>Los Angeles’ First Families

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>I’m not a historian, but I play one on my blog.  Genealogy is one of my hobbies.  Secretly, anyone researching family history also wants a connection to history in general.

My family has been a part of California history.  On this day in 1781, 11 families founded the City of Los Angeles.  Of course, back then it was known as El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles or simply El Pueblo de Los Angeles.

Legend has it that on September 4, 1781 The “Pobladores” walked from San Gabriel Mission to Los Angeles…a total of nine miles.  Each year, in commemoration of this event, the descendants of these people re-enact the walk to celebrate the founding of a city of almost 3.8 million people.

As much as I enjoy celebrating my ancestry, walking 9 miles in the California sun during Labor Day Weekend doesn’t sound like fun.

Either way, the man from whom I am descended, Jose Velasco y Lara,  has an interesting story and I’m not sure which is the truth.   I am from the offspring of his second wife.

Rumor has it that he either 1) was told that his first wife (who lived in Nayarit, New Spain) died when in fact it was her sister who had passed away.  Believing his wife dead, he remarried and moved to Alta California with his second family.  After living here for a few years, heard that the first wife was in fact, alive, and went back to Nayarit where he died… or

2) He just left his wife in New Spain  (for adventure, fortune or just because…) and moved on to have a second family and settle Alta California.  Supposedly, the guilt from this secret was too great for him to bear, so he confessed it to Father Junipero Serra who then ordered him to go back to his wife in Nayarit where he died.

The true story is lost to the sands of time.

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