Margarita Gonzáles was born María Margarita Gonzáles de Ochoa possibly between 1709 and 1713 in Mexico. Her precise date of birth and parental information are not known. She lived in Camargo, Nuevo Santander (now the state of Tamaulipas), in New Spain and married Juan Crisostomo Hinojosa de la Garza (who died in 1750). From her marriage she gave birth to seven children: María Rita, María Gertrudis, Candida, José, Bernarda, Diego and María Ygnacia.
In 1767 the Spanish government, after the requests and petitions of José de Escandon, managed the general inspection and surveys of the land grants, approximately from Laredo to Reynosa, along the Rio Grande. The grants, known as porciones, were surveyed so that each recipient received about the same amount of pastureland and a variable amount of farmland (depending on the grantee’s date of arrival) as well as access to water. The Spanish government granted 118 porciones to the settlers in Camargo. In 1767 Margarita Gonzáles was an original grantee and received 6,218.26 acres of land designated in porcion 103, located in present-day Starr County, Texas. The land allotted to her was about sixteen miles northwest of present-day Rio Grande City and the Rio Grande, as the surveyors who initially plotted the land ran out of space along the river. The additional nine porciones needed to meet the intended count were positioned several miles from the water. Los Olmos Creek runs through porcion 103 from west to east.
Margarita Gonzáles died on December 1, 1773, and porcion 103 remained in her name after her death. In 1881 the Texas General Land Office recognized and granted the land to her “heirs and legal assigns.” The county maps drawn of Starr County into the 1930s continued to designate the land as that of Margarita Gonzáles.
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Land Grant Records, Margarita Gonzáles Papers, File No. 521, Original Land Grant Collection, Archives and Records Division, Texas General Land Office, Austin. Char Miller, ed., Fluid Arguments: Five Centuries of Western Water Conflict (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 2001).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 16, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
June 12, 2018
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: