Suisun Indian Timeline


1769Nov 4A land expedition led by Gaspar de Portola are the first white men to see San Francisco Bay. They explore the east side of the Bay over the next few days, reaching perhaps as far as modern Richmond. Cook (1976) estimates that at this time the Southern Patwin population, which includes the Suisunes, was 3,300 to 5,000 people.
1772Mar 30A Spanish expedition led by Pedro Fages makes first contact with the Chupcan people of the Diablo Valley area and finds them friendly. The Chupcan were heavily intermarried with the Suisun.
1776Mar 28A Spanish expedition led by Juan Bautista de Anza founds a presidio (fort) on San Francisco Peninsula, followed on Jun 29th by founding of San Francisco Mission. This begins the forced conversion over the next three decades of the natives to Christianity. The expedition then encounters the Chupcans a few days later and this time they are unfriendly.
1797Jun 11San José Mission is founded in the area of the present city of Fremont.
1804Jan 25First mention of the Suisun Indians, when fourteen neophytes (Christian converts) leave San Francisco Mission, cross Carquinez Strait and travel north to Suisun Valley, never to be heard from again. Some assume the Suisunes killed them, others that they drowned crossing the strait.
1804SepThe Chupcans (Bay Miwok) avoid Spanish soldiers under Luis Peralta by paddling across Suisun Bay at night in tule boats to take refuge with Suisun allies (relatives?). They do not return to the south side of the bay ever again.
1804Nov 16Spanish governor José Arrillaga of Las Californias receives a decree dated Aug. 29, 1804 making Alta California and Baja California separate provinces, and appointing him governor of the former, with a boundary south of San Diego.
1806SpringA measles epidemic kills one-fourth of the Ohone Indians in the missions. Nearly all the children perish.. All of the Carquins and Chupcans by this time have migrated to the north side of Carquinez Strait and Suisun Bay.
1809JuneBaptisms of the Carquin Indians (Bay Miwok) begin at the San Francisco Mission. Prior to this the Carquins were a barrier to Spanish influence moving north into the Valley of the Suisun.
1810Feb 16 or 19Three neophytes from the San Francisco Mission are killed by the Suisunes, and plans made by the Spanish to mount a punitive expedition in reprisal.
1810May 22Gabriel Moraga leads a force of 17 soldiers and several Indian allies on an attack near Rockville that results in the deaths of 120 Suisune warriors, and the capure of a dozen children who are brought to the mission to become converts. Moraga and his soldiers are probably the first white men to enter the Suisun Valley.
1810Jul 24A 9- or 10-year old Suisune boy, who may have been one of the children chaptured by Moraga, is baptized at the San Francisco Mission and given the Christian name Francisco Solano. He later becomes the Suisune leader known as "Chief Solano".
1810Dec 22The baptism of 11 Suisun Indians at the San Francisco Mission marks the beginning of an exodus of the Suisune people from their homeland to become integrated into the mission system.
1811Oct 28Father Ramon Abella and Sergeant José Sanchez visit the Suisun Valley while returning from an exploration of the Sacramento area. Abella reports that the natives are timid and subdued due to their earlier defeat by Moraga.
1815 Peak migration of the Suisune from their homeland takes place, with 122 baptized at the San Francisco Mission. Only 18 are baptized the next year, and only 1 to 3 a year after that.
1816Oct 4Russian Artist Louis Choris visits the San Francisco Mission, where the largest group of Indians there at the time was the Suisune, with 156 Suisune out of a total of 1,030 Indians associated with the Mission.
1817May 13Sergeant Don Luis Arguello with Fathers Ramon Abella and Narciso Duran leave San Francisco to begin a 13-day expedition to explore the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers.
1817 An 1850 report by Mariano Vallejo claims that a large number of Suisune warriors were killed, and others committed suicide at their village in an encounter with Sergeant José Sanchez. However, Vallejo probably confuses the Dec 13th event that follows with Moraga's well-known battle of May 1810 in the same area.
1817Dec 13Father Ramon Abella crosses the Carquinez Strait and continues north to where he dedicates the San Rafael asistencia (branch mission) on the next day. He probably travels through the Suisun Valley, probably with Sergeant José Sanchez.
1821Aug 24Representatives of the Spanish crown sign the Treaty of Cordoba that recognizes Mexican Independance from Spain.
1821Oct 21A Spanish expedition heading north to Sacramento with a Suisun Indian interpreter named Rafael (Jacobchea) camps where Moraga in May 1810 attacked the Suisuns, and they find the Suisun Valley deserted of Indians.
1823Jun 25Father Altimira and Alferéz José Sanchez leave San Francisco on an expedition to seek out sites to the north for new missions. They pass through Suisun Valley on their way, and Altimira likes what he sees. Continuing on, he places a cross on July 4th at the proposed site for a new mission in Sonoma, with construction starting up in October.
1824Apr 24Dedication of the Sonoma Mission by Altimira. Francisco Solano is one of 602 Christian Indians moved from older missions to the new Sonoma Mission. By virtue of his stature and Spanish fluency he becomes an Alcade (head Indian/mayor) at the mission.
1824Oct 4Mexico becomes a Republic and the empire of Augustine Iturbide ends with enactment of a new constitution. Largely left alone during Iturbide's rule, Alta California is recognized as a territory by the new republic.
1824End ofAltimira founds the Santa Eulalia Asistencia as a branch of the Sonoma Mission in the Suisun Valley near the site of modern Rockville. The land is worked and baptisms take place here for at least the next 8 years. The Suisun Indian Jesus Molino at some point is made alcalde (head Indian/mayor) of the Asistencia.
1826 First mention in mission records of Francisco Solano (Sem-Yeto) as an alcalde of the Sonoma Mission.
1829May 29Newly appointed alferéz Mariano Vallejo leads a three-day skirmish against Lakisamni (Yokuts) chief Estanislao (d. 1838), a former alcalde of the San Jose Mission, and routs the Lakisamni two days later in a battle near the San Joaquin River.
1829 Mariano Vallejo testifies in an 1852 court deposition that he first meets Francisco Solano (Sem-Yeto), who was one of the alcaldes of the Sonoma Mission.
1833JunAlferéz Mariano Vallejo is promoted to a lieutenant and subsequently becomes Commandant of the San Francisco presidio.
1833Aug 17The Mexican Congress passes an act to secularize all the missions, which means the missions are to close, the mission fathers to be removed, and the mission properties to be dispersed to the Indians.
1834Nov 3The Sonoma Mission is designated a parish and ceases to exist. Vallejo as Commandant of the San Francisco Presidio is charged with distributing mission properties to the Indians, but little is done and the mission soon falls into disrepair.
1835Jun 23Vallejo receives an order from Governor José Figueroa to found the Pueblo de Sonoma
1835 When Vallejo plans to garrison soldiers at Sonoma, Suisun Indian leader and former mission alcalde Francisco Solano (Indian name Sem-Yeto) leads an uprising of former mission Indians. Vallejo puts down this rebellion in a battle at the Patwin village of Suscol, and negotiates a military alliance with Solano and the Suisun, who then aid Vallejo in campaigns against the Wappos of Napa County, the Satiyomis (who were probably Sonoma County Wappos), and the Yoloitoy (who were Yolo County Patwins).
1836Jun 7Vallejo signs a treaty with the Wappos (Guapos) of Napa County, gaining victory with the help of Solano and his Suisun warriors.
1836Jul 23The first battle of the Yoloitoy-Satiyomi War is fought against the Satiyomi (probably another Wappo group) at the Geyers, with Vallejo and Solano's Suisune warriors achieving victory, but at a great loss of men and horses. Solano is said to have shown exceptional bravery.
1836Oct 23Chief Solano leaves San Francisco with a force of perhaps 80 or so Indians for Monterey to put on a display of force there in support of Mariano Vallejo. Dorotea Valdez in 1874 described Solano's procession as it entered Monterey.
1836Nov 29Vallejo is promoted from alferéz to lieutenant-colonel, and appointed Commandant General of Alta California, making him head military officer in the territory. A few weeks later he places his brother Salvador in command of the Sonoma presidio.
1836 Vallejo presents Solano with a body guard of 44 Suisun and Napajo (Napa) warriors dressed in Mexican uniforms. The timing is not certain, but Dorotea Vadez does not mention seeing them in the Oct 1836 procession at Monterey.
1837Jan 16Francisco Solano, aka Chief Solano, applies to the Mexican Government for three leagues of land (17,752 acres) in the Suisun Valley. Mariano Vallejo issues the grant two days later as the Suisun Indian Rancho.
1837Nov?Solano with the aid of his body guard capture Zampay, chief of the Yoloitoy (Yolo County). Two days later Zampay's ally Chief Succara of the Satiyomi sends envoys to Vallejo to negotiate peace.
1837Dec 1Vallejo signs a treaty with Chief Succara of the Satiyomis of Sonoma County. As before, victory was obtained with the help of Chief Solano's warriors, but this time with Solano and the Suisune fighting alongside Vallejo's brother Salavador. However, Succara soon breaks the treaty.
1838SummerA small pox epidemic starting in 1837 at the Russian settlement in Fort Ross decimates the Indian population of California, killing tens of thousands. Chief Solano having been vaccinated is one of the few to survive.
1839 Most of Solano's Suisune-Napajo bodyguard have died from small pox, so Vallejo retires the survivors with pensions.
1842JanGeorge Simpson visits 300 Indians, probably including Suisunes, on General Vallejo's land near Sonoma and describes their condition. He findds them in a pitiful condition (see description).
1842Jan 21Solano fulfills the provisions of his land grant request, and receives full title to the Suisun Indian Rancho.
1842May 10Solano sells the Suisun Indian Rancho to Mariano Vallejo for 8,000 Mexican Reales, which translate to $1,000 U.S.
1842Dec 30Vallejo resigns his command and Manuel Micheltorena is appointed both civil and military Governor of Alta California. Although Vallejo continues to discharge some military duties, he devotes most of his time to managing his land interests.
1843MarSalavdor Vallejo with Solano and the few remaining Suisune wage a new campaign against the Satiyomis (Sonoma County), who had broken the terms of their 1837 treaty by conducting raids and stealing horses.
1845Oct 3The Mexican Government gives full approval to the granting of the Suisun Indian Rancho to Francisco Solano, the land having actually been purchased from Solano by Mariano Vallejo three years earlier.
1846Apr 23Mexico declares war against the United States to begin the Mexican War. Vallejo is neutral at first, but ultimately gives his support to the United States.
1846Jun 14Chief Solano witnesses General Vallejo taken prisoner during the Bear Flag Revolt, and assuming Vallejo is to be executed, Solano disappears for the next several years.
1847 Jesus Molino, a Suisun Indian and former alcalde of the Santa Eulalia Asistencia, is said to live in Rockville in an adobe once owned by Chief Solano. Some source refer to Molino as Vallejo's manager of the Suisun Indian Rancho.
1847Jan 13Alta California surrenders to United States forces during the Mexican War with the signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga.
1848Feb 2Mexico in the aftermath of the Mexican War signs the Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo, which results on May 30, 1848 in annexation of Alta California by the United States. California subsequently enters the U.S. as a new state.
1848Aug 19The California Gold Rush begins when the New York Herald announces that James Marshall on Jan 24th had discoverd gold at Sutter's Mill in Coloma. Soon hoards of gold-seekers and settlers descend on the state to wreck havoc on the native populations.
1849 Approximate date of the reappearance of Chief Solano in the Suisun Valley. He reportedly dies soon afterwards, but the details of his death and burial remain controversial to the present day.
1850 Feb 18The California Governor signs a recommendation by Mariano Vallejo for the naming of Solano County. Vallejo then presents a report on April 16th to the State Senate explaining that Solano is also the surname of the chief of the Suisun Indians.
1850May 29Vallejo sells the Suisun Indian Rancho for $50,000 to Archibald Ritchie.
1852 Bowen (2004) writes in a newspaper article that reports from the 1852 State Census indicate that only about 200 Southern Patwin, which includes the Suisune, were still alive at that time.
1853Jan 3A Board of Land Commissioners validates Archibald Ritchie's claim to the Suisun Indian Rancho first acquired as a Mexican land grant by Chief Solano. But the U.S. Government appeals, keeping the case in court for several more years.
1853Feb 10Samuel Martin then makes the first purchase of Suisun Rancho land from Archibald Ritchie. Martin's purchase amounts to 142.6 acres adjoining the plot overseen by Jesus Molino, former alcalde of the Suisun Indian Rancho.
1855Mar 10The U.S. Supreme Court upholds lower court decisions on legality of the Suisun Indian Rancho purchased by A. Ritchie.
1860 The approximate death date of the Suisun Indian Tomo, who was the childhood mentor of Platon Vallejo, the son of Mariano Vallejo, and who taught Platon the Suisun language.
1874Apr 10Enrique Cerruti, a researcher for Hubert Howe Bancroft, interviews Isidora Filomena Solano, the widow of Chief Solano, at the Sonoma property of General Mariano Vallejo.
1876Jul 4Mariano Vallejo gives a speech at a centennial celebration in Sonoma, in which he praises "the supreme chieftain Yetoy, called Francisco Solano when he became a Christian", and adds that "very properly a splendid county has been named after him."
1914Jan 27Platon Vallejo, the son of Mariano Vallejo, reveals in his serialized memoirs in the San Francisco Bulletin that the grave of Chief Solano had been dug up many years before, with the skull kept by a druggist in Vallejo.
1924 Kroeber (1932, p. 254) writes that a survey he made of all remaining Patwin settlements indicated a surviving population of only 150 to 200 people, and that all of the Southern Patwin, including the Suisuns, were completely extinct.
1934Jun 3Unveiling ceremonies are held in Cordelia for the bronze Chief Solano statue by sculpter William Huff. Speeches given by Samuel Martin's daughter-in-law Carrie Martin (neé Pittman) and others memorialize Chief Solano.




Bancroft, Hubert Howe (1884-1890), "History of California" in The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, A.L. Bancroft & Co., San Francisco, California, v. II, p. 91-92, 321-323, 328-330, 497-500, 571, 686; v. III, p. 295, 360, 598; v. IV, p. 71-3, 444 , 647, 674, 744-745; v. V, p. 710, 727, 757-759.

Bowen, Jerry (2010a), Suisun Indian Timeline, Solano History Exploration Center (online website), Suisun City, California - Last accessed 2018-02-14

Cook, Sherburne F. (1976), The Population of the California Indians, 1769-1970, University of California Press, Berkeley, California.

Lothrop, Marian Lydia (1932), "The Indian Campaigns of General M. G. Vallejo" in Quarterly of the Society of California Pioneers, v. XI, n. 3 (September 1932), p. 161-205.

Low, M. Clyde (1986), "Chief Solano: The Legend Examined" in The Solano Historian (journal), v. 1, n.2 (may, 1986), p. 5-10 & 22.

Milliken, Randall (1995), A Time of Little Choice: The Disintegration of Tribal Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area 1769-1810, edited by T. C. Blackburn, Ballena Press Anthropological Papers, No. 43, Menlo Park, California, p. 180-181, 204-211.

Milliken, Randall (2009), Ethnohistory and Ethnogeography of the Coast Miwok and their Neighbors, 1783-1840, Prepared by Archaeological and Historical Consultants of Oakland, California for the National Park Service of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco, California, p. 27.

Milliken, Randall; Shoup, Laurence H. and Ortiz, Beverly R. (2009), Ohlone/Costonoan Indians of the San Francisco Peninsula and Their Neighbors, Yesterday and Today, Prepared by Archaeological and Historical Consultants of Oakland, California for the National Park Service of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco, California, Solicitation Q8158020405, p. 111, 114-166 & 316 (Table F5).

Peterson, Marcus (1957), The Career of Solano, Chief of the Suisuns, Masters of Arts Thesis, University of California at Berkeley, 93 p.

Vallejo, Platon M.G. (1914), Memoirs of the Vallejos, arranged for publication by James H. Wilkins, original manuscript in the collection of the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, California, p. 11, 29-30 & 44-45.







North Bay Tribelets (Rancherias)
(and Language Groups)




The glossary that follows is, for the most part, adapted from Milliken (1995, p. 237-258), with little change. Sections that are based on other sources are shown in italics. Although very few of the Indians of California were organized into true "tribes", as we generally think of a tribe, Milliken (1995) uses the term "tribal groups" to refer to small, somewhat disorganized bands that centered around villages of sometimes as few as 10 to 15 families. Others prefer the term "tribelets" for these de-centralized groups. The Spanish called them "rancherias", which emphasizes the connection to small villages. A portion of Milliken's (1995, Map 4) map of these tribal groups is shown on the right.

Bolbon - The name Bolbon has been applied to at least two distinct groups in the North Bay Area. Members of the group called Volvon (Bay Miwok) in the San Francisco Mission Book of Baptisms were called Bolbons by Father Abella in the San Francisco Mission Padron of 1822. The group called Cholvons (Yokut) in the San Jose Book of Baptisms were identified by Father Abella as Bolbons on October 22, 1811, when he visited "the village of Pescadero, also called Bolbones, along a fork of the San Joaquin River north of the present city of Tracy. There is also a group at the Santa Clara Mission that appear in some mission records as Bolbon, yet have nothing to do with the Volvon or Chlovon.

Canicaymo (Wappo language) - A blanket label for the four most southerly Wappo-speaking southerly tribes---Caymos, Canijolmano, Huijulic and Mayacma---by the Mission Dolores scribes. Wappo speakers baptized at Mission San Francisco Solano were identified with their specific local tribe names.

Carquin (Ohlone language) - A tribelet on both sides of the Carquinez Strait in the Post Costa, Martinez, Benecia area. Father Abella of Mission San Francisco passed through the "estrecho de los Carquines" during the exploration of the Central Valley in 1811. The "Estrecho de Karquines" also appears on Father Duran's 1824 Plano Topografico. Bennyoff (1977) felt strongly that they held only the southern side of Carquinez Strait, while the Aguastos, whom he identified as Patwin speakers, held the north side of that Strait. The specific Aguasto group of the area, the Huchiun-Aguastos, may have held the north side of Carquinez Strait from Glenn Cove west to Mare Island, but they were clearly Costonoan [Ohlone] speakers and heavily intermarried with the Carquins. Milliken (1995) sees no evidence for any other group to the north of Carquinez Strait until one reaches the Napa and Suisun tribes, who definitely are not located on Carquinez Strait. A total of 152 Carquins went to Mission San Francisco, most of them in 1809 and 1810.

Caymus (Wappo language) - The Caymus held the present Yountville area of Napa Valley north of San Pablo Bay. The majority of them went down to Mission San Francisco in 1821, where they were among 240 Wappo-speaking people from four tribes all baptized under the generic term for all Wappo speakers, Canicaymus. Many of them were transfered north to help found Mission San Francisco Solano in the Napa Valley in 1823. It is in the mission registers of Mission San Francisco Solano that one can find evidence that the majority of Canicaymos that went to Mission San Francisco were indeed Caymus, and that only a few were Canijolmano, Huiluc and Mayacma, other Wappo speakers of the North Bay Area. Only five additional Caymus people were baptized after Mission San Francisco Solano opened.

Chupcan (Bay Miwok language) - A tribe which held the lower Diablo Valley in the East Bay, occasionally called Yacumusmos in Mission San Francisco records. Some of them went to Mission San Francisco in 1804 in mixed nuclear family groups with Carquins and Tatcans. Their main village on lower Pacheco Creek at the present city of Concord ws known as Monte del Diablo or "The Devil's Woodlot" to the Spaniards. The great majority of the 146 Chupcans who went to Mission San Francisco and Mission San Jose were baptized in 1810 and 1811. With them were the Suisuns, with whom they were heavily intermarried.

Chuructas (Hill Patwin language) - The Chuructas are not addressed by Milliken (1995). They were subdued by the Suisuns during the Indian campaigns conducted in the 1830s by Mariano Vallejo. Isidora Solano, who was one of the wives of Suisun leader Francsico Solano (Sem-Yeto), was Chuructas. She was associated in later years with Mariano Vallejo's family, and she states in an 1874 interview conducted at Vallejo's ranch that the Suisuns were not able to understand the language of her people.

Maidu is an Indian word that translates as "man" or "person", and also designates one of the Penutian languages of California. Maidu was spoken in the central Sierra Nevadas north of where Miwok was spoken, and in the northern Sacramento Valley on the east side of the Sacramento River. (see map and chart for additional information)

Malaca (South Patwin language) - Only 64 Malaca people were ever baptized, most at Mission San Francisco between 1815 and 1821, and a few at Mission San Francisco Solano from 1827 to 1832. Time of baptism and marriage ties place them on the plains on the north side of Suisun Bay, east of the present town of Fairfield. They were closely ties to the Suisuns and many of the 326 Suisuns at San Francisco may actually have been Malacas.

Miwok is an Indian word that translates as "people", and also designates one of the Penutian languages of California. Miwok was spoken in the Yosemite region of the Sierra Nevadas extending west along the lower course of the Sacramento River to San Francisco Bay. (see map and chart for additional information)

Napa (South Patwin language) - The Napas neld the east side of the lower reaches of the Napa River below the present town of Napa. They had four intermarriages with the Huchiun-Aguastos, four with the Choquoimes and two with the Tolenas. The overall regional pattern of intermarriages places the Napas as southern neighbors of the Caymus, even though Milliken (1995) could only find one marriage between them. Some 221 Napa people were baptized. Fifty-seven went to Mission San Francisco from 1809 through 1815. A larger group, 164 people, went to Mission San Jose from 1814 to 1818.

Ohlone is an Indian word of uncertain origin that also designates one of the Penutian languages of California. Historically the word "Costanoan" (from the Spanish "costa" for "coast") has been used in place of Ohlone. The word Ohlone is thought by some to be the name of an Indian village along the San Mateo coast, but others suggest it may be a Miwok word for "western people". Ohlone was spoken along the coast in a region that includes the San Francisco Peninula and continues south to the area surrounding Monterey Bay. (see map and chart for additional information)

Ompin (Bay Miwok language) - A tribe centered on both sides of the channel where the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers meet to flow into Suisun Bay, across from the present town of Pittsburg. The group probably used the lands on both the northern and southern shore of the river. The Ompins joined Mission San Jose in 1811 and 1812, ninety-one people 1n 1811, and seventeen people in 1812.

Patwin is an Indian word that translates as "people", and also designates one of the Penutian languages of California. "Win" is actually a word for "man", so Pat-win, as with Win-tun, is a modified form of "man". Patwin was spoken in the south part of Napa Valley, in Green and Suisun Valleys, and the southern part of the Sacramento Valley. (see map and chart for additional information)

Penutian is a word invented by Alfred Kroeber (1925, 1932) to designate a family of North American Indian languages spoken mainly in California---primarily thoughout the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys, as well as in the central Sierra Nevadas, and the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas. Penutian languages use either the word "pen" or the word "utia" to designate the number "two", with the Patwin, Wintun and Maidu languages belonging to the Pen sub-family, and Miwok, Ohlone and Yokut belonging to the Utia sub-family. (see map and chart for additional information)

Putah (South Patwin? language) - The Putah are not addressed by Milliken (1995). They were probably South Patwins, but they may have spoken dialect intermediate with River Patwin.

Suisun (South Patwin language) - The Suisuns lived on the north shore of Suisun Bay. Gabriel Moraga attacked their villages in May of 1810. His diary gives no details beyond the fact that the villages were north of Carquinez Strait. The route of Father Abella, who visited them in 1811, indicates a location in the present Fairfield area on the north side of Suisun Bay. Most people put their main village near the present town of Rockville, but there were probably other nearby villages that the Spanish associated with this main settlement. Suisuns were baptized at San Francisco between 1810 and 1816 (326 people). Francisco Solano, the Mexican-era associate of Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, was a Suisun baptized at Mission an Francisco in July of 1810 at age 10.

Suskol (South Patwin language) - The Suskol are not addressed by Milliken (1995). Their villages were located on the north bank of Suscol Creek, west of Highway 29, at a crossroads "for people traveling from the east to the coast, and up and down the Napa Valley".

Tolena (South Patwin language) - The Tolenas lived on the very northern edge of the San Francisco Bay Area, in Green Valley just north of the Suisun Plain. The first of them to go to a mission, a small group of nine people, went down to Mission San Francisco with some Suisuns in 1812, at which time they were called Caguapattos and were said to speak the "lengua de Napa". A total of 138 people went to Mission San Jose from 1815 until 1820 under the name Tolena. Another 19 were baptized at Mission San Jose.

Ululato (South Patwin Language) - The Ululatos lived in the present Vacaville area in the western Sacramento Valley. Ulatis Creek, which runs eastward from the hills through Vacaville and thence onto the plains, takes its name from these people, who were visited by Luis Arguello on October 23, 1821. A total of 280 Ululato people were baptized at Mission San Francisco between 1815 and 1822, 215 in 1821 alone. Another 67 Ululatos were baptized at Mission San Francisco de Solano between 1824 and 1833.

Volvon (Bay Miwok language) - The Volvons were also known as the Bolbones. They held the peak of Mount Diablo and the rugged lands to the east of the peak. Their villages were along the Marsh Creek drainage on the eastern side of the mountain. Some of the Mission San Jose priests referred to them as the Zuicans. Forty-four Volvons were baptized at Mission San Jose in the spring of 1805, although one faction seems to have fled in the spring of 1805 after their children were baptized. Many of the parents of these children were sent to Mission San Francisco in August of 1805. Other parents were among the last large group of Volvon converts at Mission San Francisco in the spring of 1806. Father Abella's 1811 diary referred to Mount Diablo as the "Cerro Alto de los Bolbones", the name by which it was known until the early 1840s. The variant spelling "Bolbon" was included in the title of a Mexican-period land grant, Rancho Nueces y Bolbones (Walnut trees and Bolbones [mountain or Indians]). The Volvons who went to Mission San Francisco and Mission San Jose from 1803 to 1806 should not be confused with the people labeled Bolbon in the death registers of Mission Santa Clara. The latter group have a number of family ties to the Cholvons of the Tracy area in the San Joaquin Valley (a Yokut-speaking people), and absolutely no family ties to the Volvons of the Mount Diablo area.

Wappo is an extinct Native American language that was spoken in the northern part of the Napa Valley. It is thought to be related to the Yuki language that was spoken in the Eel River Valley. Otherwise it is unlike any of the other native languages of California. Hence, it is included with Yuki in the Yukian language family. Yuki is a Wintun word for "enemy", "stranger" or "foe", whereas Wappo comes from "guapo", which is Spanish for "brave" or "severe". (see map for additional information)

Wintun is an Indian word that translates as "people", and also designates one of the Penutian languages of California. "Win" is actually the word for "man", and "tun" is the word for "body", which gives us "the body of man", or more appropriately "mankind". Wintun was spoken in the northern part of the Sacramento Valley, generally on the west side of the Sacramento River. (see map and chart for additional information)

Yokut is an Indian word that translates as "people", and also designates one of the Penutian languages of California. Yokut was spoken throughout the San Joaquin Valley. (see map and chart for additional information)

Yolo (River Patwin language) - The Yolo are not addressed by Milliken (1995). They were subdued by the Suisuns during the Indian campaigns conducted in the 1830s by Mariano Vallejo and Francisco Solano (Sem-Yeto), and hence moved to the Sonoma Mission. William Knight brought them back to his ranch at Knight's Landing when the Mission was secularized, but the small pox epidemic of 1838 killed off almost all of them.


(from Milliken at al., 2009, Table F5, p. 316)




Bancroft, Hubert Howe (1875), "The Native Races of the Pacific States of North America: Wild Tribes" in The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, D. Appleton & Co., New York, v. I, p. 362-363, 452.

Johnson, Patti J. (1978), "Patwin" in Handbook of North American Indians - California (Robert F. Heizer, ed.), Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., v. 8, p. 350-360.

Kroeber, Alfred L. (1916), "California Place Names of Indian Origin" in American Archaeology and Ethnology, University of California Publications, Berkeley, California, v. 12, n. 2 (June 15, 1916), p. 31-69.

Milliken, Randall (1995), A Time of Little Choice: The Disintegration of Tribal Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area 1769-1810, edited by T. C. Blackburn, Ballena Press Anthropological Papers, No. 43, Menlo Park, California, p. 228 & 237-258.

Sanchez, Nellie van de Grift (1922), Spanish and Indian Place Names of California (2nd Edition), A.M. Robertson, San Francisco, California, p. 274-277.

Taylor, Alex S. (1860), "California Notes: The Indianology of California - No. 3 The Indians of San Rafael and North Bay Valleys" in California Framer, San Francisco, California, v. XIII, n. 7, p. 50.