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Latest Update:  3 November 2015

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This page is for the exchange of genealogical information relevant to
early (pre 1848) Hispanic Californians 
(also called Californianos or Californios) and their descendants.
We will include both question and answers, for the benefit of all the cousins of the questioner.


Los Californianos does not guarantee the accuracy of any of the information appearing on this page. It was collected and submitted by a family history enthusiast just like you, and has not been verified. When you use this information, please realize that it is meant to be a research tool, not a source of completely error-free material. The genealogical information provided here should be a starting point from which you continue your research. Please take the necessary steps to verify all information before permanently adding it to your own collection of family information. La Tejedora


Pregunta 771 - 3 November 2015

My grandpa is Carlos Cota Serrano, son of Blas Cota who migrated to Tecate in the 1800s. Carlos Cota 
married Josefina Lopez Meza, daughter of Maria Francisca Meza Thing and Vicente Lopez. Their parents 
were Benito Meza Osana and Eulogia Thing Ruiz; their parents were Antonio Meza and Petra Osuna.  
They were from the San Diego region. I don't know their birth dates but they are also from the 1800s. Any information 
would be much appreciated. Thank you.  [Gerardo Garcia Cota (non-member)]


Pregunta 770 - 31 October 2015


I need some clarification for the name of a descent of Feliciana Arballo – the Vallejo family.  I am working on a book for the San Diego Natural History Museum that is being dedicated to Helen Vallejo Chamlee, who is a direct descendent of Felciana Arballo who was on the second Anza Expedition.  This is crazy, but we don’t really know if her maiden name was Helen Vallejo Witham or Helen Vallejo Chamlee. Her  name appears various ways as Helen Chamlee Witham and Helen Witham Chamlee. When I interviewed her in the 1970s, she was Helen Witham, assistant curator in the botany department at the museum.  Later she used the name Helen Vallejo Chamlee, which is the name that appears with many awards she received later in life.  I had though if we could find out what really is her maiden name, maybe we could figure it out. Can anyone provide some help here with all the history and genealogy work you do for Anza Expedition descendants?  Thanks!  [Diana Lindsay, Sunbelt Publications, 1256 Fayette Street, El Cajon, CA 92020]


Pregunta 769 - 31 October 2015

Buenos días, 
I’m an independent author based in Pasadena, and have been developing a new book project about the French-born corsair Hippolyte Bouchard (1780-1837), and his attacks on the Spanish authorities in Alta California nearly 200 years ago—including the raising of the Argentine flag over Monterey.  This amazing true story, when it is remembered at all, is often simply portrayed as “pirates” raiding for plunder—when Bouchard was actually a licensed privateer in the South American wars of independence.  In that sense, the whole fascinating episode represents a rare connection between California’s past and the larger story of the pan-American struggles for separation from European empires.  Given the connections to Latin American history, from here to the Southern Cone, I’ve been reaching out to people and organizations with direct connections to the story.  Among the Californianos, I’m sure there are a range of opinions regarding the whole saga of Bouchard, and there are many interesting tangents such as the case of Joseph Chapman, the first U.S.-born and English-speaking resident of Los Angeles County, previously a crew member of Bouchard’s ships before being captured by the Spanish, and who became a Mexican citizen, intermarrying and using his construction skills to assist several Missions and even La Placita church in the Plaza of Los Angeles. 
 I would certainly be interested if anyone among the descendants of Joseph Chapman and Gaudalupe Ortega y Sánchez had opinions regarding the Bouchard story, if there was any family consensus on the matter passed down over time for example.   [Michael Melzer (non-member), Pasadena, Calif.]

Pregunta 768 - 17 August 2015


Pregunta - Felipe Santiago Tapia and his families.
This is the request from one of our members regarding the
Felipe Santiago Tapia family: "Hello.  I recently received copies of the Noticias.  I noticed on page 12 vol. 47 a mention about Felipe Santiago Tapia...... Juana Maria Cardenas is/was his 2nd wife , his 1st wife  is/was Juana Maria Hernandez (same given names) hence the confusion.  MARIA  Antonia Tapia is my 4x great grand mother. Hope this helps clear things up.   Mary R  #805"

In answer to Editor Rory Franco's request for documented research I submitted the marriages of those children listed as the family of
Felipe Santiago Tapia. Unfortunately, due to space restraints in the October 2015 Noticias my findings were deleted. Please see the Repuesta to this Pregunta for full details. If you have questions please feel free to contact me at sarh.lopez@gmail.com.  [Sheila Ruiz Harrell (member), Modesto, Calif.]

Respuesta a Pregunta 768 - 17 August 2015

Repuesta - Felipe Santiago Tapia and his families.

For all of you descendants of
Felipe Santiago Tapia here is what I found, and please note that all names and locations are spelled exactly as they are in the transcriptions of the original entries at ECPP. See the sources listed at the end of this repuesta.

María Rosa Tapia, daughter of Felipe Santiago Tapia, age 13 at the time of her father's recruitment on April 5, 1775 for the Anza Expedition, married Sebastian Lopez at Mission Santa Clara on 11 Apr 1780, Entry #18. She is identified as a "Donzella" being from the "San Joseph jurisdicion de la Villa de Culluacan" Her parents are identified as Phelipe Santiago Tapia and Juana María Hernandez (difunta). [SCL Marriages 00018 ECPP]

María Antonia Tapia, daughter of Felipe Santiago Tapia, age 12 at the time of her father's recruitment on April 5, 1775 for the Anza Expedition, married Joseph Antonio Buelna at Mission San Carlos on 26 May 1776, Entry #82. The Groom, Bride, and Bride's parents are all identified as being originally from Villa de Cynaloa. The Bride's parents are identified as Phelipe Santiago Tapia and Juana María Hernandez (difunta). [SC Marriages 00082 ECPP]

osé Bartolomé Tapia, son of Felipe Santiago Tapia, age 11 at the time of his father's recruitment on April 5, 1775 for the Anza Expedition, married María Francisca Maurisia Lobo at Mission San Buenaventura on 24 Nov 1785, Entry #28. His parents are identified as Felipe Santiago Tapia and María Filomena Hernandes (difunta) both of Villa de Culiacan. [SBV Marriages 00028 ECPP]

Juan José Tapia, son of Felipe Santiago Tapia, age 9 at the time of his father's recruitment on April 5, 1775 for the Anza Expedition, living at Monterey 1790, mulato, from Culiacán, 26, single. Nothing further known about this Juan José Tapia.

José Cristóbal Tapia, son of Felipe Santiago Tapia, age 8 at the time of his father's recruitment on April 5, 1775 for the Anza Expedition. Nothing further known about this José Cristóbal Tapia.

José Francisco Tapia, son of Felipe Santiago Tapia, age 7 at the time of his father's recruitment on April 5, 1775 for the Anza Expedition, married María de Jesus of Pueblo de Nutka at Mission San Carlos on 03 May 1796, Entry #529. His parents are identified as Felipe de Tapia and Juana María [...]mana with the notation that the Groom's mother's name is difficult to read by ECPP. [SC Marriages 00529 ECPP]

María Manuela Tapia, daughter of Felipe Santiago Tapia, age 6 at the time of her father's recruitment on April 5, 1775 for the Anza Expedition, married Juan María Pinto at Mission Santa Clara on 21 Nov 1781, Entry #56. She is identified as being from Villa de Culiacan and her parents are identified as Phelipe Santiago Tapia and María Filomena (difunta) [SC Marriages 00056 ECPP]

Maria Ysidora Tapia, daughter of Felipe Santiago Tapia, age 5 at the time of her father's recruitment on April 5, 1775 for the Anza Expedition, married Marcos Briones at Mission San Carlos on 27 Sep 1784, Entry #263. She is identified as age "poco mas de 13 años" from Villa de Culluacan" Her parents are identified as Phelipe Tapia and María Philomena Hernandez (difunta). [SC Marriages 00263 ECPP]

Census of 1790:A Demographic History of Colonial California, William Marvin Mason. Ballena Press, 1998.
The ECPP, The Huntington Library, Early California Population Project Database, 2006

Hopefully this information clears up any issues regarding the parents of the children listed with
Felipe Santiago Tapia and his wife Juana María Cárdenas of the Second Anza Expedition 1775-76.

Feel free to contact me at sarh.lopez@gmail.com but also post your comments here for everyone to read.  [Sheila Ruiz Harrell (member), Modesto, Calif.]

Pregunta 767 - 14 August 2015


I’m writing a book on the Californios and do understand the severe economic and political problems they faced after the U.S.-Mexican War.  What I need to know now is what the Californios (especially the major families) did, and where they lived, in the second half of the 19th century.  Any suggestions?  Best, [Hunt Janin (non-member), St. Urcisse, France]


Pregunta 766 - 20 June 2015


My recent mitochondrial DNA results indicate that I have Flores, Valenzuela, and Montoya relatives. We do not know how we are related. Would appreciate any assistance in sorting out these families and how I am related to them. My paternal line is Ruiz, Tolano, Real, Gradillas, Vasquez; maternal line is Romero, Camacho, Vasquez, Garcia, Moreno, Marquez, Lopez, Briones, Tapia, Ramirez Thank you, [Lorraine Ruiz Frain, Member, Mountain View, Calif. 94040]


Pregunta 765 - 26 May 2015


Jose Vibiano Torrez is my second great grandfather on the paternal side.  I am trying to find information on his parents' and siblings' names and places of birth in New Mexico. Is there any information out there on that?  [Linda Mazon Guitierrez (non-member), Tucson AZ]


Pregunta 764 - 19 May 2015


This NEW Pregunta is in reference to existing Pregunta 104 of 18 November 2002:

I am an Argentinean. My great great grandmother, María Concepción Castro Peralta, was born in the San Francisco Bay area in 1835. I can’t afford a membership but I thought I could publish a query in your Web site. María's father was Guillermo Castro Garcia and her mother María Luisa Peralta Alviso. I am looking for more data about her ascendants and, if it is possible, some pictures. Thank you. [Ramiro Chaves Guevara (nonmember), Buenos Aires, Argentina]


Pregunta 763 - 15 December 2014


I am looking for information on Ignacio Soto and his daughter Leandra Soto who were in San Francisco.  Is there a family tree?  Leandra was born there in 1828. 

Thank you, [Patrick Orozco, non-member]


Pregunta 762 - 11 November 2014


I am looking for any history regarding Brigido Arce or Loreto Arce from La Purisima, Santa Rosalia, or Loreto.  The spouse's name was Maria Catalina Ruiz.  I am not sure of the birth years, but all of the individuals lived between 1900-2000.  Thank you.  [Albert Arce (non-member), Walnut, Calif.]

Respuesta a Pregunta 761 - 25 August 2015

According to ECPP marriage record SC 01167, Maria Josefa Soto married “Santiago Estoks

(James Stokes) 18 Dec 1844 at Mission San Carlos in Carmel. A note in the record says they

had “a child in 1852, years after their marriage.” The ECPP database has records for at least 9,

possibly 10, children of Stokes and Soto, beginning with a baptism in October 1840. Other

sources say there may have been as many as 11 children.


Maria Josefa Soto had been previously married (8 Nov 1828) to Gil Cano (d. 1839), with whom

she had at least 6 children. See ECPP marriage record SC 00974 and burial record SC 03012Y.

The number of children is based on a search of ECPP baptismal records.


The ECPP marriage record SC 01167 contains no information about the groom’s ancestry.

There is a great deal of information about “Dr.” James Stokes of Monterey available online and

in print. He was a colorful and controversial character.


The bride’s ECPP baptismal record is SAP 03820. The record shows she was born 16 Nov

1815 and baptized the next day. She was christened Maria Josefa de los Dolores Soto. Her

parents were Damaso Soto (1778-1827) and Maria Antonia de Jesus Albisu (1795- aft. 1835).

Both parents were born in Alta California and their baptismal records are in the ECPP database.

Other baptismal records in the ECPP suggest Maria Josefa Soto had at least 8 siblings. The

record shows her maternal grandmother Agustina Bojorques (aka Boxorges) witnessed the

baptism and was padrina. Agustina’s ECPP burial record SC 02179 says she and her husband

were both natives of Sonora.


The ECPP database is online at http://www.huntington.org/Information/ECPPmain.htm. Access

is free to all.  [John Ortega (member), La Crescenta, Calif.]


Pregunta 761 - 28 September 2014


James Stokes is my 7th great grandfather and I have lost most of our history info, since my father's passing.  Does anyone have a picture of James or Maria Stokes and their parents' information?  I believe James Stokes married the widow Maria Josepha Soto in 1844.  I am descended from their son William.  Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.  [Dayna Gough (non-member), Shasta Lake, Calif.]



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