(by Gary Carlsen, from a column written for the MoCoGenSo Newsletter from 1997-1999)
Prior to the arrival of Rivera with the first settlers to make the trip form Loreta to Monterey in 1774, four marriages took place at the Royal Presideo Chapel in Monterey, on the 20th of May 1773. Three of Pedro Fages’s 1769 Catalan Volunteers, and one sailor from San Blas all married local indian girls and began the first families of Monterey.
Domingo ARUZ was born about 1740 in Gerona, Cataluna, Spain to Jose ARUZ of Barcelona and Margarita MONTEGUDO of San Julian de Ramis, Spain. Maria Serafina (VERDUGO) was born about 1758 at Achasta Rancheria, Monterey, and was baptized 14 Feb 1773 at the Mission San Carlos de Monterey. Maria Serafina, India, took the name of her godfather, Mariano de la Luz VERDUGO. Four children were born prior to her death, and she was buried 9 Dec 1780 at Mission San Luis Obispo. All four children were born and baptized in Monterey. The first Francisco Joseph was born 17 Sep 1774 and baptized on the 19th. He was buried on 16 Mar 1784 at Mission Santa Barbara. Jose Antonio was born 5 Jul 1776, followed by Domingo Joseph Manuel on 14 Jun 1778, and Maria Antonia on 9 May 1780. On 12 Nov 1782 Domingo remarried Maria Gertrudis CASTELO at Mission San Buenaventura. One child, Martiano Joseph was born to this union on 2 Jul 1783, and he was buried in Santa Barbara on 17 Apr 1797, where the family had settled with two children. Domingo ARUZ was buried at Santa Barbara on 9 Feb 1815.
Manuel BUITRON (BUTRON) was born about 1727 at Molins, Valencia, Spain, the son of Jose Buitron and Josefa Ros. He married Margarita de Cortona, India, who was baptized at Monterey on 7 Jan 1773 at the age of 14 years. She assumed her surname DOMINGUEZ from her god father Juan DOMINGUEZ and was buried at Monterey 26 Jan 1815. Two sons Manuel Joseph and Sebastian Joseph were both born in Monterey. Manuel who was born on 8 Apr 1776, married Maria Ygnacia HIGUERA in Santa Clara on 30 Jan 1794, and the couple had 14 children. Sebastian, baptized 20 Jan 1779, married Maria Antonia AMESQUITA on 30 Dec 1807 at the Mission San Carlos de Monterey, and had 11 children. In 1775 Manuel BUITRON was grantee of one of the first Spanish grants in California. He settled in San Jose in 1786, and was buried in Monterey, 5 Jan 1793.
First mentioned on 19 Mar 1773 as a sailor from San Blas, Baja, California, Mexico, Tomas Maria CAMACHO, was born at La Magdalena, Jalisco, Mexico, the son of Christobal CAMACHO and Maria Eugencia de Jesus ARAMULA. H e left the service and became a servant at the Mission San Carlos de Monterey. He married Maria Tecia, India, who was born at Achasta Rancheria, Monterey. Two daughters were born in Monterey, Serafina Maria on 9 Sep 1774, and Maria Josefa Florentina on 15 Mar 1776. Maria Josefa Florentina married twice at Monterey, first to Jose Manuel HIGUERA on 29 Nov 1794, and second to Jose AMESQUITA on 5 Jul 1807. No children are listed for either marriage, and she was buried at Mission San Luis Obispo on 29 Oct 1815. Maria Tecia was buried at Monterey 0n 6 Jan 1779, and Tomas Maria at San Diego on 18 Sep 1881.
The fourth marriage was that of Antonio YORBA, born about 1746 at San Saturnino, Catalonia, Spain to Pablo YORBA and Rosa NIZONA, and Maria Gracia Feliz, India. Maria Gracia was born about 1753 at Tucunut Rancheria, Monterey, and was baptized at Monterey on 10 Apr 1773. She assumed the name FELIZ from her sponsor Claudio FELIZ and was buried at Monterey in 1781. Prior to her death the couple had three children born at Monterey. The first Pedro Antonio was born 4 Feb 1774 and buried 4 Dec 1780 at Monterey. Francisco Xavier was born 8 Nov 1776 and buried at Mission San Miguel in Baja where he drowned. Diego Maria was born 13 Nov 1780 and was buried at San Diego on 28 Feb 1806. On 3 Nov 1782 Antonio married Maria Josefa GRIJALVA, who came to Alta, with her parents, Juan Pablo and Maria Dolores VALENCIA in the ANZA expedition. This marriage produced 14 more children between 1785 and 1810, of which nine married. One of the original Catalan Volunteers, Antonio YORBA, served as Corporal of the Monterey Company in 1782; of the San Diego Company 1789, and retired as invalido sergent in 1797. He was grantee of Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana 1809-1810. He died on 16 Jan 1825 and was buried on the 18th at Mission San Juan Capistrano.