Christopher Columbus
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Christopher Columbus Early Childhood

Here is information on Early Childhood of Christopher Columbus: Christopher Columbus was born in 1451, in Genoa, Italy to Dominico Colombo and Suzanna Fontanarossa. Columbus was their first child. Christopher was the oldest son of the couple. His real name was Christoforo Colombo.

Christopher Columbus Family Life


Christopher was born in a middle-class family and his father was a wool weaver. Columbus is believed to have been a tall, fair and red hair guy with a lean physique. Christopher studied at the University of Pavia. Here he studied Latin, geography, grammar and navigation. Columbus was a very religious person.

Christopher Columbus Early Childhood
Christopher Columbus

How did Christopher Columbus grow up?

At an early age, Christopher learnt weaving and would help his father at work. It is believed that Columbus sailed the seas at an early age of 14 years. He secured a job at the ship of a merchant. He remained at sea until 1476 but then the ship was attacked by pirates.

Christopher went on all the voyages he could and every time learnt something new. This was the first step for his ambitious mission of finding the Indies island. Columbus was also a curious learner and studied mathematics, cartography, astronomy and navigation.

During his early years at sea, Columbus was part of a crew led by Colonel Mozo and Francesco Colon. These were experienced sailors and relatives of Columbus. Sometime around 1461-1463, Columbus was the captain of ships in the Genoese navy.

Where did Christopher Columbus go to school?

Columbus was interested in navigation and travel from a tender age. Hence, although, he was mostly self-taught and trained himself by reading at home, Columbus went to Prince Henry’s School of Navigation.

christopher columbus timeline
Christopher Columbus timeline

Did Christopher Columbus have siblings?

Yes, Christopher Columbus had four siblings – Bartholomew Columbus, Giacomo Columbus, Biachinetta Columbus (sister) and Giovanni Pellegrino Columbus.

Christopher Columbus Sailor

Around 1473, Christopher was working as an apprentice in Genoa. In 1474, Columbus was a sailor on the ship which sailed to the Aegean Sea. In 1476, Christopher was sent to northern Europe as a part of an armed convoy from Genoa. In 1476, Christopher was sailing with Colonel Mozo in the Portuguese sea. Columbus was the captain of one of the ships which got involved in a battle with a Venetian vessel. Christopher’s ship sank and he reached Lisbon.

Christopher Columbus Sailor
Christopher Columbus Sailor

Once in Lisbon, he visited Bartholomew, his brother and stayed there for some time. Christopher married Filipa Perestrello, daughter of Bartholomeu Perestrello, an Italian noble, around 1477. In 1479, Filipa gave birth to a son and they named him Diego. It is believed that Filipa died around 1485.

For a while, Christopher drew maps and charts and made a living by selling them. He also continued going on expeditions.

Christopher Columbus Early Childhood Facts

Christopher learned many languages like Spanish and Portuguese while he was sailing at sea. He was interested in astronomy, geography and so read several books on these topics. With the help of these books, he understood a lot about the world. Around 1800’s Christopher was appointed as a master mariner by the Portuguese in the merchant service.

Between 1485-1487, Christopher met Dona Beatriz Enríquez, a young woman in Spain. They lived together for a while and in 1488, she gave birth to their illegitimate son, Fernando.

Christopher Columbus Early Childhood

In 1488, Christopher tried to persuade King John of Portugal to sanction funds for his expedition to find the Indies island. His proposal was however turned down. After moving to Spain Christopher tried convincing Queen Isabella to grant fund, men and ships to carry out his ambitious mission of finding the new sea route to reach the Indies.

Between 1485-1492, he made several efforts to convince Queen Isabella to give him aid. It was in 1492 that he was sanctioned the grant. However, Columbus had miscalculated the circumference of the earth and the ocean sizes. Hence, his voyage was sure to fail but he, fortunately, ran into the Americal territory.

It was a time when ships were mostly named after saints. Certain sailors, however, liked to keep quirky nicknames for their ships. Pinta was one such ship of Columbus, whose name means “prostitute”. The ship Santa Clara was adorably called Nino after its owner Juan Nino.

The third ship, Santa Maria, was also given a nickname – La Gallega after the Galicia province where it was built.

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