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Finding aid to the Geil J. Norris family papers, Vault MS 156
Vault MS 156  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Separated Materials
  • Acquisition Information
  • System of Arrangement
  • Processing Information
  • Family History
  • Scope and Contents
  • Indexing Terms

  • Title: Geil J. Norris family papers
    Date (inclusive): 1828-1969
    Date (bulk): 1828-1899
    Collection Identifier: Vault MS 156
    Creator: Norris, Geil J., collector.
    Extent: 1.0 box (0.5 linear feet)
    Contributing Institution: California Historical Society
    678 Mission Street
    San Francisco, CA, 94105-4014
    (415) 357-1848
    reference@calhist.org
    URL: http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/
    Location of Materials: Collection is stored onsite.
    Language of Materials: Most collection materials are in Spanish, with some in English and one unidentified letter in German.
    Abstract: Consists of correspondence, broadsides, baptismal certificates, land records, ephemera, and other materials created by and documenting the Pico, Castro, and Sanchez families—from which Geil J. Norris was descended—between the years 1828 to 1969, with the bulk of the materials dating from the nineteenth century. Collection materials document the military and political life of California in the Mexican era; the Mexican War; land tenure and transactions in Monterey County; and familial and social relationships between prominent Californios in the nineteenth century. Correspondents include: Agustin V. Zamorano, Thomas O. Larkin, Pío Pico, Manuel Castro, Juan B. Castro, Rafael Sanchez, Maria Antonia Castro de Sanchez, and Catalina Castro.

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of Library and Archives, North Baker Research Library, California Historical Society, 678 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. Consent is given on behalf of the California Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Geil J. Norris family papers, Vault MS 156, California Historical Society.

    Separated Materials

    Photographs of Juan B. Castro, Manuel Castro, Samuel F. Geil, and Monterey, California, have been separated and shelved under MSP Vault 156.

    Acquisition Information

    The collection was given to the California Historical Society by Mrs. Geil J. Norris in 1979.

    System of Arrangement

    Collection is mostly arranged in chronological order.

    Processing Information

    Collection was reprocessed by Marie Silva in 2012.

    Family History

    Geil J. Norris of Salinas, California, was a descendent of the Cota, Pico, Castro, and Sanchez families, prominent Mexican American families who settled in California, mostly in the Monterey area, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Members of these families, among them Pío Pico, Manuel Castro, Juan B. Castro, and Rafael Sanchez, were important figures in the military and political life of California in the Spanish and Mexican periods.
    Geil J. Norris' earliest Mexican Californian ancestor, Pablo Cota, accompanied Junípero Serra on his expedition to California in the eighteenth century. Cota's daughter Maria Isabel married José Maria Pico; among their children were Pío Pico (governor of California, 1832 and 1845-1846), Andrés Pico, and Maria Antonia Pico. Maria Antonia married Simeon Castro, with whom she had several children, including Manuel Castro (prefect of Monterey and Mexican War general), Juan B. Castro, and Maria Antonia Castro. The latter married Rafael Sanchez (secretary to Governor Manuel Micheltorena), becoming Maria Antonia Castro de Sanchez. They had three daughters: Dolores Sanchez, Eduvigues Bache, and Josefa Castro Sanchez. Josefa married Monterey attorney Samuel F. Geil; their daughter Erlinda Geil Norris and her husband Walter E. Norris were the parents of Geil J. Norris, who owned the collection until his death in 1979.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection consists of correspondence, broadsides, baptismal certificates, land records, ephemera, and other materials created by and documenting the Pico, Castro, and Sanchez families—from which Geil J. Norris was descended—between the years 1828 to 1969, with the bulk of the materials dating from the nineteenth century. Collection materials document the military and political life of California in the Mexican era; the Mexican War; land tenure and transactions in Monterey County; and familial and social relationships between prominent Californios in the nineteenth century. Correspondents include: Agustin V. Zamorano, Thomas O. Larkin, Pío Pico, Manuel Castro, Juan B. Castro, Rafael Sanchez, Maria Antonia Castro de Sanchez, and Catalina Castro.
    The collection contains many notable examples of early Californiana, including: an 1844 broadside announcing Thomas O. Larkin’s appointment as United States consul; letters by Zamorano, Pío Pico, Thomas O. Larkin, and Manuel Castro; documents pertaining to the Mexican War, including an 1846 bando and a letter of protest written by the minister of the missions at Santa Clara and San José; and Sam Brannan and Manual Castro greeting cards.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog:
    California--History--To 1846.
    California--History--1846-1850.
    California--Politics and government--To 1846.
    Mexican Americans--California--History.
    Mexican War, 1846-1848.
    Real property--California--Monterey County.
    Baptismal certificates.
    Broadsides.
    Ephemera.
    Letters.
    Property records.
    Castro family.
    Pico family.
    Sanchez family.
    Brannan, Sam, 1819-1889.
    Castro de Sanchez, Maria Antonia, d. 1890
    Castro, Catalina.
    Castro, Juan B. (Juan Bautista), 1835-1915.
    Castro, Manuel de Jesus, 1821-1891.
    Larkin, Thomas Oliver, 1802-1858.
    Pico, Pío, 1801-1894.
    Sanchez, Rafael, b. 1806.
    Zamorano, Agustin Juan Vicente, 1798-1842.