Valerio Lamas (c.1815-1900?) was born in the silver-mining state of Zacatecas, Mexico about 1815. 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 C.), who was born about 1830 in Mexico, but whether their marriage was in Mexico or the United States is not known. However, their first child, Juan, was born in California in 1856, so we can guess that they left Mexico in the mid-1850s or earlier. It is interesting to note that Zacatecas was a battleground during the Mexican civil war known as the War of Reform, and it would appear that Valerio left Zacatecas just before the major fighting began there in 1857. 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 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 Monumentville during the 1880 Census. His occupation on both census records is given as laborer. The 1880 census is the last mention we have found of him, but one online family history gives his death date as 1900. However, this date is unconfirmed, and may or may not be accurate. Virtually nothing is known of Sastena, except her age from the census records, and of course her name.
Frederico Lamas (b. c.1862) was born about 1862, but there is a wide variation in listed birth dates for him from 1856 to 1868. He married Mary Molina (b. c.1869), and they had several children, who are listed below. Fred worked as a teamster, and he and Mary from at least 1892 on lived in Township 3 in Kern County. Fred died sometime before the 1920 U.S. Census.
Mary Lamas (b. c.1890) appears in the 1900 and 1910 census returns, and possibly the 1920 return, but nothing more is known about her.
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.
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. He married his cousin Juanita Lamas in Generation III of this history. He was her second husband. He died in Kern County on Aug. 14, 1960 when his jeep rolled him and he was crushed. He was working at the time as the foreman of the Seaman Ranch in Shafter. He is a WWI veteran, and he is buried next to Juanita in the Union Cemetery in Bakersfield. Fred's children are listed with Juanita.
William Lamas (1901-1989) was born on Oct. 17, 1901, probably in Kern County. He married Delfina Bracamonte (1909-1976), and 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 (b. c.1905)
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 that 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 son of Valerio and Sastena Lamas, was born in 1856 in California. He married Rufina Vega (1860-1911) on Oct. 5, 1885 in San Luis Obisbo County. Rufina was the daughter of Henrique Vega (1823-before 1900) and Maria Rodriques (1837-1917) - Maria having been born in California before it became part of the United States. Juan generally lived in San Luis Obispo County, where he worked as a teamster, but we find him in the household of his daughter Cecilia Valenzuela in Fresno during the 1930 U.S. Census. He died on Jan. 16, 1936 in Los Angeles County, and a death notice for him appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 18 of that year. He is buried with wife Rufina and three of their children in the Old Mision Cemetery in San Luis Obispo.
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 Cecelia Martin 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 son John was born. She was 16 at the time, and Edward was 32-years old. 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 her cousin. Juanita and Fred generally lived in and around Kern County, where Fred worked as a cowboy. Fred died in a car accident while hunting a deer in Kern County in 1960, and Wanda died in Kern County on Dec. 3, 1991. Both are buried in Bakersfield in the Union Cemetery. Wanda's first husband Edward does not appear to have remarried and died 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. He was raised by his grandfather Juan Lamas, and the 1930 U.S. Census shows 13-year old Rudy with Juan living in the Peter and Ceclia 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 (b. 1917) on May 5, 1973 in the same county. When his father Edward Lopez died in 1974, Rudy is listed as the informant on the death certificate. Rudy died on July 25, 2011 in Pismo Beach, and he is buried near his father in the San Luis Cemetery in San Luis Obispo. He and 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. We do not know what became of Rudy's second wife Dorothy.
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, and who found himself unable to continue caring for Helen and his daughter with her when his enlistment ended in the U.S. Navy. 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 died on Nov. 20, 1986 in Solano County, 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 Kern County, California to Helen Marjorie Stewart and Harvey Weinberger. When John Lopez and Helen Stewart started living together, JoAnn became John's stepdaughter. She married Frank Lucas on July 5, 1963 in Mono County, California, and they reside today in Scotts Valley, California.
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.
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.