1718 San Antonio
Founding Families and Descendants
a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization
Preserving and Promoting History
The 35 Presidio Soldiers and families
MISSION VILLA PRESIDIO
This group is dedicated to the preservation and proper dissemination of the history of the naming and and the May 1, 1718 Spanish Governor Alarcón expedition which officially founded and established San Antonio, Villa de Bejar, Mission San Antonio de Valero (later known as the Alamo) and the Villa de Bejar (later named Spanish Governor's Palace through genealogical research, culturally affiliated annual commemoration events and educational presentations.
The story we intend to share with without bias but rather to involve make aware of the diversity that began with this particular significant historical event which has led to why our community of San Antonio is unique in its complexities. We share our families history in order to create a larger and more in depth and enriching landscape of history as it was and how it should be remembered and preserved.
The history of San Antonio can only be fully understood and expressed if accounts are taken into consideration that by the time the 1718 expedition arrived - their ancestors had been in the Americas for over 200 years. The narrative of this group, as it pertains to the official founding of San Antonio, will encompass, but not limited to the first formal Spanish expeditions into Texas and San Antonio and even into the New World from the time of launch commission by her Royal Majesty Queen Isabella.
On May 1, 1718 the Alarcon Expedition and his Presidio Soldiers officially founded San Antonio, the Villa de Bejar and with the assistance of the Friars, the Mission San Antonio de Valero was founded and later the same 1718 participants or their ancestors created the Presidio, renamed the Mission "The Alamo" and relocated the but that would only provide a fleeting glimpse of why and how the Missions, Villas and Presidios were established. The history of San Antonio has its roots enmeshed with when America was founded and named and the mission of the Spanish Crown to explore and integrate into the New World.
On December 9, 1716, Viceroy Marqués de Valero appointed Don Martin de Alarcón in Mexico City as Commander of Presidio San Francisco de Coahuila and as Governor of the province of Texas. Alarcón, appointed by the Spanish Viceroy and approved by the Crown of Spain, would lead the approved Royal Expedition to finally and officially found San Antonio. This expedition met the Spanish Royal Regulations of having at least 30 families, to officially found and establish the Villa de Bejar in San Antonio, San Antonio's first Spanish settlement. It was because Governor Alarcón's diligence to regulations that the Villa was able to be established and he was able to submit a formal report stating so that was stamped approved and a Cedula approving the Villa de Bejar issued in June 1718.
In April 1718 Alarcón crossed the Rio Grande with an entrada with thirty-five Presidio Soldiers, their families, Franciscan friars, and civilians totaling seventy-two persons.
On May 1, 1718, Governor Alarcón founded the Mission San Antonio de Valero (later nicknamed by the Spanish "Alamo") and the Villa de Bejar (first Spanish Settlement).
This was the first group of military, families, and civilians to receive Spanish Land Grants in San Antonio.
On May 5, 1718 Governor Alarcón founded the Presidio de Béjar. These families, soldiers and friars formed the settlement of Villa de Béjar which would become known for the City of San Antonio and the County of Bexar.
During 1718 San Antonio established its first form of government in which the Alcalde was named, civilian processes, established main and military plaza, roads, land grant and Mission ranches and Rancherias, acequias, etc. which would become the footprint of what we see today in modern San Antonio and historical landmarks.
San Antonio, Texas is among one of the oldest Spanish civilizations founded and settled by the European Spaniards of 1718 and the earlier expeditions into San Antonio and Texas. Prior to their arrival Tejas was home to various tribes of indigenous people. The Spanish Missions which were established by the Viceroy of New Spain and the Spanish Governor for the indigenous inhabitants. It was decided at that time The College of Guadalupe de Zacatecas and Santa Cruz de Queretaro, Roman Catholic missionary colleges, were to be established by the Franciscans Friars to train and educate the priests, who were brought in, on how to teach and convert the Mission's indigenous population to Catholicism and teach them farming, ranching and other skills. The grounds in the Mission were also used as a cemetery.
The Presidio Soldiers oversaw that the Mission and civilian communities were in compliance and maintained order.
Our Mission is to continue the preservation, awareness and education of the May 1, 1718 Spanish Governor, Martin de Alarcon's expedition, which included 35 royal Presidio Soldiers, their families, friars and civilians, which founded and established San Antonio, the Villa de Bejar (first Spanish settlement), Mission San Antonio de Valero (later known as the Alamo) and the Presidio de Bejar (later known as the Spanish Governor's Palace), through cultural events/ceremonies, education, genealogy, science and research.
Our Goal is to honor our ancestors significant contributions in San Antonio, Bejar County, Texas - who participated in the 1718 Spanish Governor Martin de Alarcón expedition as royal Presidio Soldiers, their families, friars, and civilians.
We also are in dedication and celebration of the earlier ancestors who participated in the earlier expeditions to name and explore San Antonio and Texas which began in 1689 (but not limited to).
The 1718 San Antonio Founding Families and Descendants celebrates and dedicates certain historical anniversaries related to our heritage and history by recreating historical cultural significant events which may include the following, but not limited to:
1). May 1st annually: Descendants Ceremony and participation to honor and recreate the arrival of the 1718 Expedition titled "La Entrada" in which the Governor Martin de Alarcón founded the Mission San Antonio de Valero (later nicknamed by the Spanish "Alamo") and the Villa de Bejar (first Spanish Settlement in San Antonio).
2). May 4th or 5th annually: Descendants Ceremony and participation to honor the Founding of Mission San Antonio de Valero, later known as the Alamo.
3). May 4th or 5th annually: Descendants Ceremony and participation to honor the founding of the Presidio de Bejar (later known as the Spanish Governor's Palace) dedication ceremony at the Spanish Governor's Palace.
4). Oct. 31-Nov. 2 annually: Descendants Ceremony and participation to honor their ancestors who are buried throughout San Antonio and in the Spanish Missions by hosting a wreath cemetery ceremony at Alamo Plaza.