Marin County Land Grants
When California was under Mexican rule, land grants were made to the early settlers in the state who were known as Californios. Some of these Californios discovered Marin County, just across the bay from San Francisco, and petitioned the Mexican government for land grants so that they could settle in the area.
This map shows Marin County’s original ranchos and their grantees. Click on each rancho to display the original rancho name, the owner, and the number of acres it comprised. You can also click on the box below the Rancho information to read a brief biography of the grantee.
These biographical summaries were written by California Room intern, Eric Ward. They have been edited by the California Room staff.
Because the history of the Marin County land grants and the subsequent subdivision of the rancho lands is extremely complex, our summaries are meant only as an introduction to the subject. We recommend the references cited at the end of each summary to learn more about a given rancho or grantee. We particularly recommend Jack Mason’s Early Marin (1971) for a good overview of the subject. For more information on ranchos and ranching in West Marin, Dewey Livingston’s Ranching on the Point Reyes Peninsula…. (1993) is recommended.
NOTE: For the sake of consistency, rancho sizes follow Ogden Hoffman’s Reports of Land Cases determined in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. San Francisco: 1862. Because the exact sizes of the ranchos are impossible to calculate based on the original rancho diseños, we chose to use the acreage determined by the U.S. Land Commission after they made their surveys.
This map was graciously designed for the California Room by artist Leila Joslyn.