Antonio de Berrío Served as Governor of Trinidad from 1580 - 1597. His son Fernando de Berrío followed in his footsteps and served during the periods 1597 - 1612 and 1619 - 1622.
San José de Oruña, the town of St. Joseph, was established one hundred years after Christopher Columbus came to the shores of Trinidad in 1492. St. Joseph was the first capital of the island and was founded by Don Antonio de Berrio y Oruña who had inherited a Royal Charter to explore the mythical city of gold, El Dorado, for Spain in 1580. After his failed attempts to discover El Dorado, Don Antonio de Berrio y Oruña had decided to establish his base in St. Joseph because it was close to the South American mainland which may have contained the precious metal.
Don Antonio de Berrio y Oruña, who was made governor by the Spanish Court, sent his second-in-command, Domingo de Vera, to establish a good site for a town. Reputedly, an Arawak chief, Goangoanare, gave de Vera land in the St. Joseph area to settle on. During de Vera's tenure, he began the development of the area by the construction of a plaza or square, the Casa Real or Government's House, the Cabildo or Town Hall, a church and a prison.
The city of St. Joseph failed to stand tall for a brief period in its history as it was set on fire by Sir Walter Raleigh, who had done so to avenge the betrayal of “eight of Captain Whiddo's men” by de Barrio. The city was later rebuilt by Fernando de Berrio, son of Don Antonio de Berrio in 1597 and burnt down again in 1649 during a Dutch raid. However, this did not stop the redevelopment of the area which continued to attract visitors and future residents.
Fernando de Berrio is the ancestor of the all the Fernandos here in Trinidad & Tobago. Information from my deceased grandmother says that his wife was a Carib Indian woman with long blond wavy hair.