Jasper O'Farrell information

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I am looking for sources of printed(or otherwise)information on Jasper O'Farrell(my gg grandfather)to be compiled in a book. Any info,stories, relatives etc. would be helpful. Thank you

-- Tom Dunne (tcalmum@aol.com), January 28, 1999


He's the guy that laid out the streets in early SF. I think there'd be tons of info about him. "Annals of San Francisco" has a bit--I'd check the California Information File (on microfiche at a major library near you.) I'd look at the website for the California Historical Society (their indexes are on-line.) I'd go to the on-line catalog for the University of California (melvyl.) That's just for starters. Good luck on your search.

-- dorothy (leland@dcn.davis.ca.us), January 29, 1999.

Well, of course, there's the long-standing story (I can't claim to have checked its historical authenticity) that many of the alleys in the South of Market area bearing charmingly feminine appellations (Clementina, e.g.)are said to have been named by Jasper after his numerous girlfriends... can you perhaps, being a blood-relative, authenticate that one for us? --or add a few colors to the tale at least? ;)

-- Chris Dichtel (cyberiad@earthlink.net), February 01, 1999.

"The Argonaut," published by the San Francisco Historical Society, P.O. Box 420569, SF, CA 94142 has an article on O'Farrell and his maps, Vol. 9. No. 1, Spring 1998, written by Charles Fracchia. You'll definitely find it useful. The SF History Room in the main library has a copy of this number. Ask at the desk.

-- robert bardell (bbardell@pacbell.net), March 02, 1999.

There's a Jasper O'Farrell Irish pub in Sebastopol, California (Sonoma County-perhaps they would have some info.

-- Loren Thomas (Lulubell75@yahoo.com), April 19, 2000.

According to my ggg uncles obituary , Jasper O'Farrell was a friend of his and Jasper acted as a Pall Bearer at his funeral in October 1869.

-- Carol Jones (pjones2536@aol.com), April 13, 2002.

Tom - Are you by chance Evelyn O'Farrell Dunne's grandson? My husband is James Eric Coffman, son of James Garneau Coffman whose mother was Peggy O'Farrell Coffman and sister to Evelyn. Would love to share any info. with you that I have.

-- Cathy J. Coffman (Mrs. James E. Coffman (origins@eriecoast.com), December 05, 2002.

Go to the Book of California Club, located in San Francisco. There you will find a book called "Jasper O'Farrell: Surveyor, Farmer, Pitician".

Elise Smith

-- Elise Smith (epksmith@sonic.net), October 30, 2004.

Sorry on my reply to this question I meant to list Jasper O'Farrell as a Politician.


-- Elise Smith (epksmith@sonic.net), October 30, 2004.

Check out the Larkin Papers....

When John C. Fremont ran for President, it was O'Farrell's account of an incident that occurred in 1846 that help ruin any chance of Fremont's nomination. Jasper's account was backed up and proven true with letters written to Thomas O. Larkin in 1846. Hey, Kit Carson ain't no 'American Hero'!

In 1846, O'Farrell had been an eye-witness to the murders of Jose R. Berreyesa and his nephews, Francisco and Ramon De Haro. The twenty-year old twin brothers were the sons of Francisco De Haro, who had been the first Alcalde (Mayor) of Yerba Buena in 1834 and owned a large ranchero that include Lake Merced and extended to San Mateo.

Jose Berreyesa was the son of Nicolas Antonio Berreyesa, who was part of the famous De Anza Expedition of 1776. The three of them were traveling to Sonoma to check on the condition of Berreyesa's son, Jose S. Berreyesa, who was the Alcalde of that town. Jose S. had been taken prisoner by John Fremont during the Bear Flag Revolt in which the town of Sonoma was seized. While landing their small boat on the shores of San Rafael, they were confronted by Kit Carson and two of Fremont's men. O'Farrell, working as a Topographer for Fremont at the time, witnessed what happened.

The three men were immediately seized upon as they got out of the boat. According to O'Farrell, when Kit Carson asked Fremont "what should we do with them?" Fremont thinking they Mexican Military, responded "I have no room for prisoners" at which Carson, understanding what Fremont meant, ordered the three unarmed men gunned down right there on the shoreline.

The original documents are in the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, and were published for the library by the University of California Press, 1955 - The Larkin Papers 1822 - 1858: Ten volumes

-- strange (stranger@yahoo.com), October 31, 2004.

William Francis Farrell (O'Farrell), b. abt 1841 in Ireland, was according to my husband's branch of the family, a cousin of Jasper O'Farrell. William Frances Farrell came to California in about 1860, and first supposedly lived with his cousin Jasper. He married twice, first to Anna Boyle, then to Mary Theresa Slaney. William Frances was a gardener. Today he would be called a landscape architect. He was the head gardener for the Flood estate in Menlo Park. Later did the landscaping for the Raymond Hill Hotel in Pasadena. I am very interested in the ancestral lines of these two men.

Mary Farrell, Sacramento, CA

-- Mary Farrell (mrogfar@aol.com), January 23, 2005.

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