Los Pobladores: Founding Families of El Pueblo

Settling 1.6 miles away from Azusa Street to found present-day Los Angeles, the eleven families that established El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles were:

José Vanegas came from Real de Bolaños, Jalisco, and his wife, Maria Máxima Aguilar came from Rosario, Sinaloa. In 1788 José Vanegas became the first alcalde (mayor) of Los Angeles and served until 1789. He served a second term in 1796. He later became mayordomo (foreman) of Mission San Luis Rey. Their infant son, Cosme, owned Carpinteria Rancho in 1833. As alcalde, he served as both mayor and judge.

Luis Quíntero came from Guadalajara, Jalisco, and his wife, Petra Rubio came from Alamos, Sonora. The Quíntero family moved to Santa Barbara, where their daughters lived and were married to soldiers of the presidio. Luís Quíntero was the tailor for Santa Barbara for many years.

Pablo Rodríguez came from Real de Santa Rosa, Jalisco, and his wife, María Rosalía Noriega came from Rosario, Sinaloa. The family moved to San Luis Rey and San Diego in 1796 as Pablo Rodríguez became the mayordomo (foreman) of these missions.

Antonio Mesa came from Alamos, Sonora as did his wife, Gertrudis Lopez. Dissatisfied with farming life in Los Angeles, the Mesa family requested a return to their home in Alamos where Antonio Mesa worked in the silver mines.

José Antonio Navarro came from Rosario, Sinaloa, as did his wife, Regina Dorotea Soto. Although Navarro was transferred to Monterey and San Francisco for bad conduct, some of his children remained in the pueblo.

Basílio Rosas came from Nombre de Díos, Durango, and his wife Manuela Hernandez came from Rosario, Sinaloa. At age 62, Rosas was the eldest of the pobladores. The Rosas family brought seven children with them. Two sons, Carlos and Máximo, married Indian women from nearby Gabrielino villages.

Alejandro Rosas, son of Basilio Rosas and Manuela Hernandez, married Juana Rodriguez at San Blas, Sinaloa while on route to Los Angeles. Juana Rodriguez died in 1788, and Alejandro Rosas followed her a month later, in 1789. The grandparents, Basilio and Manuela Rosas cared for their two children.

Manuel Camero came from Acaponeta, Nayarit, and Tomasa García came from Rosario, Sinaloa. The Cameros were childless, but later adopted two Indian orphans from Los Angeles. Manuel Camero died in 1819, while Tomasa García survived until 1844.

Feliz Villavicencio was from the city of Chihuahua, and his wife, María de los Santos Flores was from Batopilas, Chihuahua. The family moved to Santa Barbara in 1797, where their adopted daughter, Josefa Peñuelas, had married a soldier.

José de Velasco Lara came from Cádiz, Spain, and his wife, María Antonia Campos came from Cosala, Sinaloa. As one of the three families who requested release from the pueblo of Los Angeles, Lara became mayordomo (foreman) for San Antonio Mission. Lara was sent back to central Mexico to his first wife, however, when it was discovered that she was still alive. María Antonia Campos later married a soldier, Luis Lugo. Several children surnamed Lara later lived in Santa Barbara.

José Moreno came from Rosarío, Sinaloa, as did his wife, María Guadalupe Pérez. José and María were married on September 18, 1780, just before they began their long journey to found Los Angeles. The Moreno family was successful in farming in Los Angeles and lived in the pueblo for many years. José Moreno died in 1809, while Guadalupe Pérez survived until 1860, dying at the age of about 100, becoming the last of the original adult pobladores to die.