Francisco de Caravajal

Brief Biography

While serving as an unassigned horseman Francisco de Caravajal died in the Tiguex War, thus curtailing his documentary record. In 1547 Catalina Guillén in her request for financial aid says that her husband, Francisco de Caravajal, was dead without mentioning where or when this happened. She is the one who provides his parentage, place of birth, the year he arrived in New Spain, and the number of children he had. Because she states that Francisco's parents were Baltasar de Mendoza and Leonor de la Cerda, we are highly confident that he is the man on the Expedition. Viceroy Mendoza would have been a relative of Francisco and it might explain why Francisco was given a salary just prior to the Expedition's departure. If this logic holds then he was born in Cáceres (in the modern province of Cáceres) and arrived in New Spain around 1530. He had two children, one legitimate son and one natural daughter. The historian fray Antonio de Tello stated in the 1650s that Francisco was the brother of Hernando de Trejo, the lieutenant governor of Chiametla.

Country of Origin
Place of Birth (City/Town)
Date of Death
Place of Birth (modern province/state/region)
Death Details Known?
Died on the Expedition?
Last Known Location
Tiguex Province (modern Albuquerque, NM)
European Social Status
Position on Expedition
Within Viceroy Mendoza's Sphere
Pre-Expedition Occupation
Residence After Expedition
Mexico City
Name of Spouse
?Catalina Guillén
Name of Children
?Catalina de Caravajal
?father:Baltasar de Mendoza; ?mother: Leonor de la Çerda; ?relative:Hernando de Trejo


Roskamp, Los Códices de Cutzio y Huetamo [p.104: corregidor of Asuchitlan];  

AGI, Justicia, 258, pieza 1, “Relacion de los salarios” [fol.799r: Nov. 1539, a francisco de CarVajal...Lxx pesos]


AGI, Justicia, 258, pieza 1, “Visita hecha al Virrey, 1544” [fol. 754r: a Francisco de Caravajal was corregidor of the pueblo de Molango (Hidalgo) 21 July 1538 and renewed 9 Sept. 1539 with a salary of 200 pesos/yr] [fol. 777r: a Francisco de Caravajal was corregidor of the pueblo de Atoyaque (Oaxaca) and its district 20 Aug. 1535 and 4 Dec. 1536 with a salary of 300 pesos/yr]

1540, Feb: Muster in Flint & Flint, Documents, Document 12 [2 horses, native arms]

AGI, México, 1064, L.1\1\, “Informes,” = Boyd-Bowman, Indice geobiográfico, II:2714 = Icaza, Diccionario, #1101 [fol.242v:Catalina Guillén; native of Xérez de la Frontera; daughter of Francisco Guillen and Isabel de Villa Viçençio; wife of Francisco de Caravajal, son of Baltasar de Mendoza and Leonor de la Çerda (written over), vecinos of Cáceres; her husband was in Nueva España 17 years (came 1530); was a vecino of this city 14 years (1533); he died and left a legitimate son and a natural daughter ready for marriage; many debts (no mention of Vázquez de Coronado)];


Catálogo, Resumen e Índices [1567, Catalina de Caravajal -hija natural de Francisco de Caravajal, difunto- mujer legítima de Blas Ximénez, vecinos, otorga poder general a Blas Ximénez, su marido. Catalina de Caravajal no firmó, Blas Ximénez firmó. Testigos: Gabriel de Mata, Alonso de Paz y Nicolás de Morales Sarabia, vecinos]

Other Info:

Tello, Libro Segundo [424: hijodalgo, brother of Hernando de Trejo (lieutenant governor for Francisco de Ibarra in Chiametla), died from wounds at Tiguex];

Hillerkuss, Diccionario Biográfico, vol.1 [possibility: 1)1535-37, corregidor Provincia de Ávalos; 1536, selling Indian property in Zayula; 1538, corregidor of Molango, Hidalgo until Oct. 1540; possibly legitimate child of Baltasar de Mendoza and Leonor de la Cerda, vecinos of Cáceres; came in 1530; vecino of Mexico City for 14 years; married Catalina Guillén; 1 child; 1 natural child; died before 1547 leaving many debts, p.225];

Romero de Solís, Andariegos  [p.95]


Boyd-Bowman, Indice geobiográfico, II:2887 [Francisco de Trejo, son of Fernando de Trejo and Isabel González, came in 1535, in Santo Domingo 1520-35] [brother to Hernando de Trejo; reference: Icaza, Diccionario #1130];

Boyd-Bowman, Indice geobiográfico, I:955 [Hernando de Trejo, from Coria de Galisteo, came in 1513 = AGI, Pasajeros, L.1, E.1025, father is Fernando de Trejo, mother Isabel González];

?AGI, Pasajeros, L.2, E.2562 [April 28 1536, Isabel de Caravajal, daughter of Francisco de Caravajal and Isabel Hernández, native of Sevilla, to Nueva España];

?Icaza, Diccionario, #1130 [Francisco de Trejo, son of Hernando de Trejo and Isabel González from Coria] [nephew?];

?AGI, Indiferente General, 424, L.22 [fol.356r and 380v: Nov. 10, 1551, lawsuit by Francisco de Pardinas, for the goods of Francisco de Carvajal; Deductions: a Rafael de Trejo, parents vecinos of Plasencia, came in March 22, 1514; Robert Himmerich says his son was a Trejo Carvajal; this could connect the Tello information of his being related to Trejo; however, Catalina Guillén's statement that he is dead and had been in Nueva España since at least 1530 may connect him to Lerma and Cáceres] [Rafael's father Juan de Tor]