(by Gary Carlsen, from a column written for the MoCoGenSo Newsletter from 1997-1999)
On the 21st of February 1775 the first white child born to Spanish parents on the new was frontier was baptized at Mission San Carlos de Monterey. Maria Josefa de la Luz Heredia was born at Monterey on the 13th of the same month to Jose Bernardo and Maria Nicolasa de Elsalde (Lisalde).
Recruited in Sinaloa by Captain Rivera, Jose and his wife had arrived at Monterey the previous November. Both parents were born and married in Sinaloa, and he enlisted in the Monterey Company settling in San Jose in 1791 where he became owner of the Rancho Chupadero in 1795. He served as Rigador at San Jose in 1803, and upon his death in 1805 he was buried at Monterey on the 6th of May. Maria Josefa is the only birth recorded to the couple and following Jose’s death Maria Nicolasa remarried Alejo Miranda on the 27th of April 1810 at Mission Santa Clara, where she died on the 28 March 1818, and was buried the next day.
On the 4th of May 1794 at Mission San Carlos de Monterey, at the age of 19 years, Maria Josefa married Juan Francisco Padilla a soldier of the San Diego Company and natural of Santa Ana, Antigua, Baja California. Juan was the son of Francisco Padillo and Juana Maria Rodriguez, and had served at San Diego since 1782.
On the 16th of April the following year their first child Maria Josefa de Gracia was baptized at Mission San Carlos de Monterey, and in 1811 married Nicholas Antonio Berryesa at the Mission Dolores. Their first son Jose Manuel Lugarda was baptized at Mission San Gabriel on 19 June 1797. He was buried at Santa Clara on 26 August 1838 never marrying.
Their next three children Jose Julian de la Cruz, Maria Damiana, and Maria Antonia Eusebia were born at Mission Santa Clara on 15 January 1799, 28 September 1800, and 12 August 1802. There is no record of Jose’s marriage or death, but Maria Damiana married Maximo Martinez, a soldier at San Francisco, at Santa Clara on 14 January 1816. Maria Antonia only lived five years and was buried at Mission Dolores on 21 December 1807.
The couples last three children were born at Mission Dolores in San Francisco. Maria Ygnacia Ines Anastacia was born on 22 January 1806, and married Josef Feliz at Mission San Carlos de Monterey on 12 February 1833. Antonio Vincente was born on 19 April 1808, and Mariano de la Cruz on 14 September 1810. Mariano married Maria Inocencia Naravez at Santa Clara on 8 November 1835.
Two years after the birth of their last child Juan Francisco was buried at Mission Dolores on 2 January 1812, and on 16 November 1843 Maria Josefa de la Luz Heredia was at the Mission Santa Clara.