Hernando de la Cadena

Brief Biography

Hernando de la Cadena was born at least by 1512, making him at least 28 years old when he went on the Coronado Expedition. He was born in Medillín in the modern province of Badajoz to Lope de la Cadena and Elvira Núñez de Parada. He obtained a license for New Spain in February 1536, leaving his wife, two sons, and a daughter in Villanueva de la Serena, Spain. His brother Álvaro de la Cadena chose to head to La Florida instead. Because Hernando received a salary from Viceroy Mendoza prior to the Expedition's departure, there is every indication that he had some connection to the viceroy. Antonio de la Cadena was an alcalde ordinario in Mexico City at the time, so possibly Hernando was a relative. Hernando (an unassigned horseman) is listed as "Lope" during the muster of 1540, but that is clearly a scribal error. There was another expeditionary named Lope de la Cadena and possibly that is where the confusion arose, or from the fact that Hernando's father was Lope. It may even be possible that Hernando and Lope were brothers, or at least relatives. Historical records indicate that he could sign his name.

Title (Y/N)
Date of Birth
before 1512
Age Set
Country of Origin
Place of Birth (City/Town)
Place of Birth (modern province/state/region)
Died on the Expedition?
Last Known Location
Mexico City
Position on Expedition
Within Viceroy Mendoza's Sphere
Residence After Expedition
Mexico City
Name of Spouse
left in Spain
Name of Children
left in Spain
Ability to sign name
father:Lope de la Cadena; mother: Elvira Núñez de Parada; brother: Álvaro de la Cadena; ?related to Lope de la Cadena


AGI, Pasajeros, L.2, E.2299 [Hernando de la Cadena, son of Lope de la Cadena y de Elvira Núñez, vecinos of Medellín, to Nueva España, February 23, 1536]

AGN, Instituciones Coloniales, GD61, Inquisición, Vol. 14, exp. 18, 1537 [fol.134: case against Blas de Monteroso for blasphemy, Mexico, 8 Oct 1537; witness: Hernando de la Cadena, more than 25 years old (signed the document), had known Blas since he was a muchacho, Blas is from Medellin];

AGI, Justicia, 258, pieza 1, “Relacion de los salarios” [fol.798v:Nov. 1539, a hernando de la Cadena...cL peso


1540, Feb: Muster in Flint & Flint, Documents, Document 12 [3 horses, native arms]

Actas de Cabildo, Tomo IV, 341 [May 11, 1543, vecindad];

González-Leal, Relación Secreta ~1544  [p. 73-78: long list of persons of mixed residence: includes an Hernando de la Cadena];

AGI, Justicia, 258, pieza 1, “Relacion de los salarios” [fol. 820v:a hernando de la cadena...May 23, 1545...cxxx pesos]

 AGI, Justicia, 1021, N.2, pieza 6 [Jan. 10, 1547: witness: de la Cadena, native of Medellín, estante in México, more than 30 years old] [could sign his name, no signature on copy] [says: el exército...fuesen a buscar mantas y pellones de pluma o cueros de vacas...porque se morian de frio muchos negros] [he was one of the persons who went from pueblo to pueblo rogando a los naturales [with López de Cardenas?]...andando de casa en casa...Alonso Saavedra wanted an old manta lying on the floor, but the Indians struck him with sticks... maltratamiento de los Españoles] [estando en el pueblo de Arenal puesto cerco sobre el...muerto y herido muchos españoles... pusieron fuego en el] [after a meeting of the captains and men López agreed to punish some of the Indians] [says that some of the principales of the land were put in López’s tent as captives; they rose up and the Spaniards fought with them; López was not there (possibly he was with Melgosa or Diego López)];

AGI, México, 1064, L.1\1\, “Informes” =Boyd-Bowman, Indice geobiográfico, II:1475 = Icaza, Diccionario, #1297 [fol.270r: native of Medellin in Estremadura; son of Lope de la Cadena and Elvira Martínez [sic] (Núñez) de Parada; came to Nueva España in 1536; married in Villanueva de la Serena where he has a wife, 2 sons and 1 daughter; intends to remain in this land and to send for them; went to Cíbola where he spent alot; is poor and in debt; has presented a cedula from His Majesty in order to be given a corregimiento]

AGI, Pasajeros, L.2, E.4164 [Feb 14, 1538 Álvaro de la Cadena, son of Lope de la Cadena and Elvira Núñez de la Parada, vecinos of Medillin to Florida]


?AGI, Pasajeros, L.4, E.313, [Jan 13, 1560, Hernán López de la Cadena, native of Alcalá de Henares, son of Hernando de la Cadena and Mencía López to Nueva España, as criado to Lope de Mendoza];

?AGI, Pasajeros, L.4, E.323 [Jan 13, 1560, Lope de Mendoza, vecino of Alcala de Henares, son of Hernando de la Cadena and doña Martína, to Nueva España];