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My father-in-law Cyrus E. Warden, Sr, MD made the statement, "We are related to Balboa, the discoverer of the Pacific Ocean" Vasco Nunez de Balboa d.1520 >>>> Zipporah Maria Caetana Nunez b. abt. 1644 >>>> Samuel Nunes 1668-1744 >>>> (Rodrigo) Lopes Joseph Nunez 1693 >>>> A.J. Nunes married 1791? >>>>>>> Joseph A. Nunes (1818-1904) b.Philadelphia, PA >>>>> Belle Shreve Nunez Warden b.1867>>>>> Cyrus Ely Warden 1906-1973

I now have some new clues to this family so if you are interested please make contactjmwwardn!

Vasco Nunez was “very tall and well built, clean limbed and strong, with the attractive bearing of a man of clear understanding, and capable of withstanding much hardship. He was fair, with reddish-golden hair and beard sinewy grace of movement and his persuasive trick of speech. It has been thought that Nunez was driven to enlist with Bastidas because of stepmother trouble. Vasco had a brother Alvar born 1499 and Vasco was born probably 1475. The mother may have extended childbearing years over a long period of time. Vasco was born in Estremadura (cradle of conquistadors) in the craggy, castled town of Jerez de los Caballeros. His father was Don Nuno Arias de Balboa and his mother a lady of Badajoz. They were patrician, catholic, racially pure and properly married. (a combination not too easily come by in 15th century Castile) Gonzalo, oldest brother, Vasco, Juan and Alvar. The family was originally Galician, had been rich and powerful. There was the blood of Gothic Kings and of the royal house of Leon; his immediate family was undeniably noble, but it was neither wealthy nor influential
February 18, 1501 Bastidas set out from Spain. They arrived in Hispaniola by 1504. At this place Vasco Nunez raised hogs and debts. His yellow dog, Leoncico was the worthy son of Becerillo, Ponce de Leon’s wonder dog
Balboa ruled in Darien, April 4, 1511 for three years. Balboa called “Tiba”, the great white chief by the Indians. Chima of Careta embraced the Christian faith, sealed alliance with Vasco and gave his daughter, Maria, to Balboa
September 25, 1513 Balboa set eyes on Pacific Ocean (South Sea) and his dog Leoncico wore a golden collar
Between January 13 and 21, 1519 the Governor’s commands were carried out for the execution. “no one believed that Nunez was guilty” Balboa appeared between his guards, “walking valorous and serene” The public crier went before crying “This is the sentence which the King our lord and Pedrarias his lieutenant in his name command he be executed on this man, as a traitor and a usurper of the lands subject to the royal Crown....” Vasco Nunez hearing this as they led him forth looked up and spoke: “It is a lie, and perfidy, to say that I was in rebellion.... Never has such a thing passed through my mind, nor did I think that such could be imagined of me. On the contrary I have ever desired to serve the King as a loyal vassal and to increase his dominions to the utmost of my capacity and strength.” He having confessed and partaken of communion and put his soul in order as well as the time and the event allowed, they cut off his head”

It was at the fiesta of Chima that our Captain went soft about a girl; a young espave (which in their tongue means a maid of noble rank); and she was the daughter of the cacique himself. She was a slender creature of great loveliness and fine spirit, and was ardently desired by many. But she cared only for Vasco Nunez; and indeed, in all patience and virtue has continued in that love unto this day. Lord Chima led forth his daughter dressed in much beauty, with bracelets of gold and necklaces of pearls and blue stones, that she might dance and sing for us. The dance where she imaged the slow opening of a flower. At the end of the dance, she came before Vasco Nunez…..”I drink your beauty, daughter of sorrows” The friars began to speak to the lord Chima of our Holy Faith, urging him to accept baptism. Vasco embraced the cacique with joyful tears in his eyes; and taking him by the hand, he led him to the church, his people and the Castilians following. There they were baptized. Chima was given the Christian name of Fernando in honor of our Sovereign; and his daughter was christened Maria after the Holy Virgin. To seal their pact, Don Fernando sent his daughter with her full consent and likeing to live with the Captain in his house. That same night she silently crossed his threshold; and with the mysterious contentment of her kind she merged her life with his. They had no need of words; they squandered none of time’s sands in the civilized game of conquest and surrender. She yielded herself. For her it was the supreme ritual of a woman’s life The priests of her people supplicated heaven for rain that it might impregnate the earth. They sacrificed to the maiz goddess that she might conceive in her golden womb a greater abundance. They sang to their God: “then art the dew of heaven; thou art the dew of the clouds.” Careta, the seat of the cacique Don Fernando Chima whose daughter Balboa had taken for a wife; September 1513… September 25, 1513…date of discovery our captain general knelt down on both knees upon the ground, then lifted up his arms, looking to heaven in the manner of a saint who sees a vision; “the sea! The sea!”
Balboa gave orders to gather together the materials of Acla and to depart at once for Las Balsas; At the very instant of his leavetaking, Maria, Balboa’s Indian wife daughter of Chima, came to him and after embracing him, asked; “My lord, you have not given me away?” “At no hand would I lose you, palomita. But I have much preoccupied with the ships” “Then you did not send that Captain to me?” “ Which Captain? Who came to you and what did he say to you?” “Captain Andres. He has said, Your lord is done with you, Cacica…..””Then I sent him away. I said Vasco is my lord forever. He was angry” Leonicico is dead. He die to the poison” A Castilian give him poison.” Botello, proceed alone into the village. Go secretly to my house. There you will find my woman, Maria. Tell her that I sent you, and give as truth of your mission the word ‘huimaca’ from her tongue. Learn from her tongue. Learn from her what passes in Antigua and whether Sosa has come. At the execution: Our great Captain and most noble Adelantado then embraced his Indian wife and saluted the Indians who mourned for him there. And he took leave of the companions, persuading them to unity, obedience and good faith. This done, he said in a loud voice; “Padre, commend my soul to God and my substance to Pedrarias, who watches secretly from that house” After that he knelt once more and in very quiet and reverent sort, laid his head upon the block and there ended his life

For more history of Vasco Nunez see


Something to think about ; was Rafael Nunez born September 28, 1825 and died Sept. 18, 1894, a Colombian politician, a descendant of Vasco Nunez? Panama, Cartagena and Rio de Janeiro, Columbia are all in the area where Vasco Nunez de Balboa was exploring and living until his death in 1520. West Indies and Jamaica are just across the Caribbean and so is Cuba. Rafael Nunez was in New York just before his death. Did he meet with our Joseph A. Nunez and siblings? Our own Joseph A. wanted to go to South America as an ambassador but was sent instead to Havana, Cuba

Coin from Panama in memory of Vasco Nunez de Balboa

  • nunez

  • josephanunes