Searching for Christopher

They'll never tire of trying to find Columbus' hometown. So the NY Times' Amy Harmon tracks the story:

A Genoese Cristoforo Colombo almost certainly did exist. Archives record his birth and early life. But there is little to tie that man to the one who crossed the Atlantic in 1492. Snippets from Columbus's life point all around the southern European coast. He kept books in Catalan and his handwriting has, according to some, a Catalonian flair. He married a Portuguese noblewoman. He wrote in Castilian. He decorated his letters with a Hebrew cartouche.
Since it seems now that the best bet for deducing Columbus's true hometown is to look for a genetic match in places where he might have lived, hundreds of Spaniards, Italians, and even a few Frenchmen have happily swabbed their cheeks to supply cells for comparison.

Of course, national pride is at stake, so there will be no turning back. But here's the thing:

To make things even tougher, [Dr. Jose Lorente] has found that Catalonian Coloms and Genoese Colombos are so closely related it is hard to distinguish them with the standard Y-chromosome tests. So he is searching for more subtle differences that would allow him to link Columbus to a single lineage.

If they're all that closely related, well, one wonders what difference it makes? Then there are the people who think he was the bastard son of a Catalonian prince. I guess there would be no confusing that outcome!

Just don't tell me he's a Templar. That would be too much.