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San Antonio, Texas

March 9, 1731


Photo Gallery

The marker reads:

Earliest Civilian Colonist 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 55 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 Yslas (Present main Plaza) for the church and a site on the east side of the Casa Real (Government Building).  On July 19 the Captain of the Presidio Juan Antonio De Almazan, read to the Islanders the Decree of the Viceroy naming them and their descendants “Hijos Dalgo” - 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 Granadillo, Francisco Arocha, Antonio Rodriguez, Lorenzo and Martin de Armas, and Felipe and Jose Antonio Perez.

The Canary Islanders Market

The Canary Islanders Marker

Marker located on Main Plaza in front of the Bexar County Courthouse.

Marker #702, erected in 1971 by the State Historical Survey Committee

Main Plaza was originally called  

Plaza De Las Yslas

Corrections to the Marker:

The heads of the sixteen families are misstated on this marker. Lorenzo and Martin de Armas and Felipe and Jose Antonio Perez were four single men listed as the sixteenth family. Omitted from the marker are Maria Rodriguez-Provayna, widow of Juan Rodriguez Granadillo, head of the fourteenth family and Mariana Meleano, widow of Lucas Delgado, head of the fifteenth family. Juan Rodriguez Granadillo and Lucas Delgado died in Vera Cruz, shortly after their arrival in New Spain.

Canary Islands Descendants Association

San Antonio, Texas

Message from the President

Welcome to the Canary Island Descendants Association (CIDA) website.  We are excited that you would like to learn more about the organization and hope that our site can answer any questions you may have.  We are a completely volunteer driven organization with a 501 C3 non-profit status.    

Established in 1977 to honor our ancestor’s courage and determination to establish the first municipal government in the Presidio San Antonio de Bejar (Plaza de Armas) where sixteen families of the Canary Islands arrived on the site of the presidio, carrying a royal decree of the King of Spain to establish the first community of Spanish civilians in the area.  Departing on March 27, 1730 on a journey that would take them from Santa Cruz, Tenerife, to Havana Cuba and finally landing in Vera Cruz, Mexico and ultimately making the long journey to the Villa de San Fernando on March 9, 1731.  


The association was established to encourage and promote historical genealogical research of these brave individuals and enhance the historical, cultural, and civic significance of the accomplishments of the sixteen original Canary Island families who founded the Villa de San Fernando.  We welcome you to our site and hope you gain the knowledge you are seeking about these wonderful people who are an important part of Texas History.


Please see our application form located on this site and we are happy to assist you on this exciting and rewarding journey.   Our organization meets monthly to learn more about the Spanish Colonial era, the beginnings of the Tejano community and the contributions of our ancestors.  CIDA is currently participating in the planning for the City of San Antonio’s Tri-Centennial and would love for you to join us as we plan for this monumental event.  


Mari Tamez


Canary Islands Descendants Association

Welcome to CIDA-SAThe Canary Islands