Calvillo, Maria del Carmen (1765–1856)

By: I. Waynne Cox

Type: Biography

Published: December 1, 1994

Updated: September 18, 2018

María Calvillo, descendent of early settlers of San Antonio and owner of Rancho de las Cabras in what is now Wilson County (see RANCHO DE LAS CABRAS STATE HISTORIC SITE), was born at the Villa of San Fernando de Béxar (San Antonio) on July 9, 1765, the eldest of six children born to Ygnacio Francisco Xavier Calvillo and Antonia de Arocha. Her father acquired Rancho de las Cabras ("the Goat Ranch"),an outpost of San Francisco de la Espada Mission, after the mission and its lands were secularized. María Calvillo married Juan Gavino de la Trinidad Delgado around 1781. The couple had two sons, Juan Bautista and José Anacleto, and adopted three additional children, Juan José, María Concepción Gortari, and Antonio Durán. During the 1811 and 1814 Gavino played a major role in the overthrow of the Spanish; as a result of his activities he was declared a rebel against the crown. María apparently separated from her husband at this time. In April 1814 Ygnacio Calvillo was murdered at his ranch during a raid; initially the raid was thought to have been perpetrated by Indians, but subsequent investigation revealed that the attackers included Ygnacio's own grandson. At this time María gained control and ownership of the property. On August 28, 1828, she formally petitioned the Mexican government for a new title to her father's ranch; it was granted the next month. Later grants in 1833 placed three leagues of land under her control. Her will passed ownership of the property to two of her adopted children, María Concepción Gortari and Antonio Durán. María Calvillo died on January 15, 1856.

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Frederick Charles Chabot, With the Makers of San Antonio (Yanaguana Society Publications 4, San Antonio, 1937). Julia Kathryn Garrett, Green Flag Over Texas: A Story of the Last Years of Spain in Texas (Austin: Pemberton Press, 1939).

  • Ranching and Cowboys
  • Ranchers and Cattlemen
  • Women
  • Founders and Pioneers
  • Pioneers
  • Peoples
  • Mexican Americans
  • Land Grants
  • Ranches Established After 1835
Time Periods:
  • Spanish Texas
  • Mexican Texas
  • Texas Revolution
  • Republic of Texas
  • Antebellum Texas
  • San Antonio
  • Central Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

I. Waynne Cox, “Calvillo, Maria del Carmen,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 25, 2022,

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December 1, 1994
September 18, 2018

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