Sigismundo Taraval

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Sigismundo Taraval (1700–1763) was a pioneering Jesuit missionary in Baja California who left important historical accounts of the peninsula.

Born in Lodi, Lombardy, he served initially as missionary at La Purísima (1730–1732) and San Ignacio, among the Cochimí. While at San Ignacio, he oversaw the bringing of the inhabitants of Cedros Island to the mission.

In 1733 he was sent south to found the Misión Santa Rosa de las Palmas at the modern site of Todos Santos. The following year, the local Pericú and Guaycura Indians staged a serious revolt against Jesuit rule, and Taraval was forced to flee, first to La Paz and then to the island of Espíritu Santo. He wrote a detailed if partisan account of the revolt and its subsequent suppression.

Subsequently Taraval later served at the southern missions of San José del Cabo (1736–1746) and Santiago (1747–1750) before leaving the peninsula.

Taraval Street in San Francisco is named after him.


  • Burrus, Ernest J. 1984. Jesuit Relations: Baja California, 1716–1762. Dawson's Book Shop, Los Angeles.
  • Crosby, Harry W. 1994. Antigua California: Mission and Colony on the Peninsular Frontier, 1697–1768. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.
  • Taraval, Sigismundo. 1931. The Indian Uprising in Lower California, 1734–1737. Edited by Marguerite Eyer Wilbur. Quivira Society, Los Angeles.
  • Venegas, Miguel. 1979. Obras californianas del padre Miguel Venegas, S.J. 5 vols. Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur, La Paz, Mexico.