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The Estudillo Family

The Genealogy:

  • Jose Maria Estudillo (born in Andalucia)
  • Jose Antonio Estudillo (born 1803) received Rancho Janal (1829). His sister, Magdalena received Rancho Otay (1829).
  • Jose Maria Estudillo (b. 1833) – his sister Guadalupe married Santiago E. Arguello and in the 1870s sued the American government for Rancho Melijo after her husband’s death. She lost the property.
  • Francisco Estudillo Marron (born San Diego)
  • Roberto Estudillo Alvarado (born 1911)
  • Roberto Estudillo Aldrete (born 1938 in National City)
  • Roberto & Monique Estudillo (born 1966 and 1964, siblings who live in Tijuana today)

Eight Generations of Family History

Captain Jose Maria Estudillo was born in Andalusia, Spain. He came to California where he became Captain of the Presidio in Monterey and then San Diego. He was named comandante of San Diego in 1820-21 and again in 1827.

Jose Maria’s second son was Jose Antonio Estudillo (b. 1803 in Monterey, Alta California, Spain). Jose Antonio probably came to San Diego around 1820 and was named revenue-collector and treasurer of San Diego from 1828-1830. He was granted Rancho Janal and his sister, Magdalena, was granted Rancho Otay, both in 1929. They did not live on the property, but rather were “absentee ranchers” living instead in Old Town San Diego.

Jose Antonio’s holdings were vast. Among the Estudillo family’s properties, Jose Antonio was granted Temecula in 1835. His daughter Maria Antonio received El Cajon in 1845.

Both Rancho Janal and Otay were often considered one grant because they were adjoining and granted to members of the Estudillo family. A large portion of the central and eastern area is now covered by the waters of the Upper and Lower Otay reservoirs.

His son was Jose Maria Estudillo (b. 1833 in San Diego, Alta California, Mexico – d. in 1889 in Tijuana). Jose Maria married Maria de la Luz Marron who was born in 1837 in San Diego, Alta California, Mexico. Her father was Juan Maria Marron and her mother was Felipe Osuna – whose father was the owner of Rancho Santa Fe.

Together they had Francisco Estudillo Marron. He married another Californios named Agnes Alvarado. Interestingly, Francisco went to study in Lima, Peru because it was the only university at that time that was well-known.

Francisco died young and his wife re-married American who owned the San Ysidro Lumber Company.

She came into this new marriage with her son, Roberto Estudillo Alvarado, born in 1911. He was raised in Tijuana, Mexico and was an only child. He married Carmen Aldrete. They both created an adobe house in Tijuana–the only adobe in the city with a beautiful view of the city. He took over the Lumber Company and established it in Tijuana alongside a construction business, the first in the city. He attended Sweetwater High School and once ran in the Olympics. As a direct descendant of the Estudillo family, President Richard Nixon asked him to cut the ribbon on “Casa Estudillo” which opened in the early 1970s in Old Town San Diego.

Roberto and Carmen had Roberto Estudillo Aldrete, born in 1938 in National City at Paradise Valley Hospital. He too grew up in Tijuana. He attended Saint Augustine High School and went on to study business at UCSD.

Roberto married Luz Maria Esquivel who was raised in Mexicali. Her father became the Governor of Baja California from 1959-1964. Luz Maria was born in Bolivia while her father, an engineer by education, was involved in creating a large dam for the country. Thereafter, her family came to Mexicali, once again so that her father could be involved in creating a large dam. The family remained in Mexicali where her father became a prominent politician.

The children of Roberto and Luz Maria are, Monique and Roberto, who provided this interview about their family. Monique and Roberto both grew up in Tijuana. For elementary school they attended St. John’s Episcopal School in Chula Vista. Thereafter, they attended high schools and universities in Tijuana. Both studied law and Monique additionally completed a Master’s at USD in Comparative Law. Roberto took over his father’s business. Monique went on to run elementary and high schools in Tijuana.