Machín de Castañeda

Brief Biography

The work of fray Antonio de Tello in the 1650s mentioned that an Alonso de Castañeda died during the Tiguex War. We have no information on an Alonso but there was Machín de Castañeda listed on the 1540 muster for the Expedition as a well-equipped horseman. We believe that Tello was in error here, as he was in several other instances regarding the Expedition. Castañeda participated in the Guzmán conquest of Nueva Galicia in the 1530s and was accused of abusing Natives in 1537 in Culiacán. Machín's record goes cold after the muster, so it is conceivable that he was, in fact, killed at the Pueblo of Mojo. He possibly was born in the modern province of Vizcaya, but neither where nor when is known.

Country of Origin
Date of Death
Place of Birth (modern province/state/region)
Death Details Known?
Died on the Expedition?
Last Known Location
Pueblo of Mojo, NM
Position on Expedition

pre 1530:

AGI, Justicia, 337A, “Guzmán Residencia” [1537, fol.41r:witness says that Machín de Castañeda abused Indians; fol.48r: witness says Machín was a vecino of the villa (Culiacán) and was a conquistador and bellacose]


1540, Feb: Muster in Flint & Flint, Documents, Document 12 [4 horses, several pieces of head armor with beavers, chainmail vest, elk hide jacket, native arms]

Tello, Libro Segundo [424: Alonso de Castañeda, vizcaíno, died from wounds at Mojo]


?Himmerich, Encomenderos [Diego de Castañeda: wife-Elvira de Salcedo who married Jerónimo de Mercado de Sotomayor after 1550 & AGI, Pasajeros, L.2, E.2168, Bilbao; Rodrigo de Castañeda: w/Cortés, parents: Juan de Castañeda and Leonor Díaz de Zaballos, Valle de Carriedo:Santander; Alonso Verdejo: his widow married poblador Juan de Castañeda];

?AGI, México, 22 [1590, Alcaldes Mayores: Francisco de Castañeda, Xasso y Teremende];

Other Info:

?Luna Papers, Priestley, ed. [2:77: 1560, a Machín in Florida with Luna, signed?, in the company of Juan de Porras; (These documents show that Machin is an acceptable last and first name)]