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Witmer Family Collection

Identifier:  MS-27

Scope and Contents

This collection of photos and publications belonged to Val Witmer and her family. There are several portraits and group shots of family members as well as an oversized photo of the Cota Ranch.

Another set of photos is of Father Jose Godayol. The photos of Godayol in this collection represent several periods in his life.

The publications are almost all of a religious nature and may have been passed down several generations. Two noteworthy sermons were written by the first bishop of California, Francisco Garcia Diego, and Joseph Alemany, first bishop of Monterey.


  • 1731 - 1931

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archivist and Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation Research Center as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Biographical / Historical

Father Jose Godayol (1829-1902) was one of the first three novices received into the Franciscan Order in California in 1854. He was ordained as a priest in 1860 by Fr. Joseph Alemany in San Francisco. In 1876 he most likely went to Vich, Spain where he was born. Returning to the United States, Godayol was assigned to various dioceses including Phoenix, Arizona and the Pajaro Valley (Calif.) where he died in 1892.

Maria Valentine "Val" Witmer (1927-2014) was the daughter of Edith Cota of Santa Barbara and Baltazar Beltran of Mexico. She married Alexis Witmer and had three children.


1 box

Language of Materials

Spanish; Castilian


This collection of photos and publications belonged to Val Witmer and her family. It contains several portraits and group shots of family members, an oversized photo of the Cota Ranch, and a set of photos of Father Jose Godayol representing several periods in his life.


The collection is arranged into two (2) series:

Series 1 - Photographs

Series 2 - Miscellaneous Publications

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Liana Thompson

Separated Materials

One (1) book Misionero parroquial, ò Sermones para todos los domingos del año, escritos en frances por Mr. Chevassu ... y traducidos al español por don Jacinto Lopez, transferred to library.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Chris S. Ervin CA on 2020-03-30

Guide to the Witmer Family collection
Chris S. Ervin CA
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Presidio Research Center Repository

215 East Canon Perdido St.
Santa Barbara CA 93101 USA
(805) 961-5369