Sunday, September 11, 2011

A tidbit of knowledge


So I was flailing around the net this morning and came across this.

San and Santa are used throughout California in place names. (San Francisco / Santa Barbara etc.).

This is quite simply the Spanish term for "Saint". San being Male, Santa for the female saint name.

California was pretty much laid out by missionaries from Spain. Each mission was settled about days ride on horseback from the previous one.

As the missionaries settled a region, they took the book of saints day's out and named each settlement after the saint who's celebration day it was in the catholic faith.

I recall learning (and maybe even blogging) the "San" part at one point but I had forgotten it.

While I'm at it, here's how some of the counties in California got their names:

*MONTEREY
Created 1850. It derived its name from the Bay of Monterey. The word itself is composed of the Spanish words monte and rey, and literally means "king of the forest." The bay was named by Sebastian Vizcaino in 1602, in honor of the Conde de Monterey, the Viceroy of New Spain.
 
*NAPA
Created 1850. Named after Napa Valley. The word napa is of Indian derivation and has been variously translated as "grizzly bear," "house," "motherland" or "fish." Of the many explanations of the names's origin, the most plausible seems to be that it is derived from the Patwin word napo meaning house.

*NEVADA
Created 1851. Named after the mining town of Nevada City, a name derived from the term "Sierra Nevada." The word nevada in Spanish means "snowy" or "snowcovered."

*SACRAMENTO
Created 1850. The county was named by Captain Moraga after the Sacramento River. The word Sacramento signifies "Sacrament" or "Lord's Supper."

*SAN FRANCISCO
Created 1850. The sixth mission in California was established here by Padre Junipero Serra on October 9, 1776, and was named Mission San Francisco de Asis a la Laguna de los Dolores (Saint Francis of Assisi at the Lagoon of Sorrows). The mission is now known as "Mission Dolores."

Click here for more California county origins

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