Monterey History “They Followed Serra” part 9

(by Gary Carlsen, from a column written for the MoCoGenSo Newsletter from 1997-1999)

RIO RITA

Climbing Rose is Deep Crimson Color

Like a breath form the scented gardens of old Monterey, the lovely crimson Rio Rita rose comes to you with a whisper from the pages of romance.

The only rose ever produced that blooms through the long summer, from frost to frost, and that bursts into blossom on the new years growth, it is fittingly named for the immortal Rio Rita, the Rose of Monterey.

It was on the American occupation of California in 1847 that an obscure young American lieutenant won the heart of Rio Rita, last of a proud Spanish line. Their love flourished secretly, for the daughter of the Dons was not encouraged in an affair with a plebeian Yankee.

During the short months they were together above the blue bay of Monterey they planted a rose whose scarlet blossoms would symbolize the passion of their love as long as it remained.

The dashing Yankee boy went east with his regiment, leaving behind him a promise of return and undying faith in the heart of the lovely Rio Rita

Years passed. Suitors came and went. Word was received that the young lieutenant was a great general with the Union forces in the civil war, but Rio Rita, become a legend of devotion, still tended the rose against the day of her lover’s return.

She lies buried today in the checkered shade above the blue Pacific and on her grave there grows a crimson rose which simple Spanish folks say blossoms perpetually.

The above article by A. J. Elmer appeared in the March 3 1935 San Francisco Examiner. Continue reading

Monterey History “They Followed Serra” part 8

(by Gary Carlsen, from a column written for the MoCoGenSo Newsletter from 1997-1999)

Researching Spanish families in early California can be difficult at best, but the following can be extremely helpful in locating your ancestors.

Once the ancestors family name is located a good staring point is Marie Northrup’s two volumes, Spanish-Mexican Families of Early California, 1769-1850. The families are listed alphabetically by last name, and includes known information on the spouse and children. In many cases the children’s families are also listed. She includes a brief description of military service, taken from Bancroft’s Pioneer Index, at the end of each family.

In addition to Northrup’s volumes Dorothy G Mutnik has put together five volumes, Some Alta California Pioneers and Descendants Division One and Two. Division One consists of three volumes and covers descendants of the Anza expeditions, while Division Two, which is two volumes covers the 1781 Expeditions to settle Los Angeles and establish the Santa Barbara Presidio. Her work was based on mission records, and the families are listed alphabetically by family name, then spouses name. She has included many notes and sites the location of the events occurring within the families. Continue reading

Monterey History “They Followed Serra” part 2

(by Gary Carlsen, from a column written for the MoCoGenSo Newsletter from 1997-1999).

About a mile south of Carmel, on the ocean side of Highway 1, lies a spectacular reserve known today as Point Lobos. This spectacular park was once a part of the Rancho San Jose’ Y Sur Chiquita which extended south to the Little Sur river, and was once owned by Francisco Marcelino Escobar, one of the areas pioneers.

Known by his middle name he was one of five children, born in Tepec Mexico, in 1794 to Francisco Escobar and Louisa Jordon. At age 15, as was the practice of Spanish military families, he joined the Spanish army, and saw his first action as a foot soldier in the Provincial Militia Infantry Regiment of Toluca. He fought with valor at Neuva Galicia, and was wounded in battle and tortured by the Indians. Decorated by General Jose de la Cruz, he was promoted to “Cabo”, and returned to Tepec to recover. Continue reading

Monterey History “They Followed Serra” part 1

(by Gary Carlsen, from a column written for the MoCoGenSo Newsletter from 1997-1999).

From Serra’s landing and first mass at Monterey in 1770, to Anza’s expedition in 1776, Mexico’s independence form Spain in 1822, the raising of the American flag at the Custom House in 1846, and the formation of Monterey County in 1850, much has been written about California’s early history, and it’s first capitol Monterey.

Many articles and books have been written about Juan Bautista Anza’s expedition for the settlement of Alta California in 1776, and most have credited him as leading the first expedition of settlers into Alta. Most readers are unaware that his expedition was really the third into Alta, following the first by Portola, and a little known second expedition two years earlier. Portola’s contained no women or children only soldiers, and craftsman to begin the establishment of the many presidio garrisons. Continue reading

Handouts for Free Learning

Dayna Jacobs had a busy week. She was the presenter at the MoCoGenSo monthly Zoom meeting last Thursday evening.  She also ran her weekly Granny Story Time with her grandkids by Zoom!  She just reads them a story and then lets them be silly with each other.

Dayna sent some pages Thursday evening to those who received the invitation to our video meeting in PDF form that had various pointers, web sites, etc.. The document includes addresses for FREE Webinars and Classes – live and archived; State Genealogy Society Webinars; Online Guides, Wikis, and Tutorials; and YouTube Channels. She has graciously agreed to let us post the document here for all of us to download. The links in the PDF file are live.

To download that file, CLICK HERE.


Monthly Meeting – October 1, 2020 – “Free Genealogy Classes, Webinars and Online Learning, Updated” by Dayna Jacobs, Accredited Genealogist® via Zoom

Dayna Jacobs began her genealogical career way before the internet was invented. She has actually worked with un-digitized microfilms! But she has kept up with the modern world. She is now an accredited genealogist, and has her own blog On Granny’s Trail. These days there are more ways to learn about genealogy than ever before—all from the comfort of your living room sofa or home office. Dayna will show you her favorite places to find free webinars and classes. You’ll have plenty of resources to keep you busy as you quarantine at home. This meeting should be helpful to all levels of genealogical “searchers”.

Dayna Jacobs, AG®, is a graduate of Brigham Young University, is a former Commissioner on the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogist, (ICAPGenSM), and she previously served as a Director on the board of the Utah Genealogical Association. She is accredited in the U.S. Mountain West States as well as the U.S. Southwest States regions. She has been researching, teaching and writing since 1988 and has been on staff at the Monterey, California Family History Center since 1988, where she serves as consultant and was formerly the staff trainer and Assistant Director. Dayna has presented classes at the Northwest Genealogy Conference, the BYU Genealogy Conference, the New England Regional Genealogy Conference, and Local genealogy society conferences and meetings. Services she provides: Investigative Genetic Genealogist, Archival Research, Lecturing, Record Analysis, and Report Writing. Geographic Specialties: U.S. Mountain West, U.S. Southwest, Mexico. Please refer: http://www.apgen.org/users/dayna-jacobs and http://www.linkedin.com/in/dayna-jacobs-ag/..

The Zoom meeting will start at 7:00 pm sharp. For security reasons, the meeting will be by invitation only. If you are not a member and wish to attend, send an email with your email address to our Membership VP, Marilyn Ruccello.

If you are not familiar with Zoom, click here.


” It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts!” – John Wooden


New Scandinavian Cooking

When AncestryDNA recently announced that they were updating their ethnicity tables, I got all excited. I really like Scandinavian food, especially their fish n potatoes, and I figured that now, finally, Ancestry would finally prove that I was descended from Vikings! I watch the PBS program New Scandinavian Cooking regularly and have figured that they were all my cousins.

Well, it didn’t turn out that way. Yes, the Scottish and Irish may have descended from the early Danes or Norwegians, but my DNA supposedly doesn’t prove that! Or does it have something to do with the fact that ethnicity data via DNA only reaches back about 500 years or less and my ancestors moved out of the Scandinavian areas before then ?

This new swipe at my ethnicity feels a bit more accurate, but alas, I still don’t feel satisfied. Perhaps I need to try to do percentages from my genealogical tree!

If you did the AncestryDNA test, be sure to check the new ethnicity estimates. You might be a bit surprised!


“It’s important to keep an open mind, in the absence of data.” – Elissa Epel


Item from group meeting today

At the DNA Discussion group today, I mentioned a bit about a phenotype study Parabon is doing.  I have decided it does not relate to the MoCoGenSo  charter, so I am not posting the information here.

But I did promise to provide the information to the DNA group.  If you are interested, you can see the information in my personal blog: CLICK HERE.

If you are not interested in this subject, just ignore this post.  Thanks
Jim Robeson

Geneanet . org

Today during the DNA Discussion meeting we were shown a genealogical site that I hadn’t seen before. Geneanet is a European based genealogy research service headquartered in France. Launched in 1996 specifically to help family historians search for and share relevant information, the website has had over a decade to accumulate submitted data and add that to its ever growing archive of records.

Basic services are free, and there is a fee based Premium service too. You can build your tree with Gedcom upload. And you can upload your DNA data files from other companies. They do not do DNA testing but they do matching!

If you are “into” genealogy and have European ancestry, this site is worth a look. Give it a once over, do some searching. Our demo today made the site look interesting.