San Mateo County Genealogical Society's Blog featuring society events, projects, meeting notes and other items of relevance to genealogists.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

SMC Families: Guerrero

Francisco Guerrero y Palomares 

Born in 1811 in Tepic, Mexico(1), Francisco came north in 1934 as part of a colonizing party that rode from Mexico to Mission Dolores.(2)  Perhaps he was attracted by the promise that he would be able to obtain a piece of mission land by filing a claim with the governor in Monterey citing his military service.  To receive that grant he would be required to draw a diseno (sketch map) of the land he wanted and build an adobe on the granted land.(2)  Over the years Francisco accepted various appointments to office in Yerba Buena including serving as alcade in 1836 and again from 1839-1841.(3)    

On 16 Oct1839 the Governor "ad interim," Manuel Jimeno, granted Francisco 7766 acres [one square league] along the Pacific Ocean with Montara Mountain to the north, the first ridge of the coastal range to the east and El Arroyo de en Medio [in the middle, the place where cattle were rounded up for the annual rodeo] to the south. This grant was approved by the Departmental Assembly on May 22, 1840. Additional land was granted on 1 May 1844 by Governor Manuel Micheltorena and approved by the assembly 12 Jul 1845.  This stretch of land near Pillar Point was called El Corral de Tierra.  The name perhaps reflected the way the hills seemed to encircle it to form a great natural corral of earth, or perhaps the fact that the point itself was used as a corral by simply fencing off its narrow neck."(5)   Only half of El Corral de Tierra was granted to Francisco, the other half went to Tibucio Vasquez.

Land Case File 49 - Josepfa Haro de Guerrero El Corral de Tierra (4) 

Francisco did not live on his land, his home was in San Francisco near Mission Dolores.(6) Even when many Mexican land grant holders fled San Francisco to live on their grants during the Mexican American War, Francisco and his family remained in San Francisco.

Francisco died on 13 Jul 1851 at the age of 40.  The cause of death was a fractured skull caused by being beaten with a slungshot (bag of shot) by Francis LeBras, a Frenchman.(7)  LeBras was acquitted perhaps on the urging of others who had feared the testimony of Guerrero regarding land grants. The attack was investigated by a Vigilante Committee and in newspapers.  A Coroner's inquest was held on the 14 thru 16 Jul 1851. The site of the murder was the corner of Twelfth and Mission streets. In 1906 the first station of the Ocean Shore Railroad connecting San Francisco to the old coastal lands of the Guerrero Rancho was constructed on the same site.

Today there are many reminders of Francisco on the land.  In the Mission District lies Guerrero Street,  On the coast,  land is still surveyed and recorded in the old land grant system of Corral de Tierra Palomares rather than in the township system used by the United States Land office in most states west of Ohio.

Francisco was buried in the Mission Dolores graveyard, across the street from the family home. His estate probated on 27 Oct 1879 in San Francisco. (8)

Athough the estate filed a claim for Francisco's San Mateo County Rancho, it wasn't until 1866 that the Guerrero claim to El Corral de Teirra was finally patented by the federal government. Patent Book One pg 471 records the patent which is given to Josefa DeH Guerrero et all.

As late as 1911 the Guerrero Adobe still stood, but an effort by Coastsiders and the Univesity Museum at Stanford fell short of the $300 needed to save it from being disassembeled for its timber by it's owners.  Today the Francisco Guerrero y Palomares claim has become part of the Golden Gate National Recreation area.

Francisco Guerrero and Maria Josefa Silvera De Haro (see De Haro) were married on 4 Sep 1841 at Mission Dolores (9) and had the following children
  • Agustin (Hipolito) Guerrero, born 13 Aug 1842 and died 7 Jan 1882.
  • Julian Emeterio Guerrero was born on 16 Feb 1844 and died 18 Mar 1844.
  • Nicolas Ramon Guerrero was born on 10 Aug 1846 and died in Jun 1848.
  • Victoriano William Guerrero, born abt 23 Dec 1848 and died 29 Aug 1928.
  • Francisco Macedonio Guerrero was born on 12 Sep 1851and died in Feb 1853.

For more information see

La Peninsula - Summer 2011 SMCHA

1.   Information provided by Julie Christy , e-mail 10/10/2000.
3.   Brown, John Henry, Reminiscences and Incidents of the Early Days of San Francisco. San Francisco (SF:  Mission        Journal Publishing Co., 1886.)
4.   United States. District Court (California : Northern District). Land case. 49,  [1837] UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library
5.   Stanger, Frank M, South From San Francisco: San Mateo County California Its History and Heritage (San Mateo County Historical Association 1963), pg 41.
7.   Alta California; San Francisco Chronicle, June 20, 1911 "Working to Save Historic Adobe, to prevent ruin of old Guerrero Home, fine specimen of Spanish Architecture can be had for $300."
8.   SM - Official Record Books.
9.   Information provided by Julie Christy  

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