Valerio Lamas (c.1815-c.1890?) was born about 1815 in the Mexican silver-mining state of Zacatecas. His ancestry is unknown, but there are mentions of the Lamas family in Zacatecas dating back to at least the mid-1700s. Valerio married a woman named Sastena "Sarah", who was born about 1830 in Mexico, but whether she came from Zacatecas also, or from somewhere else, and whether their marriage was in Mexico, or the United States is not known. However, Zacatecas was a battleground during one of Mexico's civil wars, and 1857 was when fighting began there, so it seems reasonable that Valerio would have left about that time. Then, the first child of Valerio and Sastena was a son named Adolpho, who was born to them in April of 1863 in California, so they both had arrived here before then. They also adopted an older son named Juan, who was born in 1856 in California, and taken in by them at a very early age. Although we do not know when Juan actually joined their family, he was probably with them by the time Adolpho was born.
Valerio became a U.S. Citizen on Aug. 7 or 8, 1867 in San Luis Obispo County in California, at the same time as his friend Henrique Vega, whose daughter Rufina later married Valerio's son Juan. Valerio was living in Morro Bay in the same county three years later during the 1870 U.S. Census. He was evidently prosperous, as he bought land in the county on Feb. 3, 1871 and again on Oct. 23, 1872. He and Sastena then appear to have moved south to San Diego County, where we find them in the Monument Voting Precinct (Monumentville) during the 1880 Census. His occupation on both census records is given as laborer. The 1886 Great Register of San Diego is the last official mention we have found of Valerio, and he is not listed in the Great Register of San Diego for 1892, whereas his son Juan is listed. Thus, Valerio probably died in the interim. Virtually nothing is known of Sastena, except her age from the census records, and her name.
children - LAMAS
Juan C. Lamas (1856-1936), an adopted son, who follows:
Frederico Lamas (1863-1918) was probably born in April 1863 in California (according the 1900 census), but there is a wide variation from 1856 to 1868 of the birth dates that are listed for him. He married a woman named Marie (1867-1947), or possibly Mary, and they had several children. His wife's full maiden name is shown in the California death index as Marie Moreno, but she appears in several unreferenced family trees on the internet as Mary Molina, and we do not know which is correct. Fred worked initially as a teamster, and he and Marie/Mary from at least 1892 on lived in Township 3 in Kern County. He was working as a foreman on a cattle ranch, when he died in a drowning accident on June 18, 1918 in Firebaugh, leaving behind his wife and the eight children listed below. Frederico is buried in an unmarked grave in Union Cemetery in Bakersfield. His wife is buried in a different part of the same cemetery, with her grave marked by a tombstone that identifies her as Marie Lamas.
Mary A. "Mamie" Lamas (1889-1983) was probably born on March 24, 1889, but there is some uncertainty about her birtdate, as she was clearly less than truthful about her age in later years. However, the 1900 U.S. census indicates that she is the eldest child of Frederico and Marie Lamas. She appears as Mary A. Lamas, or Mary Lamas in the 1900, 1910 and 1920 census returns, but after 1920 she appears in some records as Mayme Bushell and others as Mamie Bushell. However, the obituary for mother indicates that Mary A. Lamas and Mayme/Mamie Bushell are the same woman. She married George Bushell (1884-1951) on July 27, 1923 in Bakersfield, and they had at least one son, who was named George Jerry Bushell (1924-2010). She died on April 5, 1983 in San Bruno, California.
Aurelia Lamas (1890-1981) was on born on May 12, 1890, probably in San Diego County, and married Joseph Subriar (1877-1960), most likely in Kern County. It was Joseph's second marriage. Aurelia died on Dec. 22, 1981 in Riverside County, and she is buried with Joseph in Shafter Memorial Park in Shafter, California.
John Lamas (1892-1966) was born on June on 24, 1892 in San Diego County, California; and died on July 28, 1966 in Los Angeles County, where he is buried in Calvary Cemtery.
Marguerite "Maggie" Marcia Lamas (1896-1982) was born on April 26, 1896, probably in either Kern or San Diego Counties; and married Arthur Cannett Yorba (1890-1955). She died on July 1, 1982 in San Luis Obispo County, and she is buried with Arthur in the West Side Cemetery in Taft, California. Their daughter Dorothy Yorba (1917-2013) married Rudy Lopez (1917-2011), who is the grandson of Marguerite's adopted uncle Juan C. Lamas.
Fred Lamas (1898-1960) was born on April 26, 1898, probably in Kern County, but he may have also been born in San Diego County, at a time when his grandfather, and possibly his father, were working there on restoring the San Luis Rey Mission, which is actually located in Oceanside in the northern part of the county. He married his step cousin Juanita Lamas, who is Generation III of this history, after she divorced first husband. Fred apparently was a WWI veteran (according to his stepson John Lopez), but we know no details of his service. He died in Kern County on Aug. 14, 1960, when he was out hunting deer in the Shafter area and was crushed when his jeep rolled on top of him. He was working at the time as the foreman of the Seaman Ranch in Shafter. He is buried next to Juanita in the Union Cemetery in Bakersfield. Please see the section on Juanita for Fred's children with her, along with her children from her first marriage.
William "Willie" Lamas (1900-1989) was born on Oct. 17, 1900, probably in Kern County, and married Delfina Bracamonte (1909-1976), with whom he had several children. He died on May 5, 1989 in Bakersfield, where he an Delfina are buried in Union Cemetery.
Frank George Lamas (1903-1987) was born on Feb. 22, 1903 in Kern County, and married Edith Frances Colburn (1908-1972). He died on Feb. 15, 1987 and is buried with Edith in the Blue Mountain Cemetery in Woody, which is also in Kern County. They have many descendants.
Albert Lamas (c.1905-1936) was born about 1905, probably in Kern County. He died on Feb. 19, 1936 in Kern County, and his estate went into probate. He may be the Albert Lomas who is buried in an unmarked grave in Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.
Adolpho Lamas (b. c.1863?-1911?) was possibly born about 1863, but some sources give c.1859 as his birth date. Little is known about him, but he may be the Adolph Lamas who died on Nov. 24, 1911 in Kern County.
Cecelia "Nellie" Lamas (b. c.1868) appears in the 1870 and 1880 U.S. census returns. She may have married a man named Peter Ortega, but this is not certain.
Felipe Santiago Lamas (1870-1946) was born on Feb. 5, 1870 in San Luis Obispo County, California, probably in Morro. He married Rosaria (Rosa) Vega (1885-1957) on Jan. 15, 1904 in San Luis Obispo County, California. He and Rosa have several descendants. Felipe died on Feb. 13, 1946 in San Luis Obispo County, and is buried there with Rosa in the Old Mission Cemetery. Their daughter Helen Frances Lamas (1906-1996) is buried with her parents in the Old Mission Cemetery
The children of Valerio and Sastena, who are shown above, are based on the 1880 U.S. Census, and are consistent with other sources. However, the 1870 census shows the following children, in addition to the oldest child Juan (b. 1856) - Alviso (b. c.1861), Francisco (b. c.1862), Celeste (b. c.1865), and Pedro (b. c.1867). The inconsistancies with the later census may be due to a language barrier. If so, Alviso may be Adolph, Francisco may be Frederico, and Celeste may be Ceclia. Pedro is probably a son who died young.
Juan (John) C. Lamas (1856-1936), the adopted son of Valerio and Sastena Lamas, was born on May 18, 1856 in Santa Margarita, San Luis Obispo County, California. His birth name and biologic parents are unknown, but his obituaries state that he was brought to the city of San Luis Obispo as a baby, and baptized there in the San Luis Obispo Mission. However, because his birth name is unknown, we have not been able to identify him in the baptism register for the mission. He was subsequently adopted, or otherwise taken in, by Mexican immigrants Valerio and Sastena Lamas, who made him a member of their family. He married Rufina Vega (1860-1911) on Oct. 5, 1885 in San Luis Obisbo, Rufina being the daughter of Henrique Vega (1823-before 1900) and Maria Rodriques (1837-1917). Interestingly, Rufina's mother Maria was a member of an old Californio family, having been born in Alta California back in the days when it was a Mexican province, and the old Spanish missions there were an integral part of the lives of those who lived near them.
Juan generally lived in San Luis Obispo, where he worked at times as a contractor, "who aided in the construction of many historic buildings, and was employed by the city in various capacities. [He] also aided in the restoration of the old San Luis Rey Mission at San Diego, and told many interesting stories of gold that was discovered in the building" (see Juan Lamas Obituary, San Luis Obispo Tribune, Jan. 18, 1936, p. 6). The San Luis Rey Mission, which is actually in Oceanside in northern San Diego County, was restored from 1892 to 1912, and when Juan registered to vote in 1892, he gave his address as Old San Diego. This means that he may very well have worked on the initial phases of this restoration. However, he was back in San Luis Obispo for the 1900 and 1910 U.S. Census, when he gave his occupation both times as "teamster".
Juan's wife Rufina died on Jan 18, 1911 in San Luis Obispo, and some years later, probably around 1926, Juan left San Luis Obispo to move in with his daughter Cecilia Valenzuela and her family. He lived with them first in Fresno, and later in Los Angeles, where his daughter Juanita had also moved. He died on Jan. 16, 1936 in Los Angeles, probably at Cecilia's house, and a death notice for him appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 18 of that year. However, it was his wish to be buried in San Luis Obispo, where he rests with wife Rufina, and three of their children in the Old Mission Cemetery.
children - LAMAS
Irenia Lamas (1882-1912) was born on April 2, 1882 and married Salvador Valentin Mendez (1873-1926), and had several children. She died on Dec. 25, 1912 in San Luis Obispo, where she is buried with Salavador in the Old Mission Cemetery.
Michael Lamas (1887-1912) is buried with his parents in the Old Mission Cemetery in San Luis Obisbo.
Domingo Lamas (1891-1912) was born in Dec. 1891 and died on March 17, 1912 in San Luis Obispo County. He is buried with his parents in the Old Mission Cemetery in San Luis Obisbo.
Cecelia Lamas (1895-1967) was born on March 3, 1895 in San Luis Obispo County. She married Peter Valenzuela (1883-1948) and had several children. She died on July 26, 1957 in Bakersfield, California; and she is buried nearby as the wife of James Martin (1906-1983) in Shafter Memorial Park.
Clucinda Lamas (1896-1898) died on Aug. 2, 1898 at the age of 1 year, 9 months and 3 days, and is buried with her parents in the Old Mission Cemetery in San Luis Obisbo.
Juanita "Wanda" Lamas (1898-1991), the daughter of Juan Lamas and Rufina Vega, was born Oct. 31, 1898 in San Luis Obispo County. She married her first husband Edward Antone (Anthony) Lopez (1883-1974) about 1915, probably in San Luis Obispo County, where their sons Rudy and John were born. She was only 16-years old at the time of the marriage, and Edward was 16-years older than she. Edward's parents were Manuel Victorino Lopez (b. c.1849), who was born in Portugal, and Enedina Budar, who was born in California, which leads us to believe that they were almost certainly married in California. Juanita divorced Edward in the mid 1920s or so, afterwhich she married her second husband Fred Lamas (1898-1960), who was technically her cousin. However, because Juanita's father Juan C. Lamas had been adopted by the Lamas family, Juanita and Fred were not actually blood relatives. Juanita and Fred generally lived in and around Kern County, where Fred worked as a cowboy. He died in a car accident in 1960, while hunting deer in Kern County; and Wanda died on Dec. 3, 1991 in the same county. Both are buried in Bakersfield in the Union Cemetery. Wanda's first husband Edward does not appear to have remarried, and he died on Aug. 2, 1974 in Shafter, where he was visiting his son Rudy. His ashes are housed in the New Mausoleum at San Luis Cemetery in San Luis Obispo.
children - LOPEZ
Rudolph "Rudy" Francis Lopez (1917-2011) was born on Oct. 7, 1917 in San Luis Obispo County. Because his mother was so young when he was born, he was raised by his grandfather Juan Lamas, and the 1930 U.S. Census shows 13-year old Rudy living with Juan in the Peter and Cecilia Valenzuela household. He married his first wife Ida Belle Hardin (1916-1973) about 1945 or so, and they lived much of their life in Kern County, California. Ida died on Jan. 4, 1973 in Shafter, which is in Kern County, and a few months later Rudy married his second wife Dorothy M. Stricklin (1917-2013) on May 5, 1973 in the same county. It was Dorothy's second marriage as well, as she had previously been married to Arthur Strickland (1910-1972). Technically, Dorothy was also Rudy's second cousin from his Lamas side of his family, but because Rudy's grandfather Juan Lamas had been adopted, Dorothy and Rudy were not actually blood relatives. When Rudy's biologic father Edward Lopez died in 1974, Rudy is listed as the informant on the death certificate. Rudy himself died on July 25, 2011 in Pismo Beach, and he is buried near his father in the San Luis Cemetery in San Luis Obispo. Rudy and his first wife Ida had one son Edward Francis Lopez (1946-2003), who was born on Dec. 14, 1946 in Wasco (Kern County), and died before Rudy on Aug. 28, 2003, possibly in Washington D.C. Rudy's second wife Dorothy survived Rudy by two years, but it is not known if she is buried with him, buried with her first husband Arthur Strickland, or buried elsewhere.
Benjamin "Bennie" Buttercup Lopez (1923-1931) was on born March 21, 1923 in Kern County. He died of lockjaw on Sept. 3, 1931, when he was only 8-years old, during a visit to Bakersfield from his home in San Luis Obispo. He is buried with other relatives in the Old Mission Cemetery in San Luis Obispo.
children - LAMAS
Dorothy "Dee" Irene Lopez (1928-2016) was born on Dec. 16, 1928 in Kern County, California, and married Philip Bracamonte (1924-2010). She died on May 9, 2016 in Bakersfield, California, and is buried with Philip in the Greenlawn Cemetery in Bakersfield.
Other Children. Juanita and Fred had several children born after Dorothy. We know about Robert Lamas (b. 1930), Harold Raymond Lamas (1934-2016), William Lamas (b. 1935), Fredrick Lamas (b. 1937), and Benjamine "Bennie" Lamas (b. 1938).
John Derald Lopez, the son of Edward Lopez and Juanita Lamas, was born on July 8, 1920 in San Luis Obispo, and grew up in the Belleview Ranch area (southwest Bakersfield) of Kern County. He graduated in 1939 from Bakersfield High School, and spent two years at California State College in San Luis Obispo, where he studied to be a farm animal veternarian. However, when World War II was declared, he left college to enlist on Feb. 10, 1942 in the U.S. Army, and he served in many of the major conflicts of the Pacific Theater. He returned to the States at the end of the war, and took up housekeeping in 1945 with Helen Marjorie Stewart (1915-1987) in Bakersfield. John subsequently adopted Helen's daughter Joann Marjorie Weinberger (b. 1941), whose biological father Harvey John Weinberger (1911-1978) had been a close friend of John's. However, Harvey found himself unable to continue caring for Helen and his daughter when his enlistment ended in the U.S. Navy, and John took over caring for the girls. John, Helen and Joann moved at some point to northern California, where another daughter, Janet Kathleen Lopez (1948-1986), was born.
John generally worked as a ranch hand and cowboy, and he also worked for seven years in Rio Vista as a foreman at the ranch of Wallace "Wally" McCormick (1911-2001), a prominent local banker with whom John developed a strong friendship. John and Helen had been living together for close to forty years when they married on April 15, 1985 in Carson City, Nevada, at which time they were living at Bird's Landing, not far from the McCormick Ranch of John's previous employ. Helen died from cancer on July 1, 1987 at Bird's Landing, and her ashes are interred at Fairmont Memorial Park in Fairfield, next to daughter Janet, who had passed away the previous year. John in 1992 married his second wife Betty Bourne MacKenzie (her second marriage also), and they spent many happy years together on Betty's family vineyard in southern Napa County. John died on Sept. 30, 2015 in his favorite chair at home on Betty's ranch, and his ashes are in an urn next to first wife Helen and his daughter Janet at Fairmont Memorial Park. There is a nice obituary for him that was written by adopted daughter Joann, and posted on the website for the Bryan Braker Funeral Home.
children (with first wife Helen Marjorie Stewart) - LOPEZ
Janet Kathleen Lopez (1948-1986) was born on Dec. 20, 1948 in Sacramento County, California. She married Paul Melton Haley (b. c.1948) on Aug. 19, 1969 in Napa County, and they divorced in May 1974 in neighboring Solano County. She died on Nov. 20, 1986 in Solano County, when only 37 years old, and her ashes reside with her parents at Fairmont Memorial Park in Farifield, which is also in Solano County.
children (stepdaughter) - WEINBERGER
JoAnn Marjorie Weinberger (b. 1941) was born on May 16, 1941 in rural Kern County, California to Helen Marjorie Stewart and Harvey Weinberger. Her parents had become engaged in August of 1936 in Shafter, which is also in Kern County, and they lived there together, prior to the war when JoAnn was born. However, Harvey ended up enlisting in the Navy during the war, and when the war ended, he was not in a position to resume family life. His close friend John Lopez began looking after Helen and JoAnn, and he ultimately became JoAnn's stepfather, and Helen's husband. JoAnn remained with them, until she married Frank Lucas on July 5, 1963 in Napa County, and she and Frank reside today in Scotts Valley.
John Derald Lopez Obituary
I was sorry not to see an obituary, but since I was raised as his "daughter" for 70 years I can fill in the gaps. John was born in San Luis Obispo, CA to Edward A. and Juanita "Wanda" Lamas Lopez. They were a family of three sons. The parents lived into their 90's, as did his older brother, Rudy. Only his younger brother, Benjamin "Buttercup", died too young at age 8.
John attended Cal Poly and had thought to continue his education at UC Davis. Instead, shortly after Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the U. S. Army. He served from Feb. 1942 to Sept 1945, rising from private to sergeant. As part of the 40th Infantry Division, 213th Field Artillery Battalion, he spent 37 months in the Pacific, island hopping. He was awarded the Soldier's Medal for Valor, for a non-combat act of heroism, rescuing an injured soldier from the cave-in of an underground personnel shelter on Kauai.
After the war, he married my mother, Helen, and became my stepfather. They relocated to Northern California, Solano and Napa counties, and together had a daughter, Janet. John and Helen enjoyed 42 years of marriage. It was devastating when Janet died just before her 38th birthday and Helen passed on 7 months later after a two year battle with cancer.
John's grief was lessened by a second marriage to Betty, a local vineyard property owner in Gordon Valley. They had many good years together. Unfortunately, over the last several years, John's mobility was so impaired that he could no longer leave the house. For a man who had always enjoyed outdoor activities that was very sad. He had also out-lived the friends, who used to visit and take him out [e.g., John's best friend Bob Carty passed away in April 2014].
He was a man of integrity, honesty, and generosity and he will be dearly missed. You will always be in my heart, Dad. I'm thankful for the 70 years of wonderful memories.