San Francisco Branch


The “Island of California.” Clipart courtesy of Karen’s Whimsy

José Joaquin Moraga, also known as José Joaquín de la Santísima Trinidad Moraga, was second in command of the Anza expedition in 1776 from Sonora to Northern California. Moraga was responsible for helping to find locations for the San Francisco Presidio and Mission Delores. He served as comandante of the San Francisco Presidio. He is buried in front of the altar at Mission Delores. His son was explorer Gabriel Moraga, who eventually served as comandante of the Santa Barbara Presidio.

Gabriel Moraga extensively explored Northern California and was responsible for the naming of such rivers as the Sacramento, the Merced, the San Joaquin and place names such as Calaveras. He was a full lieutenant at the Presidio in Santa Barbara in 1817, died in 1823 and is buried in Santa Barbara.

From his first marriage to Ana Maria Bernal, one of his sons, Joaquin, received a land grant to the east of Oakland, which would eventually become the Town of Moraga. His other sons ventured southward to take care of their own land grants. Vicente Moraga would eventually receive a 26,000-acre land grant (Rancho Pauba) near present-day Temecula, which has a street named after him.

Following the death of Gabriel Moraga, his second wife, Joaquina Alvarado de Moraga, petitioned the Mexican government and was granted on 30 Jan. 1841 a total of 6,559 acres of land in the area known as La Cañada Larga north of the city of Ventura.

Her sons, Jose Benjamin Moraga and Vicente Antonio Moraga, worked as rancheros on the land.

Jose Benjamin’s sons, Miguel, died 1911; Benjamin Adelfino Moraga and Jesus Luis Moraga, all lived in Ventura.

In Ventura County, the Camarillo and Moraga families came together following the marriage of Jose Moraga and AdelaideAdelenita or Adeliita Camarillo.

Jose Moraga is believed to be the son on Vicente Antonio Moraga (1808-1852) and Maria De Los Domingues.

AdelaideAdelenita or Adeliita Camarillo was the daughter of Juan Camarillo (1812-1880) and Martina Hernandez (1825-1897), the parents of Adolfo Camarillo, the founder of Rancho Camarillo in the Oxnard Plain.

Today, the Moraga family line from San Francisco continues to live in Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and elsewhere in California.