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Bernal Family Papers
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administration Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Bernal Family Papers
    Dates: 1849-circa 1896
    Collection Number: Consult repository.
    Creator: Bernal Family
    Extent: 67 items
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens Manuscripts Department
    The Huntington Library
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2203
    Fax: (626) 449-5720
    Email: lgarcia@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: The chronologically-arranged documents demonstrate the range of legal, financial and real estate-related transactions initiated by or concerning the Bernal family and their associates. Included in this series are legal contracts, mortgages, leases, title deeds, promissory notes, tax receipts, and general accounting records. The series also includes personal and business letters to and by the Bernal family members and their associates. Two portraits comprise their own series. Both portraits were taken by San Francisco-based photographers, Charles Lake Cramer and George Daniels Morse, sometime during the last thirty years of the 19th century. Finally, ephemera are contained in the last folder of the collection. Subjects include H. W. Halleck, Joseph Mora Moss, real property in California, San Francisco, San Mateo County and Livermore, California.
    Language of Material: The records are in English and Spanish.

    Administration Information

    Access

    Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, please go to following web site  .

    Publication Rights

    In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights. In some instances, the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Bernal Family Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Acquisition Information

    The Huntington Library purchased the collection from the Argonaut Book Shop in March 1949.

    Biography

    The Bernal Family resided in the San Francisco Bay area during the latter part of the nineteenth century. Carmen Sibrian de Bernal, who was born at San Juan Bautista Mission on April 14, 1804 (Early California Population Project baptism SJB 01300) married Jose Cornelio Bernal on June 26, 1819 at Santa Clara Mission (ECPP marriage SCL 01883). As these documents reveal, Carmen Sibrian de Bernal assumed a greater role in the family’s legal and financial matters after the death of her husband in November 1850 (ECPP death SFD 05614). The documents also demonstrate that the couple’s son, José de Jesus Bernal, born circa December 26, 1830 at San Francisco Mission (ECPP baptism SFD 06528c), also took an active role in the family’s dealings, particularly in real estate affairs. José de Jesus Bernal eventually married Geronima Rufino, whose family members also contributed to this collection. Other persons who had familial ties to the Bernals include members of the Vasquez and Higuera families. Other associates include members of the Italian and Euro-American communities in the San Francisco area.

    Scope and Content

    The papers consist of the following series:
    1. The chronologically-arranged documents demonstrate the range of legal, financial, and real estate-related transactions initiated by or concerning the Bernal Family and their associates. Included in this series are legal contracts, mortgages, leases, title deeds, promissory notes, tax receipts, and general accounting records. The series also includes materials created and / or signed by California-based administrators, most notably by Jacques Antoine Moerenhout. The Belgian-born Moerenhout served as consul for France in the United States and Tahiti and authored The Inside Story of the Gold Rush (Campbell 85). Also represented is Henry Haight, the San Francisco-based banker and uncle of the tenth governor of California, Henry H. Haight.
    2. The chronologically-arranged correspondence includes personal and business letters to and by the Bernal Family members and their associates. Many letters were directed to Geronima Rufino de Bernal, with a minority of letters directed to Carmen Sibrian de Bernal.
    3. Two chronologically-arranged portraits comprise their own series. Both portraits were taken by San Francisco-based photographers, Charles Lake Cramer and George Daniels Morse, sometime during the last thirty years of the nineteenth century. Only the sitter in Morse’s photograph was named and identified as Luis Ruffino.
    4. Finally, ephemera are contained in the last folder of the collection. These items include: a blank indenture form signed by Charles C Moore; a “Compromisos” (or Obligations) printed card, filled in with pencil; an empty envelope addressed to Carmen Sibrian de Bernal, postmarked Jan. 3, 1882; and two business cards, one for Mr. and Mrs. Aldrich and the other for Mr. and Mrs. Forbes.

    Indexing Terms

    Personal Names

    Halleck, H. W. (Henry Wager), 1815-1872.
    Moss, Joseph Mora, 1809-1880.
    Bernal family

    Subjects

    Deeds -- California.
    Landlord and tenant -- California.
    Land titles -- Registration and transfer -- California.
    Leases -- California.
    Mortgages -- California.
    Real property tax -- California.
    Taxation -- California -- San Francisco.
    Women -- California.

    Geographic Areas

    California -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
    Livermore (Calif.)
    San Francisco (Calif.)
    San Mateo County (Calif.)

    Genre

    Cartes-de-visite (card photographs).
    Deeds California 19th century.
    Leases California 19th century.
    Legal documents California 19th century.
    Letters (correspondence) California 19th century.
    Promissory notes.