Canary Islanders

Location: Main Plaza, NW Corner of courthouse lawn, San Antonio, TX

Canary IslandersEarliest civilian colonists of San Antonio, this nucleus of pioneers from the Canary Islands formed the first organized civil government in Texas and founded the village of San Fernando de Bexar in 1731.

Following a sea and land voyage of over a year, these weary travelers arrived at the Presidio (Fort) of San Antonio early on March 9, 1731. Totaling 56 persons, they had emigrated to Texas from the Spanish Canary Islands near Africa, by order of King Philip V.

On July 2, they began to lay out a villa (village), choosing a site on the west side of the Plaza de las Islas (present Main Plaza) for the church and a site on the east side for the Casa Reales (government building). On July 9, the captain of the Presidio, Juan Antonio De Almazan, read to the islanders the decree of the viceroy naming them and their descendants "Hijos Dalgos", persons of nobility.

The heads of the 16 families who settled in San Antonio were: Juan Leal Goraz, Juan Curbelo, Juan Leal, Antonio Santos, Jose Padron, Manuel De Nis, Vicente Alvarez Travieso, Salvador Rodriguez, Jose Leal, Juan Delgado, Jose Cabrera, Juan Rodriguez Grandillo, Francisco De Arocha, Antonio Rodriguez, Lorenzo and Martin De Armas, and Felipe and Jose Antonio Perez. (1971)