Who was Columbus?
Spaniards call him Cristobal Colon, Italians Cristoforo Colombo, Catalans Cristofol Colom. Whatever his real name, the explorer who sailed the ocean blue to discover America in 1492 was either Catalan, Spanish or Portuguese depending on which rival historian you ask.
This is based mostly on an analysis of his signature. Since he never signed his name conventionally, the pseudonymous theory is reinforced, his name meaning in Latin "Bearer of Christ" (Christo ferens) "and of the Holy Spirit" (Columbus, dove in Latin). A book by Alfredo F. De Melo of Uruguay credits Dr. Manuel L. da Silva, MD., of Bristol, R.I., for a series of literary discoveries.
Dr. da Silva and his wife, Silvia, went to the Vatican in July 1994 to investigate the papal bulls relating to the New World discoveries. They made some discoveries supporting the theory that Columbus was Portuguese. They found two papal bulls dated May 4, 1493, written in Latin by Pop Alexander V1 referring to the discoveries of the Western Hemisphere by Crisrofom Colon. Dr da Silva points out that the name is written in Portuguese and not Spanish (Cristobal Colon), is not written in Latin like the rest of the manuscript (Christopher Columbus), and is not written in Italian (Cristoforo Colombo.) Dr da Silva added, "Cristofom does not have the "h", and the till over the o is used only in the Portuguese language."
Dr. da Silva in his "Columbus was 100 Percent Portuguese" cites Barreto's genealogical research tracing Columbus' true name to Salvador Fernandes Zarco, "Son of Dom Fernando, First Duke of Beja, who had a love affair with Isabel Goncalves Zarco, daughter of Joao Goncalves Zarco, discoverer of Porto Santo and Madeira. The Zarcos were Portuguese Jews who came from the city of Tomar. The Duke of Beja was also Duke Viseu and Governor of the order of Christ, and son of King D. Duarte,"
"In those days when a girl became pregnant out of wedlock, she was usually secreted away to another locality to give birth to her illegitimate child. This is the reason why Salvador Fernandes Zarco was born in Cuba, a town eight miles north of Beja. According to this research, Zarco (Columbus) was the first cousin of King John 11, half-brother of Queen Dona Leonor, half-brother of King Manuel 1, and grandnephew of Prince Henry the Navigator.
This theory then goes on to assert that Columbus was placed in Spain as an agent of the Portuguese crown "By 1485 Salvador Fernandes Zarco was 37 and by the order of the king he changed his name to Cristofom Colon and departed to Spain." "Because his mission was to obtain official sponsorship of the Spanish Crown in conformity with the scheme of the astute King John 11"