Juan Galeras

Brief Biography

Juan Galeras was possibly born in 1513 in Almendralejo (Badajoz). He obtained a license for travel to New Spain in 1535, leaving his wife behind. Just prior to the Expedition's departure for Tierra Nueva, Juan received a salary from Viceroy Mendoza, suggesting some type of favoritism. He was approximately twenty-seven years old when he went on the Expedition as an unassigned horseman. Upon his return from the north, Galeras lived in Mexico City for a few years then moved to Guadalajara. In 1556 he was banished from New Spain and for what crime is unknown. However, men living in New Spain were required to bring their wives from Spain (or elsewhere) upon the pain of expulsion. Perhaps that was Galeras's crime.

Title (Y/N)
Date of Birth
ca. 1513
Age Set
Country of Origin
Place of Birth (City/Town)
Place of Birth (modern province/state/region)
Died on the Expedition?
Last Known Location
European Social Status
Position on Expedition
Within Viceroy Mendoza's Sphere
Residence After Expedition
Mexico City, Guadalajara (Mexico), Spain
Ability to sign name


Boyd-Bowman, Indice geobiográfico, II:689 [native of Almendralejo, married in Spain, in Mexico 1535];

AGI, Justicia, 258, pieza 1, “Relación de los salarios” [ fol. 799v: Nov. 1539, a Johan galera...Lxx pesos]


1540,Feb: Muster in Flint & Flint, Documents, Document 12 [Juan Galeras, 3 horses, chain mail vest, beaver, native arms]

“Disposal of the Juan Jiménez Estate,” in Flint & Flint, Documents, Document [during expedition, Jiménez made loan to Galleas for 25 pesos];

Castañeda in Flint & Flint, Documents, Document 28 [fol. 49r: Juan Galeras, decended into the Grand Canyon with captain López de Cárdenas];

Obregón, Historia [p.18: Juan Galeas “vituoso soldado” appointed alguacil mayor and aposentador for the expedition by audiencia]

AGI, Justicia, 258, pieza 1, “Relación de los salarios”  [fol. 823v: a Johan gallas}...May 23, 1545...cxx pesos];

AGI, Justicia, 1021, N. 2, pieza 5, “Probanza de don García López de Cárdenas” [witness: México, end of 1547 and early 1548 (por parte)] [Gallas, estante in México, natural of Almendralejo, 30+ years old] [could sign his name, (no signature on copy)];

AGN, Instituciones Coloniales, GD72, Real Audiencia, Mercedes, vol.4, exp. s/n, 1556 [fol.344r: May 1556: Francisco Hernández has been ordered to transport to Veracruz prisoners who have been banished; one of those prisoners is a Juan Galeas, who has been married in Spain for about 16 years; (possibly because he won't bring his wife over)]


Melchior Pérez’s Petition for Preferment in Flint & Flint, Documents, Document 32 [p.540: Galeasso, Juan witness:1551; Juan Galeasso, a vecino of Guadalajara, about 40 years old, testified as a witness for Pérez] [on García López de Cárdenas’ order, Galeaso (alguacil mayor and billetting officer for the expedition) seized livestock from Pérez at Culiacán] [Galeasso could sign his name] [has known Pérez since 1541]

AGI, Justicia, 336, N.1 [1552: Juan Galeas, native of Almendralejo, estante in Compostela, more than 30 years old, is de parte witness in Compostela] [Galeas says he was aposentador and alguacil mayor of the expedition; could sign his name (no signature on copy)]

Other Info:

Logic for age: in 1551 he says about 40 (b. about 1511); in late 1547 or early 1548 he was over 30 (born before 1517 or 1518); in 1552 he says over 30 (but not 40?-b. 1512?)-so if born in 1511 would he have said over 40? in 1552; perhaps 1513 is a better guess-38 in 1551 and 39 in 1552;


?AHZ, Reservado, Real Hacienda, Alcabalas, Documento no.33  [fol. 16v: May 24, 1581, Llerena, a Pedro Galeras (son?), vecinos de las minas de Chalchihuites, pays 2,103 pesos alcabala for merchandise he sold during the last third of 1580; he signs]