Rivas Grant was in the family until the late 1850's. Joseph E had a stroke, Paula had passed on, and then some real strange things happened. It ended up a court case a few years after the CW interrupted the deal and there's a lot of the records missing. A man started to visit Joseph E and it wasn't too long after they discovered some of his papers were missing. Now, his transcription was the 'standard' the US used to allow most of the original grants to be retained by the original owners. Long story short, they took the land for some developing. Wanted to bring in a railroad and they did, thus, the 17th Ave. Trestle on the land. Once he figured out his records for his own land were missing, he had another stroke. He thought one of his sons, Alberto V had helped the man take them. His Negro Manservant testified in court that was how he felt. He wrote every one of his children out of his will except my 2x ggrand, Joseph N, who was a gambler, father of a FWC and had been bodily tossed out of the Navy Yard by the Commandant in the middle of the night. The other children got one dime each. Jos N, the family silver, whatever else there was left. Records show JospE's official seal had been seen in an auction house a few years later. Guess who gambled that and the silver away? Anyhow, the court case filed by the children to get their mother's property back was a long, ugly affair that was somewhat hindered by the Yankee occupation. I have copies of the court records. The clerk of the court adds to the last page that all testimony in favor of the Caro family, given by local men of high reputation had been removed. They did not know how or who did it but it is missing. Moreno, Gonzalez, Pons, McVoy, Lavalle, de la Rua, deRochablave, Bonifay, all old original family names and their testimony was just gone. The names of the 'new' upper class who have streets named after them are also part of the make up of this place. They made a fortune on land sales. No surprise there.
Sooo, forgive me if I doubt that all records are intact or correct. This would include any other 'Federal' records too.
I have a goblet, a huge crystal wine goblet that was given to me. It was said to have belonged to one of the original Californio's. It's hand blown and I have taken it to 3 appraisers. All 3 told me to contact the Smithsonian. They would not put a value on it but told me not to sell it until I did get it checked out. They believed it was authentic. I would gladly trade that goblet for my GreatGrandfather's seal. I doubt very much that will ever happen. Like your friend Jamie, sometimes we just have to let it go. We aren't going to win. You can't fight city hall or the Federal Government.