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GSHA-SC Hosts Lenny Trujillo and His 'Birth of a Family Icon' on May 4

The Genealogical Society of Hispanic America-Southern California will host Leonard Trujillo's presentation, "The Birth of a Family Icon," on Saturday, May 4, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Family research conducted by Lenny led to the fascinating discovery of a new family heirloom honoring his ancestor, Manuel Lorenzo Trujillo, which can be shared and enjoyed by current family and future generations.

Years-long genealogical research into Lenny's past led him to discover fourth great-grandparents of mixed heritage, including Spanish, indigenous, and native slaves. Their descendants are traced from New Mexico to California, culminating in a beautiful memorial artwork that graces the Agua Mansa Pioneer Cemetery in Colton, California.

According to historical research presented by the San Bernardino County Museum, a group from Abiquiu, New Mexico, settled on the upper Santa Ana River and served as a buffer against raiders and outlaws along the trading route from Santa Fe to Los Angeles. Ten of these families, led by Manuel Lorenzo Trujillo, inhabited 2,000 acres of the "Bandini Donation" on the east side of the river, on the northern boundary of the Jurupa Rancho. This village was called "La Placita de los Trujillos," later called La Placita.

Y-DNA Test Confirms Lenny Trujillo's Roots

Lenny is a direct descendant and a third great-grandson of Lorenzo Trujillo and Maria Dolores Archuleta, who settled in the San Bernardino Valley city of Alta, California, in the early 1840s. As a direct male descendant, Lenny confirmed through Y-DNA testing the Indigenous ancestry of his Trujillo family line in New Mexico. He is a direct descendant of Genizaro ancestors from New Mexico and ancestors from Sonora, who intermarried with the early settlers of Alta California to lay the foundation of the modern California state.

Lenny is a past president of the Genealogical Society of Hispanic America, Southern California Chapter, and an active organization member. Freed by retirement, he volunteers to help individuals trace their ancestry and hosts the monthly Hispanic Tuesday sessions at the SCGS Library in Burbank for the GSHA Southern California Chapter.

Descendants of Native American Enslaved People

As explained on NPR's All Things Considered: "Genizaros are descendants of enslaved people, but not Africans who crossed the Atlantic in shackles to work in Southern cotton fields. They are living heirs to Native enslaved Americans. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Native American women and children captured in warfare were bought, converted to Catholicism, taught Spanish, and held in servitude by New Mexican families. Ultimately, these nontribal, Hispanicized Indians assimilated into New Mexican society."

More About the May 4 Event

The hybrid meeting will be held at the Southern California Genealogical Society Family Research Library, 417 Irving Drive in Burbank, California. Join in person for networking, access to GSHA-SC reference books, and a pizza lunch after the 11 a.m. presentation. If you'd rather attend virtually, a Zoom invitation will be sent to all GSHA-SC members. Make sure you have a free Zoom account. Non-members must RSVP by emailing


10:15 a.m: Coffee and rolls.

11 a.m: In-person presentation by Lenny Trujillo

Noon: Pizza lunch

Noon to 3 p.m: Research, networking and conclusion

The Trujillo Adobe is One of National Trust's '11 Most Endangered Historic Places'

The Trujillo Adobe is a 162-year-old historic landmark located in Riverside, California. Registered by the State of California as a point of historical interest in 1968, the Trujillo Adobe is one of the oldest remaining structures in the area. Built around 1862, it predates the city of Riverside's establishment.

In 2021, the Trujillo Adobe was named one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's "11 Most Endangered Historic Places." It is only the second Riverside building to make the list.

The Save the Trujillo website is managed by the nonprofit Spanish Town Heritage Foundation, whose mission is to champion the Hispanic legacy of the Inland Empire's first settlers by sharing their stories, creating cultural learning opportunities, and leading community efforts to restore and revitalize La Placita de los Trujillos, a place of history, learning, entertainment, and the arts. 

State of California Allocated $10.4 Million to Preserve Trujillo Adobe.

In July 2022, when California State Governor Gavin Newsom signed the state's 2022-2023 California State Budget, $10.4 million was earmarked to the Riverside County Regional Park & Open-Space District (RivCoParks) for the preservation and enhancement of the historic Trujillo Adobe Historic Site in the City of Riverside.

Funding was slated to preserve the remaining structure and expand and renovate the site. The funding will also help develop a museum for the public to tour, engage with, and learn about the history of the Trujillo Adobe.

About the GSHA-SC

The mission of the Genealogical Society of Hispanic America-Southern California (GSHA-SC) is to promote Hispanic genealogical and historical research and to expand awareness and knowledge of Hispanic culture, historical contributions, and traditions. The GSHA-SC is a large and active group that meets at the SCGS Library four times a year, usually on the first Saturday in February/May/August & December, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. when conditions permit. Meetings feature speakers and workshops, a break for no-host lunch, and opportunities to network and research after lunch. Meetings are free and open to the public. Guests are always welcome and invited to join the group. This will be a hybrid meeting with a maximum of 14 people allowed in person at the SCGS Library, 417 Irving Drive, Burbank, and the remainder will be attended by Zoom. The general public is invited. Reservations are required by emailing 

The Southern California Chapter has a reference library of Hispanic genealogical records, maps, family histories, and history books at the SCGS Library in Burbank. Genealogy resources focus on Arizona, California, Colorado, Mexico, New Mexico, and Texas. 

The SCGS Family Research Library is located at 417 Irving Drive, Burbank, CA 91504-2408.

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