I am researching my family name LEAL and as part of this research I searched the Spanish Archive of the Indies (Archivo General de Indias). This archive contains copies of the permits of all people who sailed legally from Spain to its overseas territories during colonial times (for more information on this subject, please refer to my message http://genforum.genealogy.com/leal/messages/377.html)http://genforum.genealogy.com/leal/messages/377.html). Whilst doing the research, I came across several permits of members of the family DE BARRIOS LEAL. Although I am not related to this LEAL branch, at least not as far as I know, I find their story interesting and so may others.
THE FAMILY DE BARRIOS LEAL FROM CADIZ The family DE BARRIOS LEAL seems to have been a family of merchants who lived and operated from Cadiz in South-Western Spain in the 17th century. I have found permits for four individuals who all seem to have been brothers of one another: Bernardo, Felipe, Ignacio and Jacinto. Their parents were Diego [DE] BARRIOS, sometimes referred to as captain, and Clemencia LEAL [Y VAQUEDANO], sometimes also referred to as Clemencia LEAL DE BARRIOS. Ignacio and Jacinto are definitely brothers as one of the records mentions this explicitly (in this record, their parents were listed as Diego DE BARRIOS and Clemencia LEAL DE BARRIOS).
THE FATHER – Diego DE BARRIOS I have found other references to Diego DE BARRIOS on the internet. One of these references mentions that he was the admiral of the ‘Flota de Indias’ or the Spanish treasure fleet. He built a grand house / palace which can still be seen in Cádiz today (http://www.infocadiz.com/Monumentos/Casa_Almirante.htm). The archive did not show any permits issued to Diego personally which is odd because as a captain and admiral of the fleet he will probably have needed permits to sail to the Americas.
THE BROTHERS All brothers with the exception of Ignacio made more than one trip to the Americas. The first trip was made by Ignacio and Jacinto in 1672. The last trip was made by Felipe in 1695. The records generally mention them as single / not married explicitly when they made their trips and the records have no information about spouses and or children.
Bernardo DE BARRIOS LEAL Bernardo made three trips (in 1681, 1684 and 1690) to “Tierra Firme”, that is roughly the coast of current day Panama, Colombia and Venezuela. The permit issued in 1681 mentions that Bernardo was a merchant.
Felipe DE BARRIOS LEAL Felipe made two trips: in 1690 to Tierra Firme and in 1696 to Nueva España, that is roughly current day Mexico. Bernardo also made a trip to Tierra Firme in 1690, but as their permits show different dates I do not know whether Bernardo and Felipe sailed together.
Ignacio DE BARRIOS LEAL Ignacio made one trip only: in 1672 he and his brother Jacinto sailed to Tierra Firme.
Jacinto DE BARRIOS LEAL Jacinto made two trips: in 1672 he and his brother Ignacio sailed to Tierra Firme.
In 1687 Jacinto – referred to as General Don Jacinto DE BARRIOS – sailed to Guatemala to become “Presidente de la Audiencia de Guatemala”, or the President of the Court of the Spanish Crown in Guatemala (a territory which I understand also consisted of current day Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and part of Mexico) which if I understand correctly made him the highest ranking official of Spain in Guatemala. There should undoubtedly be more historical information available about this individual. I found a reference to Jacinto on the following website (http://www.worldstatesmen.org/Guatemala.htm). It mentions that Jacinto had two terms as president: one from 1688 to 1691 and one from 1694 to 1695. The website refers to Jacinto as Jacinto DE BARRIOS Y LEAL. I did not find a permit for Jacinto for his second term as president.
DESCENDANTS OF THE BROTHERS I do not know whether any of the brothers settled in the Americas permanently, and, if they did, whether or not they started families of whom descendants continue to live in the area. As the brothers all seem to have been merchants primarily making multiple trips, I guess they did not settle in the Americas permanently as a rule.