My historical "street cred" is strong in California. My ancestors were among the first Spanish/Mexican settlers in my home state of California, so you may be able to understand both my interest and my quest to always "know more" since my "roots" are so deep in California history. Many of the following ancestors' sons also served at California Presidios, gained grants to rancho lands; many of their daughters married into the same or other Spanish/Californio families.
Many of these men had previously served as mission guards and soldiers at Mexican presidios. Life there was harsh and uncompromising as well as dangerous. Among their parents and grandparents were soldiers who had been killed by Apaches and other native tribe warriors. Others had died violently by attacks from snakes and mountain lions; thrown and/or dragged by their horses. They were frontiersmen and women, however, and did not retire to the relative safety of Mexico City or return back to "more civilized" Spain. I am proud and in awe of their determination, perserverance, and bravery, and their contribution to the history and heritage of California.
1769 The Portola-Serra Expedition
Jose Antonio Yorba [4th Great Grandfather], soldier with the Free Company of Volunteers of Catalonia under command of Teniente Pedro Fages
Jose Maria Verdugo [4th Great Grandfather], soldier with the troop of 40 under command of Capitán Fernando Xavier de Rivera y Moncada
Juan Osuna [6th Great Grandfather], recruited (with his family) for the Portola Expedition from the Presidio at Loreto, Baja California.
1775 The Anza Expedition
Juan Pablo Grijalva [5th Great Grandfather], soldier with the Anza Expedition
1781 The Rivera Expedition
Efigenio Ruiz [5th Great Grandfather], soldier recruited for the Rivera y Moncado Expedition (escorted pobladores to founding of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara)
Juan Hilario Bermudez [4th Great Grandfather], came with the Rivera “Los Pobladores” Expedition with step-father Juan Ignacio Valencia, mother Maria Rita Zamora (widow of Andres Bermudez), brother Juan de la Cruz Bermudez, 13. Juan Hilario was 11 years old.
Manuel Ygnacio Lugo [5th Great Grandfather], escorted los pobladores to settle in the newly established Presidios of Santa Barbara, Monterey and San Francisco, the Missions of San Buenaventura, Santa Barbara, San Carlos, Monterey, San Francisco and San Luis Obispo and others in Alta California.
1781 The Züñiga Expedition
Francisco Xavier Sepulveda [6th Great Grandfather], soldier recruited for the Züñiga Expedition