A few hundred years ago, the known physical world was a lot smaller. With the discovery of the 'new world' (and its gold deposits), many Europeans were emboldened to find out more about what was out there and wasted no time launching ships and staking claims. Here are many of the more successful.

Last Name

Sebastian de Ocampo

aka: Sebastián
a Spanish navigator and explorer. He is believed to have been the first navigator to have circumnavigated the island of Cuba, in 1508, and is also credited with the first European discovery of the Gulf of Mexico. Explored the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.
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Peter Skene Ogden

1790, Feb 121810s-1840s1854, Sep 27
a fur trader and a Canadian explorer of what is now British Columbia and the American West. Between 1824 and 1830 Ogden set out on a series of expeditions to explore the Snake River country.
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Alonso de Ojeda

a ruthless and cunning explorer who first sailed to the New World on Columbus’ second voyage in 1493. In Hispianola, he was sent on several reconnaissance missions. During one, he found large gold nuggets, which Columbus sent back to Spain as proof of the treasures waiting in the New World. On Columbus’ third voyage in 1498, Ojeda was with Columbus in th...
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Cross-listed in Governance

Juan de Onate

aka: Oñate
a Novohispanic Conquistador, explorer, and colonial governor of the Santa Fe de Nuevo México province in the Viceroyalty of New Spain. He led early Spanish expeditions to the Great Plains and Lower Colorado River Valley, encountering numerous indigenous tribes in their homelands there. Oñate founded settlements within the province and in the present day Am...
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Francisco de Orellana

1490/15111540-15421546, Nov
a Spanish explorer and conquistador. He completed the first known navigation of the entire length of the Amazon River, which initially was named "Rio de Orellana." He also founded the city of Guayaquil in what is now Ecuador. Explored South America and the Amazon River.
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Inigo Ortiz de Retes

aka: Íñigo Órtiz de Retes
1505 ca1538-1548unknown
a 16th-century Spanish maritime explorer, who navigated the northern coastline of the Pacific–Melanesian island of New Guinea, and is credited with bestowing the island's name ("Nueva Guinea"). Ortiz de Retez was later imprisoned by the Portuguese in the Malukus along with the remaining members of Villalobos' expedition.
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John Oxley

17841802-18281828, May 25
an explorer and surveyor of Australia in the early period of British colonisation. He served as Surveyor General of New South Wales and is perhaps best known for his two expeditions into the interior of New South Wales and his discovery of the Brisbane River in what is now the state of Queensland.
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