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The Ortega Family was part of the very first Spanish/Mexican people to arrive in Alta California. Jose Francisco Ortega came overland with the Portola expedition in 1769; first to establish the San Diego Mission and then to build a fort in Monterey. Eventually, he was sent back to Mexico to escort north the 1781 settlers and soldiers under Rivera who founded the city of Our Lady of the Angels. On this return trip he brought along his wife, five sons, two daughters and one nephew.

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