Finding Aid to the Raymund F. Wood Index File and Papers to Military Records of Spanish and Mexican Soldiers from 1769-1840 MSA.42
Finding aid prepared by Marva R. Felchlin and Holly Rose Larson
Autry National Center, Autry Library2012 October 2
4700 Western Heritage Way
Los Angeles, CA, 90027
(323) 667-2000 ext. 349
Title: Raymund F. Wood Index File and Papers to Military Records of Spanish and Mexican Soldiers in California from 1769-1840
Identifier/Call Number: MSA.42
Contributing Institution: Autry National Center, Autry Library
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 3.0 Linear feet (4 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1973-1998
Abstract: Dr. Raymund F. Wood (1911–1998) was born in England and raised in Los Angeles, California. He served in the United States army during World War II. He earned a Master of Arts degree from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, a PhD in Medieval History from University of California, Los Angeles, and a Master of Arts in Library Science from University of Southern California. In the 1970s and 1980s, Wood conducted research for an "Index File to Military Records of Spanish and Mexican Soldiers" at military and government archives in Spain. This archive contains the index file, as well as Wood’s accompanying research correspondence, notes, and papers from 1973-1998.
creator: Wood, Raymund F., 1911-1998
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Raymund F. Wood Index File to Military Records of Spanish and Mexican Soldiers from 1769-1840 and Papers, 1973-1998, Autry National Center, Los Angeles; MSA.42; [folder number] [folder title][date].
Donation from Raymund F. Wood, 1989 May 23.
Dr. Raymund F. Wood (1911–1998)
Raymund F. Wood was born on November 9, 1911 in St. Margaret’s-on-Thames (now Borough of Twickenham, Middelsex), England. The Wood family migrated to the United States in 1924, and they settled in the Los Angeles, California neighborhood of Maywood. Wood was a serious student, even as a child, and pursued an academic career. Wood received a Master of Arts degree from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, and then started teaching history at University of California, Los Angeles in 1941, where he also enrolled in classes to earn a PhD in History. Wood served in the United States military during World War II, but was discharged early in 1946 and then completed his PhD in Medieval History. Wood then earned a Master of Arts in Library Science from University of Southern California and served as reference librarian at California State University, Fresno while his wife Margaret taught first grade at a nearby school. The Woods returned to Los Angeles, and in 1966, Raymund Wood returned to UCLA as a professor of Library Science and eventually as associate dean of the UCLA School of Library and Information Science before retiring in 1977. Wood authored ten books and numerous professional and historical articles. Wood also established the Wood Family Trust in 1992 to fund the Los Angeles City Historical Society’s annual Marie Northrop Lecture Series. Wood was active in the Jedediah Smith Society, Los Angeles Corral of Westerners, and E Clampus Vitus. Raymund F. Wood passed away on April 3, 1998.
It appears that Wood conducted the bulk of the research for the Index File to Military Records of Spanish and Mexican Soldiers in the 1970s and 1980s, traveling to Spain to visit military and government archives. The sources Wood consulted for the Index include the works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, the California Historical Society Quarterly, and the Archivo General de Indias (General Archive of the Indies) in Seville, Spain, which houses collections documenting the history of the Spanish Empire in the Americas and the Philippines. It is likely that Wood also visited the Archivo General de Simancas in north-central Spain, an archive housing documents issued by the central government bodies of the Spanish monarchy dating from the late fifteenth to the early nineteenth centuries.
Wood hoped to publish the Index as a “biographical dictionary of all military (non-naval) personnel who came to California from 1769 until about 1830 or 1840 (including of course those who were born in California and then joined the Army).” Wood corresponded with Marie Northrup, noted genealogist and author of several publications about Spanish-Mexican families in early Los Angeles, regarding the possible publication of his military index. The index, however, was never published.
This collection includes the Index File to Military Records of Spanish and Mexican Soldiers in California and accompanying papers, including correspondence, photocopies, and Wood’s research notes from 1973-1998. Papers include Wood’s manuscript draft for "Chapter 1" presumably for a publication of the index. This collection also contains some biographical information on Wood, including a memorial by the Los Angeles City Historical Society.
The Index is comprised of over one thousand handwritten 3-x-5 inch index cards, organized alphabetically by surname, documenting the careers of Spanish and Mexican military personnel (non-naval) serving in California between 1769 and 1840. Each card in the index includes biographical information and an abbreviated citation for the source of that information. Biographical information may include names of soldiers’ wives; births and baptisms of their children; periods of being inválido or disabled; and for some soldiers, what they did after retiring from the military. Some cards have photocopied entries from books attached to them. At the beginning of the index is Wood’s bibliography of works and archives consulted, and is recorded on fifty cards filed alphabetically.
Initial processing by Library staff. Final processing and finding aid completed by Holly Rose Larson, NHPRC Processing Archivist, 2012 October 2, made possible through grant funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commissions (NHPRC).
Subjects and Indexing Terms
California -- History, military
California -- Population
Hispanic Americans -- California -- History
Mexican Americans -- California -- History
Spaniards -- California -- History