The Armadas da Índia and Our Ancestors

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Pablo Edronkin

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During the XVI century the Portuguese began organizing the Armadas da Índia, which were large expeditions consisting of many ships that sailed together from Europe to Asia and India around the African continent; some members of our family did take part on those voyages, as well as some descendants who remained in Portugal anfter the Sampayo – Belmonte family moved to Amsterdam.

"When con men meet a legitimately honest man, they are so bewildered that they consider him a greater con man than themselves." - Proverb.

In the case of the expedition of Cabral, in which he discovered Brazil, aside from the fact that the Cabral family was related to the Sampayos (see The Age of Discovery and its Financiers), it is indicated that a ship with 150 men, commanded by Vasco de Ataíde disappeared without leaving any trace. The Ataíde family was related to the Sampayo family thorough names like de Castro[1.105], Menezes[1.106], Noronha[1.107], the House of Castilla[1.108] and the House of Bragança[1.104], among others.

Álvaro de Bragança[1.109], son of Fernando I de Bragança[1.104] is mentioned as the owner of one of the ships[84.3]. He was married to Felipa de Melo[1.110], who in turn, was the daughter of Isabel de Menezes[1.111]. The family name de Menezes is related to the Sampayos, as well as de Melo.

Duarte Pacheco Pereira[88] is mentioned as a passenger on that voyage; it is established that he was a descendant of Diogo Lopes Pacheco[1.112], so he was indeed related to the Sampayo – Belmonte family.

In 1501 the king determined that every year one armada will travel to India. Four ships departed on 15 March, and in the trip discovered the Ascension Island. According to the "Livro de Lisuarte de Abreu" Duarte Pacheco was one of the expeditionaries. According to the "Livro das Armadas" Duarte pachecho was substituted by Fernão Pacheco, and him, by Diogo Barbosa. Teresa Lacerda mentions Duarte Pacheco on this voyage as well[84.4].

Vasco da Gama, one of the most important explorers of the era is of course mentioned on the chronicles. His father's name was Estêvão da Gama, and his mother was Isabel Sodré, daughter of João Sodré, a.k.a. João de Resende[89.1]. The family name de Resende[1.112] is linked to the surnames Pimentel[1.113], Botelho[1.114], Portocarrero[1.116] and Ataíde[1.115], which are lined to the Sampayo Family.

On the second voyage of Vasco da Gama, João Lopes Perestrelo is mentioned. In the same year, 1502, Vicente Sodré is mentioned as captain, as well as Álvaro de Ataíde[84.5]. Their family names are linked to Sampayo. Vicente Sodré is mentioned again in command of a flotilla destined for war.

In 1503 Afonso de Albuquerque and Duarte Pacheco Pereira are mentioned again leading an armada.

In 1505 Francisco de Eca is mentioned as part of another armada[84.6]. This name is directly lined to the Sampayo family: Guiomar de Eca was the wife of Lopo Vaz de Sampayo[1.94], and mother of Dom Iago de Sampayo y Belmonte. Guiomar's mother was Maria de Melo[1.118], the same family name of Felipa de Melo[1.110], wife of Álvaro de Bragança[1.109]. This expedition included Fernando de Magallanes (Magellan)[84.6].

An armada of two ships is alos mentioned that year; one of the names is Pêro de Mendonça[84.7]. His surname is the same as that of the wife of King João II [1.7], Princess Ana de Mendonça[1.119], great grandmother of Ana de Lancastre[1.6], wife of Bartholomew de Sampayo y Belmonte[1.60].

These are but a few examples of the names that appear on the chronicles of the Armadas da Índia, which go on until the year 1657.


Departure from Lisbon for Brazil, the East Indies and America, engraving from c.1592 by Theodor de Bry.
Departure from Lisbon for Brazil, the East Indies and America, engraving from c.1592 by Theodor de Bry.
From Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia, public domain[90].



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