About Our Chapter Namesake


The Josefa Higuera Livermore Chapter, NSDAR, was named for Josefa Higuera Livermore, wife of Robert Livermore for whom the city of Livermore and the Livermore Valley were named. Our organizing members wanted to honor both a woman and the city where the chapter was organized. Below is a brief biography of our namesake. 


Josefa Higuera Livermore

Josefa Higuera was born in 1815, to Jose Loreto Higuera and Ramona Bernal. A birthdate for Josefa has not been found but records show that her parents were married at Mission Delores in San Francisco in 1813. She married Jose Fuentas Molina on June 1, 1835, and they had one daughter. She was soon widowed and married Robert Thomas Livermore on May 5, 1838, at Mission San Jose in what is now Fremont, California. Josefa and Robert Livermore had eight children and also adopted one child.

Josefa's parents, the Higueras and Bernals, were descended from the very earliest pioneers in California. Their ancestors were part of a group of thirty families who were sent by Spain to form a colony. That colony was charged with protecting the country and serving as a base for successive establishments. Members of Josefa's family were also part of the Anza expedition, which traveled in 1775 and 1776 from the town of San Miguel de Horcacitas in Mexico to California.

The Livermores were well known for their hospitality. After the discovery of gold, all land travel for several years went past their house, and travelers both to and from the mines made it a point to stop at the house. It was said that when peddlers came to the house, on their way to the mines, and asked the Livermores to buy their merchandise, they not only purchased the whole load of wares, but also the wagon and sent the peddler on his way with a new saddle and plenty of money.

Most of the present-day city of Livermore was part of Rancho Las Positas, a land grant that Josefa's husband obtained in 1839. Robert died in 1858 and Josefa died on January 16, 1879. Both are buried near each other at Mission San Jose. The city itself was founded and named after Robert Livermore in 1869, by William Mendenhall, who had met and befriended Robert Livermore while marching through the valley with Fremont's California Battalion. The city of Livermore was incorporated on April 1, 1876.


A rendering of the home of Josefa Higuera and Robert Livermore. The house was an "Around-the-Horn" home from New England, delivered and erected in 1851. Sadly, the house was demolished in 1953.



Corridor Country by Reginald Stuart
Las Positas: The Story of Robert and Josefa Livermore by Janet Newton

Photos courtesy of the Livermore Heritage Guild

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