Los Californianos - Header
Los Californianos - Header

Why Join Us?

Celebrate your heritage and help preserve it for future generations!

Share your knowledge about your Hispanic ancestors in Alta California with your primos (cousins) and the public, and learn more about your ancestors, too.

When did your ancestors arrive, and who came with them? Why did they make the long journey here? As they started to settle into their new life, what traditions did they keep, and what new traditions did they start? The food, the music, the dances, even the language—the Californios put their signature on the culture that evolved in Alta California, which can still be seen today.

Learning about our ancestors is more than just names and dates and locations. It’s about the stories that have been passed along, through oral history and in letters, and what has been captured in photographs. It’s accurately interpreting the historical records, like mission registers, military reports, and official correspondence, and understanding how events of the times affected your ancestors, and how they participated in and shaped those events. It’s learning about what their daily life was like, and how it evolved under Spanish, then Mexican, then American rule.

It’s discovering the families of Alta California—your family! It’s seeing how families became related, through marriages of descendants. And it’s meeting the current generations of these families—your cousins—who might be members of Los Californianos.

When you join Los Californianos, you become part of a growing group of Californio descendants who are proud of their ancestors and what they accomplished. As a member of our non-profit organization, you help us educate the public about the Hispanic heritage of Alta California, and you, in turn, get to learn more about your rich heritage.

Some of the benefits of Los Californianos membership are:

  • Subscription to our quarterly newsletter, Noticias para Los Californianos, with a wide variety of articles about Alta California and our ancestors, as well as updates on our organization and its activities.
  • Invitations to join us at our weekend-long general meetings, held three times a year in different locations in California:
    • Members have free use of our Traveling Genealogy Library.
    • Participate in tours of historical locations or attend a class.
    • Listen to presentations, often by noted historians, authors, or curators, after dinner on Saturday and after breakfast on Sunday.
    • Chat with fellow members who can share insights about your ancestors and aid you in your research.
    • Enjoy the camaraderie of your primos.
  • Invitation to the annual celebration we host each June at the Presidio of San Francisco, in conjunction with the Presidio Trust and the National Park Service, to honor our ancestors who arrived with the Second Anza Expedition of 1775–76 and founded the Presidio of San Francisco and Mission Dolores.
  • Opportunity to be a committee chair, officer, or director of Los Californianos, and help lead our organization as it fulfills its important mission to preserve the Hispanic heritage of Alta California.

We look forward to welcoming you as a member of Los Californianos!

Photgraph of a painting of Portolá Expedition sighting
San Francisco Bay from Sweeney Ridge.

Photo Courtesy of Sharon Miller

“ . . . from the summit of this range we saw the magnificent estuary, which stretched toward the southeast. The country was pleasant. The hills west of the canyon were crowned with low live oaks, smaller trees. There was sufficient pasture. We halted on the bank of a stream of good water. Some . . . natives . . . invite us to go to their villages and offered us their presents of seeds and fruits.”

Ensign Miguel Costanso
Engineer with the Portolá Expedition