A small bilingual traveling exhibit on the de Anza Expedition of 1775-1776 was on view at the City Hall in downtown Oakland. Organized by the National Parks Service and the Peralta Hacienda Historical Park, it also included a film screening of “The Anza Expedition” and a panel discussion by representatives of the Oakland Black Cowboy Association, the Peralta Hacienda Historical Park and the Juan Bautista de Anza National History Trail part of the National Park Service.
The De Anza Expedition led 240 men, women and children over 1200 miles and was intended to populate and colonize Alta California and establish a supply route between Sonora to the San Francisco Bay. The settlers founded San Francisco and San Jose. The De Anza National Heritage Trail extends from Nogales on the U.S. Mexico border through Southern California, through the Coast region to San Francisco. Native people guided the expedition over their trade routes comprised of trails and landscapes they knew for centuries. Profound changes ensued.
Eventually, the establishment of the Mission system destabilized and destroyed Native ways of life in California. Settlers and Native people interacted and intermarried to create a unique California culture.
Of particular interest to readers interested in California genealogy and family history are the documents on the National Parks Service Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail website, which includes a 268-page Historic Resource study with a bibliography and an Ethnography of the settlers of San Francisco.
Some primary source documents (original journals) and other resources are on the Web de Anza site.
California Spanish Genealogy at SFgenealogy chronicles the story of the soldiers of the De Anza Expedition.
A free, 22-page downloadable supplement on impact of the expedition on Native peoples along the trail, Native People, the Anza Expedition, and the Settlement of California, was originally published in 2008.
Photographs and links courtesy of Ellen Fernandez-Sacco.
Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.