Finding Aid to the Yorba-Cota Family Papers MS.1061

Finding aid prepared by Maritxu de Alaiza, Anna Liza Posas
Autry National Center, Braun Research Library
234 Museum Drive
Los Angeles, CA, 90065-5030
323-221-2164
rroom@theautry.org
2013


Title: Yorba-Cota Family Papers
Identifier/Call Number: MS.1061
Contributing Institution: Autry National Center, Braun Research Library
Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
Physical Description: 0.25 Linear feet (1 box)
Date (inclusive): 1837-1897
Abstract: The Cotas the and Yorbas were prominent and wealthy land-owning families who played an integral role in early California history and politics. Pablo Antonio Cota and Jose Antonio Yorba both participated in the Portola expedition and were granted vast stretches of California land as a result. This collection consists of legal documents pertaining to the Yorba and Cota families ranging from 1837 to 1897. The documents relate to land ownership, lawsuits, wills, and financial dealings.
Language: Spanish and English.
creator: Cota Family
creator: Yorba Family

Biographical/Historical note

The Cotas the and Yorbas were prominent and wealthy land-owning families who played an integral role in early California history and politics. Pablo Antonio Cota and Jose Antonio Yorba both participated in the Portola expedition and were granted vast stretches of California land as a result.
The Cotas:
Pablo Antonio Cota was born circa 1744 at Loreto in Baja California. On July 4, 1768, he enlisted as a soldier at the age of 24. In March of 1769, he traveled with the Portola expedition to San Diego, thus establishing the Cota family in California. Pablo Antonio Cota died on December 30, 1800, and was buried at the Presidio of Santa Barbara. He was 55 years old at the time of his death having served as a presidio soldier for 32 years. He and his wife, Dona Rosa Lugo, had a daughter, Maria Los Angeles Cota de la Torre, who was born at Santa Barbara in 1790. At 13 she was married to Don Jose Joaquin de la Torre, cadet and commissary at Monterey, and afterwards secretary to Governor Sola. She died at Monterey in 1877, aged eighty-seven years, after seventy-four years of married life. She left three sons, three daughters, forty-three grand- children, thirty-four great-grandchildren, and several great-great-grandchildren.
Maria Ysabel Cota de Pico was born in Santa Barbara, May, 1783. At 19 she married Jose Dolores Pico, one of three brothers who came to California with the first Mexican colony as officers in the military service of the Spanish Vice-royalty in Mexico. Her husband died in 1827, after fifty years of military service. Of this marriage were born thirteen children, who, with their cousins, the Castros, children of their father's brothers, and allies by marriage, were all powerful in the affairs of government in California at the time of the American invasion. Maria Ysabel Cota de Pico was over 86 years old when she died. Her descendants numbered over 300, including one of the sixth generation; nearly all live in California and they bear the names of the most prominent native families, as well as of many leading American citizens intermarried with them.
In the 1830s the Cota family received several large land grants between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, California which served to further their power and prominence in California and its history.
The Yorbas: Jose Antonio Yorba, originally from Catalonia, Spain, was a young corporal when he participated in the Portola expedition which passed through Orange County in July of 1769 on its way toward Monterey, California. He is credited with the discovery of the Santa Ana Canyon during this expedition. He married Maria Josefa Grijalva in San Francisco on May 17, 1782. Their first three children were born in the Monterey area while Jose Antonio was in the army. In 1789 the family moved to San Diego after he had been assigned to the presidio there. Eleven more children were born to the family between 1789 and 1810. Juan Antonio retired from the army in 1797 and, with his father in-law, Juan Pablo Grijalva, he began grazing cattle on the land that was to become Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana. When Jose Antonio Yorba, along with his nephew, Juan Pablo Peralta, applied for their land grant they were required to get permission from Grijalva's widow, Maria Josefa. On July 1,1810, Governor Figueroa granted the 62,516 acres to Jose Antonio Yorba and Juan Pablo Peralta.
The Yorba family is said to have once owned “all the land between Riverside and the sea.” The original Yorba land grant, given to Jose Antonio Yorba by the king of Spain in 1769, included what are now Corona, Orange, Santa Ana, Tustin, Olive, Costa Mesa, and El Modena, California.
References:
Hardwick, M. R. (n.d.). Californians and the military: Alférez Pablo Antonio Cota (1744-1800. Retrieved from http://www.militarymuseum.org
Member of ‘oldest farm family’ succumbs. (1950, May, 2). Los Angeles Times.
Mary Scully, 86, of early Yorba family succumbs. (1952, August, 27). Los Angeles Times.
Ernesto T. Yorba, pioneer county citizen, passes. (1948, July, 1). Los Angeles Times.
Marsh, D. (1994). Santa Ana, an illustrated history. Jacksonville, FL: Heritage Publishing.
Meadows, D. (1963). The house of Bernardo Yorba. Santa Ana, CA: Pioneer Press.
‘Dancing’ Cotas to delight audience at queen of missions. (1949, August 3). Santa Barbara News-Press.
Storke, Y.A. (1891). A memorial and biographical history of the counties Of Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo. Retrieved from: http://files.usgwarchives.net/ca/santabarbara/history/1891/amemoria/pioneers224gms.txt

Processing history

Initial inventory created by Southwest Museum staff, circa 1941. Descriptive notes for finding aid created by Maritxu de Alaiza, 2012 August 30. Finding aid completed by Anna Liza Posas 2013. Final processing of collection and publication of finding aid made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Scope and contents

This collection consists of legal documents pertaining to the Yorba and Cota families ranging from 1837 to 1897. The documents relate to land ownership, lawsuits, wills, and financial dealings.

Access

Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit http://theautry.org/research/research-rules-and-application or contact library staff at rroom@theautry.org.

Use

Copyright has not been assigned to the Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Autry Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Autry National Center as the custodian of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred citation

Yorba-Cota Family Papers, 1837-1897, Braun Research Library, Autry National Center, Los Angeles; MS.1061; [folder number] [folder title][date].

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Cota, Leonardo.
Cota, Manuela Nieto de.
Cota, Ynez Yorba de
Figueroa, Francisco
Peralta, Juan Pablo
Sepulveda, Family
Wolfskill, Francisca
Wolfskill, Lewis
Yorba, Bernardo, 1800 or 1801-1858
Yorba, Teodorio
Actions and defenses
Affidavits
Baja California (Mexico : Peninsula)
California -- History -- Sources
Correspondence
Deeds -- California
Land grants -- California
Land tenure -- California
Legal documents
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- History -- Sources
Maps
Memorandums
Rancho Los Alamitos (Calif.)
Receipts (financial records)

 

Proceedings (expediente) concerning Jose Sepulveda and Teodocio Yorba. 248.L.14 circa 1840

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
Physical Description: 8.0 pages

Scope and Contents note

Written on Aduana Maritima de Monterrey paper. Originally 10 pages, but the first two pages missing. Document includes a testimony of witnesses to show that the criminal Jose Antonio Flores escaped from jail on the night of Thursday, February 13, 1840, visited Jose Sepulveda and returned to jail again; and that Sepulveda wished to implicate Teodocio Yorba in criminal activities.
 

Petition of Hilario Barelos in behalf of Bernardo Yorba in connection with the execution of a judgment against Juan Pablo Peralta. 248.L.15 1849

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
 

Proceedings against Juan Pablo Peralta instituted by Bernardo Yorba through attorney Cota. 248.L.16 1849

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
Physical Description: 10.0 pages
 

Letter of Leonardo Cota to the Ayuntamiento of Los Angeles suggesting securing wood supply though the planting of fences composed of living trees about all cultivated fields in the pueblo. 248.L.17 1845

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
Physical Description: 2.0 pages
 

Speech written by Leonardo Cota on behalf of the Ayuntamiento of Los Angeles to some new official, apparently the Governor, assuring him the cooperation of the Ayuntamiento. 248.L.18 Undated

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
Physical Description: 1.0 page
 

Document signed by Leonardo Cota assuming responsibility for a prisoner, Leonisio Alipaz, if released from jail. Two endorsements signed "Carillo." 248.L.19 1845

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
Physical Description: 1.0 page
 

Document Approving a land petition, signed by Leonardo Cota. Attached to (B) a document in regard to the delay in building a house on granted land, signed by Judge Marquez. 248.L.20 1845

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
 

Conditional deed (similar to a mortgage) to Estevan Joudain, covering a vineyard; signed by Leonardo Cota on behalf of members of the Cota family. 248.L.21 1848

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
 

Note of Juan P. Peralta to Bernardo Yorba for $220.00. 248.L.22 1848

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
 

Summons to Leonardo Cota from Sheriff Barton 248.L.23 1853

Language of Material: English
 

Will of Manuela Nieto de Cota 248.L.24 1837

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
Physical Description: 2.0 pages
 

Cota land survey map 248.l.25 Undated

 

Note for $100 in favor of K. Cohn & Co., signed by Leonardo Cota. 248.L.26 1887

Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 1.0 page
 

Motion of Rives et als vs. Cota et al. 248.L.27 1873

Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 5.0 pages
 

Suit of Yves Yorba de Cota against Lewis Wolfskill for abrogation of foreclosure and damages 248.L.28 1877

Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 2.0 pages
 

Casa de los Cotas records 248.L.29 circa 1874

Physical Description: 20.0 pages

General note

English and Spanish

Scope and Contents note

Bundle of copies of documents that consists of an abstract of title for the Casa de los Cotas in Los Angeles originally granted to Leonardo Cota on behalf of his father Guillermo Cota in 1844.
 

Report of commissioners appointed to apportion and subdivide the south half of Rancho El Rincon among the heirs of Bernardo Yorba. 248.L.30 1873

Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 6.0 pages
 

Deposition etc. regarding perpetuation of the testimony of Andres Dominguez 248.L.31 1873

Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 9.0 pages
 

Summons and complaint; Rives et als vs. Cota et als. Regarding Rancho Rincon. 248.L.32 1872

Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 4.0 pages
 

Copy of affidavit to oppose writ of assistance. Lewis Wolfskill and Francisca Wolfskill vs. Leonardo Cota 248.L.33 1877

Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 4.0 pages
 

Copy of a summons and complaint in partition, Andrea E. de Davila et al vs. Prudencio Yorba et al. 248.L.34 1872

Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 7.0 pages
 

Quit-claim deed on Rancho La Habra; Francisca Roldan de Carillo and Juan Carillo to Leonardo Cota. 248.L.35 1875

Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 2.0 pages
 

Package of documents and copies regarding title of Rancho La Sierra 248.L.36 circa 1888

Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 24.0 pages
 

Memorandum and copies of documents referring to property granted to Guillermo Cota. 248.L.37 circa 1876

Physical Description: 15.0 pages

General note

English and Spanish

Scope and Contents note

Includes document titled "Solar y casa de Guillermo Cota," marked Miguel Cota.
 

Copy of Bernardo Yorba's will 248.L.38 1858

Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 4.0 pages
 

Copy of power of attorney of N. Gutierrez to Francisco Figueroa with regard to Rancho Los Alamitos and the vina of San Gabriel, to liquidate accounts with managers thereof. 248.L.39.1 1840

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
Physical Description: 1.0 page
 

Copy of deed to Abel Stearns of Rancho Los Alamitos. 248.L.39.2 1842

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
Physical Description: 3.0 pages
 

Copy of decree of Subgefatura Politica 248.L.40 1874

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
Physical Description: 4.0 pages

Scope and contents

Located in the northern part of Baja California. Document declares the cession of land in Valle San Rafael by Augustin Mancilla to Raymundo Yorba to be null and void.
 

Conditional bill of sale (in effect a chattel mortgage) of horses Raymundo Cota to Jose Antonio Machado. Time, 3 months. Horses redeemed and transferred to Leonardo Cota. 248.L.41 1852

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
Physical Description: 3.0 pages
 

Military tax receipt to Leonardo Cota (50 cents). 248.L.42 1857

Language of Material: English
 

Letter of Prudencio Yorba to Leonardo Cota. 248.L.43 1862

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
Physical Description: 1.0 page
 

Four tax receipts to Maria Antonia Cota 248.L.44 1853-1855

Language of Material: English
 

Memoranda on deeds and other material 248.L.45 circa 1871

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
Physical Description: 3.0 pages
 

Map of property of Ynez Yorba de Cota 248.L.46 Undated

Language of Material: English
 

Note in favor of J. B. Durkee signed by Ynez Yorba de Cota and C. J. Cota. $6,000.00. 248.L.47 1892

Language of Material: English
 

Note in favor of Richard Gird signed by Wm Meredith and Maggie L. Meredith. $160.00. 248.L.48 1887

Language of Material: English
 

Bill to Leonardo Cota for barbed wire and staples. 248.L.49 1884

Language of Material: English
 

Express receipt to Leonardo Cota 248.L.50 1886

Language of Material: English
 

Subpoena 248.L.52 1859

Language of Material: English

Scope and Contents note

Document only includes part of the subpoena.
 

Bond of Leonardo Cota as guardian of Genovia Cota to Prudencio Yorba and Raymundo Yorba for the sum of $10,000.00 248.L.53 1859

Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 2.0 pages
 

Mortgage for Ynez Yorba de Cota to Louisa Meyers in the amount of $1,000 248.L.54 1888

Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 3.0 pages
 

Certificate of redemption of real estate to Guadalupe Grasalbra. 248.L.55 1894

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
Physical Description: 2.0 pages
 

Mortgage, Inez Yorba de Cota and G. J. Cota to J. B. Durkee; portion of Rancho La Sierra, $6,000 248.L.56 1892

Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 4.0 pages
 

Mortgage, Inez Yorba de Cota and G. J. Cota to Wm. Cavanaugh. $2, 200.00. 248.L.57 1891

Physical Description: 2.0 pages
 

Mortgage, Leonardo Cota and Ynez Yoruba de Cota to Cornelius Jensen. Part of Rancho El Rincon, $7,183 248.L.58 1881

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
Physical Description: 2.0 pages
 

Agreements with regard to the operations of J.P. Olivera, G. J. Cota and C. C. Grove for liquidating claims on Los Nietos Rancho. 248.L.59 1897

Language of Material: English

Scope and Contents note

Consists of three agreements.
 

Abstract of sheriff's fees and tax collections. 248.L.60.1 1870 July 19

Physical Description: 3.0 pages

General note

English and Spanish
 

Cota genealogy 248.L.60.2 circa 1862

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
 

Typed copy of a document 248.L.60.3 circa 1862

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
Physical Description: 3.0 pages

Scope and Contents note

Document also includes notes written in pencil.
 

Capitulo V. De Los Abrogados 248.L.60.4 circa 1862

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
Physical Description: 5.0 pages
 

Photostats of documents signed by Bernardo Yorba 248.L.60.5 1850

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
Physical Description: 2.0 pages
 

Nombres de los Hijos del finado Guillermo Cota 248.L.61

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
Physical Description: 3.0 pages
 

Ley Organizando La Corta Suprema de Mexico, y Relative a Los Abogados by Leonardo Cota 248.L.62

Language of Material: Spanish; Castilian
Physical Description: 12.0 pages

Scope and Contents note

Also includes cover sheet.