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March 9, 1731

Home Spotlight on the Canary Islands Many descendants of the Canary Island families have never visited the Canary Islands.  This Spotlight is intended to provide a brief overview of many of the Islands favorite sites.  Please check back frequently as it will change. John Brindley's Blog

Canarian Folk Music - the Timple.

The Role of Water in the Decision to Emigrate from Lanzarote To San Antonio.

John Brindley’s blog containing articles from his research on Lanzarote.

The Lanzarote They Left Behind

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The Island of Lanzarote is situated just 80 miles off the coast of Africa opposite southern Morocco and is the most easterly of the Canary Islands. The island is 37 miles (60 km) long and 12 miles (20 km) wide. Lanzarote, belonging to the province of Las Palmas is the fourth largest of the islands.

Lanzarote enjoys a mild dry climate with average daytime temperatures ranging from about 69°F (21°C) in January to 84°F (29°C) in August. Annual rainfall is just 5.5 inches (140 mm).

As with the other Canary Islands, Lanzarote is Volcanic in origin.  The dry climate (and lack of erosion) means that the volcanic landscape appears much as it did just after the eruptions.

 The volcanic eruptions between 1730 and 1736 (for 2,053 days), covered a quarter of the island's surface, destroying its most fertile farmland and eleven villages, creating 32 new volcanoes in a stretch of 11 miles (18 kilometers).  Due to the numerous eruptions many parts of Lanzarote’s treeless volcanic landscapes appear to be from another world, the island countryside is often described as “lunar” or “Martian” in appearance.  Its particular landscape is the result of six years of exceptionally violent volcanic eruptions that covered almost a third of the island's surface with a thick layer of lava in the early eighteenth century, replacing a landscape of farmland and villages with lava fields and volcanic peaks.

A priest from the town of Yaiza on Lanzarote, Father Andrés Lorenzo Curbelo documented the eruptions in detail.  His chronicle includes details of where on the island volcanoes were erupting and when, along with other seismic events and even which direction the lava was flowing and the villages that it had reached.  Later he also talks about how the inhabitants took shelter on Gran Canaria. The eruptions created over one hundred volcanoes in the area now called Montañas del Fuego. There was a much smaller eruption in 1824 in the Tiagua area.

The first eruption occurred on September 1st 1730, 158 days after the Isleños that settled San Antonio left the island, on that day they were resting during their journey in the small town of Cuautitlán just north of Mexico City.  During the six year period the area now known as Timanfaya National Park was created, this is one of the newest places on earth and is of great interest to scientists to see how the land develops.  The islanders lost villages (Tingfa, Mancha Blanca, Maretas, Santa Catalina, Jaretas, San Juan, Timanfaya, Rodeo and Mazo) but more importantly their fertile land that had been used to grow vines, cereals and graze cattle.

Amongst the many stunning Volcanic features of Lanzarote is the longest Volcanic Tunnel in the world, the Atlantida Tunnel, which is over 4.3 miles (7 km) long and includes La Cueva de los Verdes and Jameos del Agua. Despite the Volcanic nature of the island, Lanzarote has several beautiful white beaches such as at Playa Blanca and Papagayo.


The tallest mountain is elevating 670 meters (2,198 feet) above sea level. Arrecife, the capital since 1852, is a city in the center-east of the island.  The city owes its name to the rock reef "Arrecife" (reef in Spanish), which covers the beach located in the city.  Lanzarote was probably the first Canary Island to be settled.

The conquest of the Canary Islands occurred during the 15th century when in May of 1402, Jean de Béthencourt who was determined to conquer the Canary Islands and try to convert the inhabitants to the Catholic faith, led a joint expedition with the Chevalier Gadifer de la Salle.

Béthencourt, a French nobleman of Norman origin depart from the seaport of La Rochelle in western France under the protection of King Henry III of the Kingdom of Castile.  The expedition landed in Lanzarote in the summer of that year, shortly after their arrival Béthencourt was able to make a pact of friendship with the Kind of Lanzarote, Guadarfia, and establish a camp in a place called El Rubicón.

The island of Lanzarote contained milk of great medicinal virtue, according to the two priest (Pierre Bontier and Jean le Verrier) that accompanied Gadifer de La Salle to the island in 1402.  Offerings of milk jugs were poured on the mountain peaks.  It was believed that the butter gained in supernatural potency the longer it was stored.

The Majorcan mapmaker, Angelino Dulcert, first recorded the island’s name as Insula de Lanzarotus Marocelus after the Genoese navigator Lancelotto Malocello.  However, the island's name in the native language was Titerro (y) gatra, which may mean "the red mountains".  

Ten of the Sixteen Families that settled in the province of Texas in 1731 came from the Island of Lanzarote. There where a total of forty persons from the island.  Of the fifty-five that arrive at San Antonio, thirty-five where Lanzaroteans, five died en route.

The Juan Leal Goraz Family

The Juan Curbelo Family

The Juan Leal, Jr. (el Mozo) Family

The Antonio de los Santos Family

The Joseph Leal Family

The Salvador Rodriguez Family

The Juan Delgado Family

The Jose Cabrera Family

The Maria Rodriguez-Provayna Granadillo Family

Mariana Meleano Delgado Family