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José María Verdugo
Born 1751
Presidio de Loreto, Baja California, New Spain
Died 1831 (aged 79–80)
San Gabriel, California
Nationality Spanish (1751 - 1821, Mexican independence), Mexican (1821 - 1831)
Occupation explorer and soldier from the Presidio of San Diego

José María Verdugo (1751 – 1831) was a soldier from the Presidio of San Diego who was assigned to the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel at the time his land was granted by the Spanish Empire in 1784.

Spanish soldier

José María Verdugo (Carrillo) was born about 1751 in Presidio de Loreto, Baja California, New Spain to Juan Diego Verdugo and María Ygnacia de la Concepción Carrillo.[1][2] José María Verdugo came to California with his brother, Mariano Verdugo, in the 1769 Rivera expedition. Verdugo married María de la Encarnación López in 1779, and they had 11 children.[3]

In 1784, Verdugo requested and received a grant from his army commander Governor Pedro Fages to settle and graze his cattle on what became Rancho San Rafael, also known as La Zanja.[4] Corporal Verdugo's grant consisted of eight square leagues (36,402 acres (147.31 km2)) of land stretching roughly from the Arroyo Seco in present day Pasadena to the Mission San Fernando. In 1798 he retired from the army to become a full-time rancher, and title to his property was established by Spanish Governor Diego de Borica.[4]

After a long illness, Verdugo died on 13 April 1831, at Mission San Gabriel, leaving his property to his son Julio Antonio Verdugo and daughter María Catalina Verdugo.[5][6][7][8] He was buried at the cemetery at Mission San Gabriel Arcángel.

Julio Verdugo

Julio Antonio Verdugo (1789 - 1876), son of José María Verdugo, married María de Jesus Romero, and had the following children: Teodoro, Chrisóstimo, Fernando, Pedro, José María, Querino/Quirino, Rafael, Guillermo, Vittorio, Rafaela (first married to Fernando Sepúlveda then to Tomás Ávila Sánchez), and Maria Antonia (married Chabolla).[9]

Catalina Verdugo

Catalina Verdugo (1792–1871), the blind unmarried daughter of José María Verdugo, lived at the Catalina Adobe with Julio Verdugo's son, Teodoro's family.[10][11][12][13]


  • Verdugo Mountains
  • Verdugo City
  • Verdugo Canyon
  • Verdugo Park
  • Verdugo Road
  • Verdugo Hills High School
  • Verdugo Hills


  1. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Patron ordinance submission sheets, 1969-1991, Salt Lake City, Utah
  2. Marie Northrop Spanish-Mexican Families of Early California, 1769-1850, Vol. II, pp. 318-19
  3. Marie Northrop Spanish-Mexican Families of Early California, 1769-1850, Vol. I, pp. 352-53
  4. 4.0 4.1 Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of California, Vol. I, 1542-1800, pp.661-662
  5. Verdugo to California
  6. Juliet M. Arroyo, 2005, Early Glendale, California, Arcadia Publishing , ISBN 978-0-7385-2990-5
  7. Glendale history Archived 2013-09-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. The Verdugos
  9. Fisher, Charles J (March–April 1996). "Julio Verdugo: Don of San Rafael". pp. 1, 4. 
  10. "Catalina Verdugo Adobe". 
  11. Adobes of Rancho San Rafael
  12. Early days in the rolling hills of Rancho San Rafael Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine. by Michael D. White
  13. Verdugo Adobe was preserved by developer Archived 2012-04-11 at the Wayback Machine. by Katherine Yamada, published in the Glendale News-Press

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