US-OBITS-L ArchivesArchiver > US-OBITS > 2002-01 > 1012489990
From: "Sandra E. T. Duncan" <>
Subject: [US-OBITS] Fw: [CADI] Fernando BERRYESSA -- Monterey Co. obit/news
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2002 07:13:10 -0800
I am still trying to find my sea-legs here so I did not post this but
instead sent to you for your advice and guidance
SANDRA TYLER DUNCAN
Page full of links for genealogists:
Very useful site full of Genealogy Links
----- Original Message -----
From: "roland elliott" <>
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2002 4:32 PM
Subject: Re: [CADI] Fernando BERRYESSA -- Monterey Co. obit/news
> You ever been to Santa Rita???????I can understand people there killing
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2002 16:04
> Subject: [CADI] Fernando BERRYESSA -- Monterey Co. obit/news
> > Got him!!! Thank goodness for the index to the "Index" -- turns out the
> > year was 1878. I'll transcribe it here, for the benefit of anyone else
> > interested, but if you'd like the hard copy, send me your address
> > off-list. (Catarina & kids must have moved to Castroville after
> > Fernando's death -- that's about 10 or 15 miles from Santa Rita, which
> > the northern part of Salinas.)
> > Dee
> > Salinas City Index, Thurs., Oct. 17, 1878, p. 3:
> > [paragraph breaks inserted by transcriber]
> > ***Fatal Shooting Affray --
> > Shortly after eight o'clock last Saturday evening a shooting affray took
> > place at the little village of Santa Rita, near Salinas, resulting in
> > death of Fernando BERRYESSA, aged 47 years, and the serious wounding of
> > Charley ROBERTSON, a young man about 25 years of age, both native
> > Californians and residents of Santa Rita. It appears that BERRYESSA had
> > repeatedly threatened ROBERTSON's life, having told several persons
> > during the past 2 or 3 weeks that he would kill him the first good
> > he got. It is said that BERRYESSA objected to ROBERTSON keeping company
> > with his daughter, and this is supposed to have been the cause of the
> > hostility which culminated in the bloody tragedy last Saturday night.
> > This, however, is merely a rumor that has spread abroad since the
> > shooting.
> > BERRYESSA went into CASTRO's saloon at Santa Rita about 8 o'clock on the
> > evening in question, and took a drink. He asked ROBERTSON, who was
> > sitting on a table thrumming a tune on a guitar at the time, to go
> > outside with him as he wished to speak with him. ROBERTSON laid down the
> > guitar and followed him out across the street to the north-west corner
> > the plaza fence about 75 feet from the saloon.
> > It was a bright moonlight night. BERRYESSA had been drinking some, but
> > not to any very noticeable extent; ROBERTSON seldom, if ever, drinks
> > liquor, and was duly sober. Hearing loud talk in Spanish, and fearing
> > there would be trouble, a crowd of men, some half a dozen or more, who
> > were friends of both parties, went across the street and separated them.
> > Domingo STOKES had hold of ROBERTSON's right hand, supposing that
> > else was looking after BERRYESSA, who was about 10 feet distant.
> > All of a sudden the latter drew his pistol and fired at ROBERTSON who
> > then drew his pistol, but, before he could return the fire, BERRYESSA
> > shot at him a second time. Both then fired 9 or 10 shots in rapid
> > succession, emptying their pistols and still snapping them at each other
> > after all the loads were exhausted. They then rushed on each other like
> > tigers, when ROBERTSON struck BERRYESSA over the head with his
> > sixshooter, knocking him down.
> > BERRYESSA was carried to his home, a short distance up the street, where
> > he died a few minutes afterwards, having received a bullet through his
> > right collar bone into the cavity of the chest, and another about 3
> > inches below the right nipple, ranging upward and inward. Physicians,
> > examined the body, say that either would have caused death.
> > ROBERTSON was shot through the right arm between the elbow and shoulder,
> > and received a bullet in the lower portion of his abdomen, just above
> > right groin; also a contusion on the right side, supposed to have been
> > made by the bullet which passed through his arm. He walked to the home
> > his brother-in-law, Dr. S.M. ARCHER, some 300 yards from the scene of
> > shooting, where he now is, and, at last accounts, the prospects were
> > favorable for his recovery.
> > Dr. O.S. TRIMMER, County Coroner, summoned a Coroner's jury and held an
> > inquest over the body of BERRYESSA on Sunday forenoon. We were present
> > and gathered the foregoing facts from the evidence adduced. About 3
> > before the shooting BERRYESSA told one of the witnesses that he intended
> > to kill ROBERTSON, and he was seen peeping in at the saloon windows a
> > minutes before he went in and asked ROBERTSON out. He undoubtedly
> > premeditated murder, and nearly succeeded in carrying out his design --
> > would have done if ROBERTSON had not been armed in consequence of having
> > been forewarned.
> > Deceased was an industrious man, and leaves a wife and several children
> > in almost destitute circumstances. Otherwise than being somewhat
> > quarrelsome and ugly when under the influence of liquor, he bore a good
> > reputation. Charley ROBERTSON is a young man of excellent character and
> > his family connections are highly respectable. He sincerely laments the
> > dreadful occurrence, but there can be no question that he killed
> > BERRYESSA in self-defence. This was also the conclusion arrived at by
> > Coroner's jury whose verdict is as follows:
> > We, the undersigned Jurors empaneled in the above inquest, after viewing
> > the corpse of the deceased, Fernando BERRYESSA and hearing the testimony
> > of the witnesses, do render our verdict as follow: That the deceased
> > Fernando BERRYESSA was a resident of Santa Rita and came to his death on
> > the night of the 12th of October, 1878, by means of 2 gunshot wounds
> > inflicted upon deceased by Chas. ROBERTSON; and we also find the
> > premeditatedly and purposely made a cowardly and murderous assault upon
> > said Charles ROVERTSON and that Charles ROBERTSON shot and killed the
> > deceased Fernando BERRYESSA in defence of his life, which was in extreme
> > peril and danger.
> > P.M. JACKS
> > Peter HERON
> > Jas. DUNN
> > W.W. ELLIOT
> > I.T. TOMKINS
> > Hans E. PETERSON
> > Charles THOMPSON
> > Salinas City Index, Thurs., Oct. 31, 1878:
> > Charley ROBERTSON, is rapidly recovering from the wounds received in his
> > fatal shooting affray with Fernando BERRYESSA, of Santa Rita, and will
> > soon be all right again.
> > On Mon, 28 Jan 2002 20:42:02 -0500 Susan Vallejo
> > writes:
> > hi
> > My Catarina Berryessa's obit told about Fernando her husband having died
> > 1875 in a pistol duel outside Salinas. Thats how I knew 1875.
> > Gail Slade thought there was a Santa Rita newspaper in those years. I
> > tried to find names of newspapers that existed back in 1875. I figured
> > one of them in Monterey county would have printed something on the
> > duel between him and a Charles Robertson. I dont know where Fernando is
> > buried....
> > Catarina lived til 104 and died in Sta Rita ...found her buried
> > there....she lived with her 75 yr old son Alfred then. She is buried
> > to her son Alfred and his wife Elvira Berryessa.
> > But I suspect Fernando is buried in Castroville area if they lived there
> > when he died.
> > They left Sta Clara from their adobe there about 1870. At first I
> > they went to Watsonville. But I guess not....census 1880 showed Catarina
> > and her 7 kids in Castroville. Do you know what cemetery would have been
> > around in that town back in 1875?
> > Susan
> > At 08:57 AM 1/28/2002 -0800, you wrote:
> > Hi Susan,
> > I'll be happy to check early Monterey county records for Fernando's
> > -- where did you get 1875 as the year of his death? Is that for sure?
> > There is an index for the Salinas "Index" for the years 1872 - 1882 --
> > his death was chronicled in that paper, it'll be in this index -- then I
> > could look at the film and transcribe the whole article. The only glitch
> > is, Castroville had its own paper for a period of time and the Salinas
> > paper didn't print *all* the news about Castroville -- but ya never
> > I'll put this on my list to check the next time I go in.
> > Dee
> > On Mon, 28 Jan 2002 06:31:37 -0500 Susan Vallejo
> > bay.rr.com writes:
> > hi Dee
> > Turns out the family lived in Castroville according to the 1880
> > census.....fernando died there 1875.
> > Tiffany on norcal sent me the 1880 census list today showing Fernando's
> > widow C. Rodriguez with 7 Berrryessa children in 1880 census. The census
> > listed maiden name for Catarina.
> > Anita in Monterey Co. sent me the adr/tel of the Pajaro Valley Hist
> > society so I can contact them now. Just wanted to share this with you.
> > thx again
> > Susan Vallejo
> > At 02:41 PM 1/26/2002 -0800, you wrote:
> > Hi Susan,
> > Well, this sounds a little out of my range -- I do lookups in
> > San Benito Co. & Monterey Co. on a volunteer basis -- I've never done
> > Watsonville lookups -- this also sounds like a pretty extensive
> > I regularly tell people I need the month & year to look up items in the
> > old papers.
> > I'd suggest you contact a historical society in Watsonville -- I'll bet
> > you'd
> > have luck with them. The museum sounds like a great thing! The Berryessa
> > name is very familiar -- happy to hear they've saved an old adobe --
> > great when some of the old is preserved.
> > If you come up with a month & year, I'll be happy to check the Hollister
> > paper to see if anything ran in it.
> > Dee
> > On Sat, 26 Jan 2002 12:40:48 -0500 Susan Vallejo
> > < writes:
> > hi Dee
> > I have noticed and read with interest on Norcal your contributions of
> > past news of San Benito County.
> > I am wondering if you do any private lookups.....
> > My gg-grandfather Fernando Berryessa lived in or near Watsonville about
> > 1875 when he was killed in a pistol duel with a Mr Roberts. Fernando
> > would have been abt age 47.
> > I'm looking for a story on this 'event' and an obituary.
> > Fernando lived with his wife Catarina Castro Rodriguez Berryessa and
> > had about 8 to 12 children.
> > The BIG reason I need this obit and pistol duel story is that the city
> > Santa Clara has puchased Fernando's old adobe in Santa Clara (where they
> > lived the 1st 15 yrs of marriage....1852- -1865 or so)...then they moved
> > on to Watsonville area.
> > Their old adobe in Santa Clara has been restored and will
> > open
> > as a
> > museum
> > May 18, 2002 to the public.
> > The Santa Clara historians are asking me to locate an obit or story on
> > the pistol duel death of Fernando Berryessa.
> > I have no idea where Fernando was buried but suspect it has to be in a
> > Watsonville cemetery. That is another lookup I'm hoping to find someone
> > to help me with.
> > I'm in Florida doing this long distance.
> > Is there a possibility of your doing the news lookup for me in the
> > Watsonville Register-Pajaronian?
> > Please let me know,
> > Susan Berryessa Vallejo
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