The collection consists of facsimile copies of the personal,
political, land, and legal papers of the Guerra Family, one of the most prominent families in early California. The bulk of
items date from 1806 to 1886 and relate to
Don José Antonio de la Guerra y Noriega (1779-1858), his son
Pablo de la Guera (1819-1875), and other family members. The originals are held by the Santa Barbara Mission
Archive Library. Most of the material is in Spanish.
The Guerra family was one of the most prominent families in early California. The chief
figure in the collection is José Antonio de la Guerra y Noriega, who was born in Spain in
1779 and moved to Mexico in 1792. He entered military service as a cadet at an early age,
later rising to the rank of captain. In 1801 he transferred to California where he was
habilitado of Monterey and later of San Diego. Guerra was comandante of the Santa Barbara
Presidio from 1815 until his retirement in 1842. He also engaged in shipping, commercial and
other business enterprises, acquired ranchos, and was influential in politics and government
during his entire lifetime. In addition he was treasurer of the Franciscan missions in
California and a close friend of the missionaries. Guerra was married to Antonia Maria
Juliana Carrillo, daughter of Raimundo Carrillo and Tomasa Lugo y Carrillo. Of their 13 children, 9 survived their father.
His son, Pablo de la Guerra (1819-1875), the other chief figure in the collection, was also active in
California politics and government.
4,179 facsimile items in 30 boxes
Copies of selected documents may be made for reference purposes only, but it is
understood that the Library should notify the Archivist at Mission Santa Barbara if a
reader intends to publish a book or article, or write a thesis involving the use of this
collection. Permission to quote from or publish any document or part thereof should be
requested directly from Santa Barbara Mission.
Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department.
For more information, contact Reader Services.