Who named San Francisco and why it is called San Francisco.

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Could you let me know what San Francisco is derived from? I am a tourist guide for Japanese. Some tourist aked me the question why and who named San Francisco. I have searched for years, but I cannot find yet. I would be appreciated if you could answer the question by email. Thank you in advance.

-- Hiroyuki Maki (inakkape@msn.com), December 01, 1998


see answers at previous thread at: http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=0004BJ

It asked just about the same question

-- richard (zpub@sirius.com), December 01, 1998.

  • origin of the name San Francisco.

    San Francisco namesake: Saint Francis of Assisi [1182-1226] - co-founder of the Franciscan Order

    -- richard (zpub@sirius.com), December 01, 1998.

  • Mr. Maki,

    San Francisco was once a Spanish colony and part of Mexico. The city is named for a saint. Many spanish settlements were named for Saints or other Catholic things. Spain was a Catholic nation. Example of other names Corpus Christi is latin for Body of Christ. Los Angles is spanish for "The angels". San Francsico is Spanish for Saint Francis. Saint Francis of Assi is still a popular saint in the Catholic Church. He was born to a very wealthy family in Assi, Italy. Saint Francis led a ordinary life until he left for war. He never reached the war because got sick traveling. He became so ill that he nearly died. This illiness brought him closer to God. He gave away all his belongings, much to the displeasure of his wealthy father and became a monk. Francis only wore clothes and ate food that were given to him and lived exclusively by donations. He worked with the poor and cared for the sick. He owned nothing. Saint Francis is often portrayed as a cheerful young monk with a sparrow perched on his finger. According to legend, Francis was such a gentle and kind person that wild animals and birds had no fear of him. Birds would land his outstretched hand. I hope this message gives you a good story to tell your tourists. Corey J. Smith

    -- Corey J. Smith (gryphon_94901@yahoo.com), December 12, 2001.

    one of my ancesters was francisco gali , he was a captain from spain , and he was making routes to macao , in philipines , some autors say , he discover san francisco bay in 1584 , and the name derivates in honor of him ,, some other autors refers another origins ,,, francisco gali , native of veracruz port in mexico ,,, captain gali born in sevilla , spain ,,,,, thanks

    -- francisco gali malpica (franciscogali@hotmail.com), May 25, 2002.

    San Francisco was named from San Francisco Bay which was named such by Gaspar de Portola who upon discovery in 1769 thought San Francisco Bay to be an extension of Drake's Bay which was so named by the English in honor of Sir Francis Drake who discovered the Point Reyes bay in 1579. 16 years later in 1595 Drake's Bay was visited by Spaniard Sebastian Carmeno who renamed it the Bay of San Francisco. Had the English first discovered our present day San Francisco which they easily could have had the weather conditions been better, they would have established a colony and had they used the same reasoning for name giving which they seemed to use, San Francisco might actually have been named the City of Sir Francis Drake. So even if it had been named by the English, there's a good chance that the city would still have had a Francis in it. His name of Francis was given to him in honor of Saint Francis of Assissi. So it appears that our city was DESTINED to have included Saint Francis of Assisi in it. Now that is really weird.

    -- Harry Murphy (harrymurphy@bigmailbox.net*), May 25, 2002.

    I have read many responses from the above and other posted messages, but many of them have left out one or the other fact(s). And just to let everyone know the important facts. Here it is:

    -San Francisco was orgininally named "Yurba Buena". It was meant good herb, wild herb by the Mexicans, when they came to this Indian land.

    -Years after the Mexicans were settled, the Spanish ruled over the the Mexican territories (including the land of Yurba Buena).

    -The Spanish moved up to the north from Mexico to California (Along the way, San Diego, Los Angeles,..., San Jose, then San Francisco).

    -The group of people who moved north believed in Christianity. Their group was called "Francis". (Francis protestants)

    -In 1846, the Mexican-American War, American soldiers won and took over Yurba Buena, and appointed the first American mayor- Washington Allen Barlett.

    -The first thing Washington Allen Barlett did was to give a new name to the place. He had chosen the name "San Francisco". The reason why he gave it a new name was because the ships coming to Yurba Buena were often mixed up with other island, such as today's Yurba Buena Island, Alcatrez, and the San Francisco peninsula were often mistaken.

    -(Back to the fact in the Francis protestant, they were saint.) Slowly from "Saint Francis", it evolved to "San Francsico"

    But after all, one thing has left me in a bit of mystery, it was why did Washington Allen Barlett choose that name. He was an American born soldier and first American mayor, but why choosing a Spanish related name. And why not calling it "New New York", or "Big York"?

    If you have a clue, then please share your wealth. :)

    P.S. I hope the facts above can give connections to the real San Francisco name origin.


    -- Newo Newo (mushroom_7@hotmail.com), May 26, 2002.

    Hello. I think it wold be interesting contact to village of Malpica (settled in A CoruŮa, Galicia, northwest of Spain, in a region called Costa da Morte -Coast of Death-). There, a monk was born,of the San Francisco Order, that traveled USA west coast. He did a lot of thing, even founded a city....

    -- santiago garrido (santiago.garrido@lavoz.es), July 23, 2003.

    san francisco was founded by a monk?

    «”Š«„ —ś“š«„Ś «”Š«„

    -- Your Full Name (-- Hiroyuki Maki (inakkape@msn.com)), September 06, 2003.

    The previous answers contain mostly truth regarding the origin of San Francisco but are vague and not concise while others are simply misleading and erroneous. The discovery of the bay, which was named after Saint Francis of Asissi by the Spanish priest of the Franciscan Order, Junipero Serra, was made by the expedition of Gaspar de Portola, whom the Franciscan priest accompanied, on 11/4/1769. Due to the valuable and strategic locale of this natural port, the Spanish interest was to fortify and establish it as its own, as soon as possible, due to the competition of other colonial powers. In 1776 construction began on the Presidio, a Spanish garrison for the housing of troops and artillery, at the mouth of the San Francisco Bay (Spanish for Saint Francis), named thus earlier by Junipero Serra. On 10/9/1776 Junipero Serra also established the Mission of Saint Francis of Asissi which was inland of the Presidio nestled between hills and beside a lagoon. Some years later, the Spanish authorities noted the vulnerabilty of the bay due to the insufficient coastal protection of the Presidio which was more formmidable to ground force than naval. They began the construction of a battery for defense from naval vessels in 1797. This battery, also on the bay, just interior of the Presidio was innaugurated "Yerba Buena", Spanish for "good herb", in reference to the wild mint that abounded in many places, and also in the nearby cove for which the battery was named. The Spanish encouraged settling of the area for further entitlement and establishment before competing foreign colonial powers. Due to the independence of the Spanish colony of New Spain,or Mexico, on 9/16/1821 the region of what is now known as California fell into the hands of the victorious revolutionaries. On 6/25/1835 Captain William Antonio Richardson,and his wife,founded the village of Yerba Buena between the coastal fort of the Presidio and the more inland Mission of San Francisco. The approval of this settlement was given by then Mexican governor of the region Figueroa. Later, after the Bear Flag revolt in 1848 the settlement was renamed San Francisco, or was simply inclusive of Yerba Buena, by the victorious Americans.

    -- Justin Wallis Boslaugh (jwboslaugh@sbcglobal.net), January 25, 2004.

    I thought the Bear Flag Revolt was in 1846, when Frémont was in California. Interesting, Frémont marched down from Sonoma and piked the cannons at the Presidio, an act that was largly symbolic because the cannons were already 2-300 years old and useless for any use more than signaling. The jerk Frémont also ordered Kit Carson to murder, in cold blood, Berryessa on his return to Somoma, an act that was never brought to justice.

    The only name that Frémont also gave us was name 'Golden Gate' It is generally accepted that he named the strait Golden Gate or "Chrysopylae". It reminded him of a harbor in Instanbul named Chrysoceras or Golden Horn.

    -- will (willstaiger@yahoo.com), January 25, 2004.

    Yes, true, the Bear Flag Revolt was in 1846, not 1848.

    -- Justin Wallis Boslaugh (jwboslaugh@sbcglobal.net), January 26, 2004.

    Yerba Buena was officially renamed San Francisco on Jan. 30th, 1847.

    -- Justin Wallis Boslaugh (jwboslaugh@sbcglobal.net), January 26, 2004.

    Who renamed it? What Body? Were Californios involved in the decision?

    -- will (willstaiger@yahoo.com), January 26, 2004.

    wwhen did st frances die and was born

    -- george w bush (c317mm@aol.com), November 01, 2004.

    San Francisco was indeed named after Saint Francis Assisi. The early history of the Presidio of San Francisco and Mission Dolores state this fact. The Franciscan Fiars kept good records and as we all know accompanied the Spanish soldiers and sailors when they travelled around the world. The First People the Ohlone and in San Francisco the Muwerkma Ohlone were taken to the Missions were they were not treated well by the Franciscans. Recently the Ohlone have been able to hear songs and it is just a matter of time when we find out what the y called San Francisco and this area we call the Bay Area. The Whites did all in their power to kill the Ohlone and destroy their language. Yerba Buena is another name by which some history books call San Francisco. Interesting that a Japanese Tourist Guide started this dialog of sorts.www.muwekma.org

    -- Francisco Da Costa (frandacosta@att.net), December 24, 2004.

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