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Two Malaguenos Settlers of New Iberia were born in Alhaurin de la Torre: Garrido [Gary] and Villatoro-Gomez [Viator]

On June 1, 1778 , 16 families from Malaga, Andalusia, Spain boarded the Brig, San Josef, and sailed to New Orleans.

Commanded by Lt.Col. Francisco Bouligny who had arrived in Louisiana in 1769 with Alejandro O'Reilly, with approval of Governor Bernardo de Gálvez, they founded New Iberia in the Spring of 1779. Note: The initial settlement was at current-day Charenton, LA, but it was moved after the Spring rains flooded the site. See Map of Route From New Orleans to New Iberia Taken by the Malaguenos Settlers.

Jose Manuel de Molina, who manages a local media in Alhaurin de la Torre, birthplace of two of the 16 families, Garrido [Gary] [shown as de Sierre & de Sierra on some early SW LA records] and Villatoro-Gomez [Viator] has written a history of Alhaurin de la Torre entitled  “Historia de Alhaurin de la Torre en la Edad Moderna,”  published November 2005. One chapter of the book which covers the 16 families from Malaga who settled New Iberia has been translated into English by two New Iberian cousins: Norman F. Carnahan [his mother was an Armentor] and Nancy Armentor Lees.  Both Norman and Nancy are Villatoro descendants; and, they were inducted into the Acadian Museum's Order of Living Legends on November 16, 2013 - see

Norman Carnahan

Nancy Armentor Lees

The chapter is a very interesting summary of Jose Manuel de Molina's diligent research into the various Spanish archives, many of which may not have been found by other historians.

Norman F. Carnahan provided the following information about Jose Manuel

Jose Manuel is a writer and a licensed historian. Being licensed, he has access to many sources of information that are not available to other historians. He not only read all about the "Luisiana" story in the Archives of The Indies (Seville), but he also researched the Spanish Military archives and several other sources, including some that focused on the plants and flowers of Luisiana. He is truly a very good resource for those who are interested to know what it was like, in "Luisiana" and in Spain, at the time that our ancestors signed the contract with the King of Spain (represented by his agent Monroy) and came to "Luisiana". His details about the arduous trip aboard the San Josef is something that I have not seen elsewhere. He even found the list of provisions put aboard the ship prior to its departure from Cadiz. The ship went from Malaga to Cadiz, and then made the trip from Cadiz to Havana, and then on to New Orleans. Some of the Malaguenos got off and stayed in Havana.

Jose Manuel has graciously allowed me to provide the Chapter on the Malaquenos Settlers in pdf format.  The English version starts on page 20. 

The entire book may be ordered online at

Note: Below is a text of the email that I received on July 4, 2010 from Jose Manuel regarding research services.


After 27 years working in the administrative field I could make the jump to my true passion: History.

I have just started my own business as genealogical researcher, historian, and other cultural services in Málaga, Andalusia, Spain.

If you know someone who needs an expert and professional researcher in genealogy, tracing their ancestors in Spain, translations into English of documents, planning your travel to Spain, …

please let me know, because if you have received this mail that means you know me as a friend.

Please forward this message to the friends or webmasters who could be interested in it.



Jose Manuel de Molina

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