial, died Sept 7, 1571; Comendador de la Orden de Santiago, Consejero de Estado, Consejero de Guerra, Diplomático, Embajador, Gentilhombre de cámara, Gobernador del Milanesado, Noble, Grande de España, Militar, Político];

Diccionario enciclopédico Espasa [57:1427: Gómez: "Hombre de estado, español, quinto conde y primer duque de Feria. nacio en Badajoz en 1514 y murió en el Escorial el 7 de septiembre de 1571. Militar en su juventud, dejó el Ejército más tarde para entrar en la Administración civíl, en la que desempeño importantes cargos, tales como consejero de Estado y de Guerra. Fué también gentilhombre de cámara y estuvo en posesión de numerosos títulos y dignidades, concediendloe Felipe II, en recompensa á sus relevantes servicios, el de duque de Feria (1567)."; Cristóbal Suárez de Figueroa, "literato, español, nacio en Valladolid hacia el año 1571" connected with the Mendoza; another Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, grandson of the above Gómez, nacio en Badajoz en 1584, was the third duque de Feria; yet another Gómez Suárez de Figeroa, another grandson?, nacio en Guadalajara en 1587, was also duque de Feria; a Lorenzo Suárez de Figueroa, not a son of Gómez the future duque, nacio en Badajoz en 1526, segundo duque de Feria, 1556 enbajador en Roma, escribió Reglas de la milicia, escitas en italiano por antonio Comazzano y traducidas en versos endecasílabos en castellano por Suárez; p. 1428: another Lorenzo Suárez de Figueroa y Córdoba, hombre de estado, español, duque de Feria, nacio en Badajoz en 1559, son of Gómez];

?González Rodríguez, Historia de Badajoz  [p.246: in 1520 "Encabezó la rebelión [de comuneros] Lorenzo Suárez de Figueroa, segundo Conde de Feria...bayo cuya autoridad y prestigio muchos siguieron la causa comunera...."];

?AGS, Chancillería, Registro del sello de Corte, 149101,14 [Veinticuatría de Sevilla a favor de don Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, conde de Feria y del Consejo Real, por renunciación de don Juan de Guzmán. January 1491];

Relatives?:

?AGI, Contratación, 5220, N.1, R.84 [August 9, 1563; licencia de pasajero a Indias de Vasco Pérez de Figueroa, natural de Badajoz, hijo de Gómez Suárez de Figueroa (not the duque) y Constanza de Orellana, a Florida con Vázquez de Ayllón; a witness Alonso de Figueroa, vecino de Badajoz, says he has known Vasco for more than 24 years, almost since he was born; he also knows Gómez Suárez de Figueroa and doña Costanza de Orellana, his parents, and Vasco Pérez de Figueroa and his wife, his grandparents];

?AGI, Patronato, 167, N.8, R.1 [January 22, 1601, méritos y servicios del capitán Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, Nuevo Reino de Granada] [Gómez married to doña Isabel de Céspedes, granddaugher of capitan Juan de Céspedes, one of the first conquerors of Santa Marta and the Nuevo Reino de Granada] [too young for our guy];

?Keniston, Cobos [pp.:124, 138, 154, 191, 226, 309: a Gómez Suárez de Figueroa is mentioned as the aposentador of Carlos V in 1527; in 1533, 1536, 1540, and 1547 a man of that name (perhaps the same man) is Spanish ambassador to Genoa [a relative?];

?AGI, Indiferente General, 1962, L.5 [fols. 97r-97v: Pago al ejército de Italia, real cédula a Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, embajador en Génova, February 25, 1537];

?AGI, Indiferente General, 541, L.1 [fols. 61v-62r: Real cédula, a Alonso de Baeza...el embajador Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, November 16, 1537];

?AGI, Indiferente General, 427, L.31 [fols. 189v-190r: Real cédula...duque de Feria, virrey de Sicilia, November 13, 1602];

?AGI, Patronato, 182, R.32 [Sueldo a Nuño de Guzmán, 1569; Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, embajador de Génova, brother [heredero y subcesor] of Guzmán, claims his salary; in 1568 Gómez had already asked for certification of what was owed  to his brother, then dead; Julio Canova is secretario de Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, embajador por su magestad de la republica de genova; refers to a Juan de Torquemada, escribano, who without date certifies that Guzmán left Pánuco in 1529];

?AGI, Quito, 211, L.1 [fol. 347r: 21 Dec. 1577, cedula fromsu majestadgiving license to Rodrigo de Paz Maldonado to llevar to Quito 4 espadas, 4 dagas and 2 arcabuces; followed by Luis Suárez de Figueroa, who can llevar the same; followed by don Luis Maldonado de Aguilar, who can llevar the same];

?AGI, Patronato, 23, R.10 [Relación del viaje de Ruy López de Villalobos: Filipinas, 1542 [actually written between 1546 and 1549]; the fleet departed from el puerto de Juan Gallego on the día de todos santos, 1542 (thus, even people who completed the whole of the Coronado expedition could have sailed with Villalobos); día de los reyes, 1543, before reaching the Philippines the galera went down in a storm; then on January 23 they encountered natives who spoke Spanish; fols. 18v and 19r include a "Memoria de los castellanos que son vivos del armada de vuestra ilustrisima señoría;" on that list are don Alonso Manrique, Guido de Labozares, an Alonso Jiménez, a Diego López, a Juan Pérez, a Martín Sánchez, a Benavente, a Diego Sánchez de Cíbola, a Pero González, a Francisco de Simancas, a Lorenzo Suárez de Figueroa [brother of Gómez Suárez de Figueroa?] , a Juan Gómez, a Juan Gallego, a Juan Gutiérrez de la Caballería, a Tórres, Pedro Martín de la Bermeja, an Hernán Pérez, a Juan de Morales; latest date in document is in Lisbon August 1, 1548];

?AGN, Instituciones Coloniales, GD72, Real Audiencia, Mercedes, vol.3, exp. 278, 1550 [fols. 109v – 110r: July 1550: a Pedro Suárez de Figueroa, corregidor que fue en el pueblo de Talpalcatepeque, reports that the Indians of that pueblo owe tribute for the past year (brother or other relative?)];

?Escalante Alvarado, Relación del viaje [p. 150: Villalobos expedition, a Francisco de Simancas is listed; so is a Lorenzo Suárez de Figueroa];

?AGI, Indiferente General, 1398 [Diego Suárez de Figueroa, escribano de Camara de la Audiencia in Quito for 20+ years, before that 7 years in Granada];

?AGI, Patronato, 167, N.8, R.1 [Méritos y servicios: Gómez Suárez de Figueroa: January 22, 1610: capitán Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, vecino de la ciudad de Santa Fe, has served his majesty in Spain and the Indies for 25 years (too young, cannot be our man, but could he be a son?); conquista de los indios pijaos, which took 9 months; he took in his company 8 soldados; he is married to doña Isabel de Céspedes; all his claims of méritos trace back to his in-laws the Céspedes in the Nuevo Reino de Granada; asks for a government in Cartagena; witnesses called to answer the interrogatorio include don Francisco Maldonado de Mendoza, who has known Gómez Suárez more than 25 years];

?AGI, Patronato, 67, R.8 [Feb 1566, Mexico, Sancho Ortiz de Zuniga, son of Alonso Ortiz de Zuniga, Oct. 1544, Mexico, probanza of Alonso Ortiz de Zuniga, witness: Diego Hernández Nieto, vecino, has known Alonso a long time, more than 25 (<1519), was in Cuba when Alonso returned with news of the discovery of New Spain, went with Narváez; witness: Rui González, more than 35 (<1509); witness: Lorenzo Suárez, more than 25; May 1553, Mexico, witness: Francisco de Vargas, vecino, has known Alonso Ortiz de Zuniga for 40 years in these places (1513), more than 50 (<1503), was in Fernandina when Ortiz came from Tierra Firme, with Grijalva, native of Sevilla, signed (no signature on copy)]