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"The Semper Family: from the Basque Country to California"

Updated October 16, 2005

This is the family history of my Maternal Great-Grandparents who immigrated to California from the Basque regions of Spain and France.

Juan Lorenzo Semper Y Ordoqui was born in Yanci, Navarra, Spain March 09, 1868. He arrived in California in the year 1886, at the age of 18.

His future bride, Marianna Gachitegui,was born in 1883 in Aldudes, Basses-Pyrenees, France.

Maria arrived at Ellis Island on the French ship "La Touraine" on Nov.28, 1903. She was 22 y.o. and traveling alone. The ship that she traveled on was built in France in 1891 and ran between La Havre, France and New York. It could carry 1,090 passengers (392 first class, 98 second class and 600 third class). The "La Touraine" was a steamship and it took 7 days to travel from France to New York.

Her occupation was listed as "servant". She paid for her ticket on her own, already possessed a rail ticket to get all the way to S.F. upon her arrival in N.Y. and carried with her her life savings of $20.00. This was her first time in the U.S. Her destination was San Francisco. Specifically, she was headed to Mr.Yparraguiere at the Basque Hotel located at 1341 Powell Street.

Deb Spoonhour

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