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Status of the research -
Farfán de los Godos

Important Update - March 22, 2018

In this past week we have located Piura church records on microfilm from  One of the documents we found is a marriage certificate from December 16, 1698 between Joseph Velásquez de Tineo y María Tomasa García Saavedra.  The document can be viewed here.  It says that Joseph Velásquez de Tineo was illegitimate and that his mother was María de Saucedo, not Mariana Valladolid y Farfán de los Godos as we had him registered on the Farfán tree.  Therefore, it is clear that we the descendants of this marriage are not related to either the Farfán or Jofré families.

As our research continued, we discovered that during the same period in Piura, there was another man named Joseph Velásquez de Tineo who married Josefa Céspedes Velasco.  This Joseph was the legitimate son of Antonio Velásquez de Tineo y Tapia.  In other words, Antonio had two sons with the same name, a legitimate one with Mariana Valladolid, and an illegitimate one with María de Saucedo.  The confusion of the Seminario family genealogists is certainly understandable, but the lineage must be corrected.

If you would like to see the document in the source, where it can be seen more clearly among the entries in the original book, you can, when you see the document on our site, make note of the microfilm and image numbers, and then go to, click on the Search option, then the Catalog option, enter the film number, and then the image number.

I have decided to leave the original article below for the benefit of the descendants of the Jofré and Farfán de los Godos families who visit our site.


Though we do not have baptismal or marriage certificates, the information for the people in our Farfán tree is solid.  The online trees are in agreement, not only Seminario trees, but those of other families.  I have requested baptismal, marriage and death records for every person in our tree.

The only problem I found with the online trees is that some of them are confused by which wife belongs with each of the Farfanes.  There are three Gonzalos in sequence, and three Catalinas also, including the magnificent Catalina de Prado Canales y Jufré, a formidable woman, the royal land grantholder in Tumbes while her husband Gonzalo Jr. was the grantholder in Piura.  Some of trees mix up which Catalina was with which Gonzalo.  I think I have it right,  but I'll feel more secure when I  get the documents requested.

The Farfan de los Godos family, Farfanes in the plural form, are knights of great antiquity.  They were Christian Visigoths and very proud of their origins.   The family memory of their origins has survived since the 7th century.  It seems there is an unbreakable commandment passed from father to son:  Don't let anyone chop off your surname.  Up to the present day, even with the limits on the field size of computer files, most of the family continues to use the whole surname:  Farfán de los Godos.  "Godos" means Goths.

They are also a family of adventurers.  Some came to Cuba at the beginning of the 16th century, and two of them accompanied Cortez in his conquest of Mexico.  A descendant of the Mexican Farfanes, Marcos Farfán de los Godos, reached what is now the territory of the United States as an explorer in 1598, before the first English settlement.

They were warriors renowned for their bravery, the first to volunteer, always at the head of the charge.  An unfortunate hero in Cuzco, Lorenzo Farfán de los Godos, tried to start the war of independence from Spain in 1780, about 40 years before everyone else was ready, and he was executed.

Strangely, the Farfanes do not appear in the encyclopedia of the brothers García Carraffa.  But they do appear in a much more ancient chronicle of nobility, the Nobleza del Andaluzia of Gonzalo Argote de Molina, published in 1588.  Here is a quote from Book 2, Chapter 36, entitled "Nobility of the Christian Knights of Goth lineage who lived in the city of Toledo, in a time when the Moors were the lords of it":

From the time that King Rodrigo the last of the Goths lost Toledo, until King Alonso the Sixth got it back, during which 400 years passed, the Christian Goth Knights (who remained in that city) never left the Holy Faith, nor lost their nobility and knighthood by paying tribute to the Moorish Kings.  And no one would admire the greatness and constancy of the Spaniards, if they realized, that many years later (in the time of King Juan the First) the Knights Farfanes came from Africa to Castille, who so far from their Fatherland, and in such a strange Kingdom, conserved their nobility and Law, for a longer passage of time, suffering martyrdoms and tribulations with the enemies of the Christian Faith.

The family Farfán de los Godos returned from Morocco to Spain by virtue of the Privilege granted by King Juan I of Castille.  On a website of the Spanish Farfán family, the history of the Privilege is told in one endless sentence:

In memory of the Knights Farfanes de los Godos, whose surname derives from the Privilege conceded by King Don Juan I of Castille and activated by his son, King Don Enrique III, on March 20, 1394, since the first king died on the Site of Alcalá de Henares on Sunday, October 9, 1390, while he was witnessing an exhibition on horseback offered by the knights Farfanes,  Christians in service to the king of Morocco and descendants of Garci Gomez, knight descended from the Christians deported to Africa after the battle of Guadalete and who returned to Castille in the year 1390, as legitimate descendants of the Goths and thus says King Albohacen of Morocco in a letter directed to Don Juan I upon sending him the Farfanes that he had previously requested and of which a portion states:  There I send you those you asked for, those of your Law of great lineage, these are Knights Farfanes de los Godos, among the ancients of your Kingdom, they are reliable and brave and go recommended to the kingdoms that belong to your forefathers the great Gothic kings...

The battle of Guadalete took place in 711, so the family maintained its faith in foreign lands for almost 700 years, and gained the admiration of its enemies for its competence and valor.

One last story about the Farfanes:  Isabel Ramos Seminario begins her study of Seminario genealogy by telling a funny story.  On April 8, 1797, three prominent citizens of Piura wrote a letter to the Viceroy complaining about a family in Piura that had taken hold of the main posts in the Municipal Council and had locked up control of the city.  The family was the Seminarios and the letter was signed by Manuel Luis Farfán de los Godos.  The Farfanes could endure anything.  Nothing bothered them, except maybe a family who was even more ambitious and focused than they were.

I have been unable to find a detailed genealogy of the Farfanes for the 16th century so that I could connect Gonzalo Sr. to a recognized member of the Spanish noble family.  Without the genealogy, I wouldn't know with whom to connect him.  I have also been unable to find a baptismal certificate for Gonzalo Sr., or other record that would show who his parents were.

There is no doubt that the family is noble.  And the surname is so distinctive that it cannot be confused.  Nor is there doubt that Gonzalo Sr. accompanied Pizarro, was left in charge of San Miguel Tangarará, the first Spanish settlement in Peru, and received a royal land grant in the province of Piura.  These are the facts of Peruvian history.  The only thing lacking is some official recognition of Gonzalo's personal nobility, or at least that he descended from a noble family.

In a PARES document of the Archivo General de las Indias, the royal archive of transactions in the New World, I found a recognition of Gonzalo as a conqueror of Peru and as authorized to use a coat of arms specified in the original document, which is not available.  This confirms his nobility and removes any doubt that he may have been an impostor.

In an online history of Piura entitled Breve Historia de Piura, Reynaldo Moya Espinoza notes that Captain Gonzalo Farfán de los Godos received a land grant in the area of Paita and Catacaos in the province of Piura, a grant shared with Gaspar de Valladolid, his co-founder and co-administrator of Tangarará.  This was one of the original land grants distributed starting in 1532 by Francisco Pizarro.

Two Spanish history books note the existence of a nobleman named Gonzalo Farfán de los Godos who lived in Seville.  Upon his death in 1493, his widow Isabel de León, founded the Santa Isabel Convent for Nuns in Seville.  This Gonzalo is not the same as our Gonzalo Sr., who was born in Seville in 1487.  But again, due to the rarity of  the name, he was likely to be a close relative, perhaps even a father or grandfather.  One book even says that this Gonzalo descended from the Knights Farfanes who returrned from overseas about 80 years before.

Bob Bordier,
Written:  May 20, 2016  -  Last update:  March 22, 2018