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Ysidora Ygnacia Pico Forster
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Birth: Apr. 4, 1808
San Diego
San Diego County
California, USA
Death: 1883
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Mrs. Foster, 75, was the widow of land baron John (Don Juan) Forster, and sister of Pio Pico, the last Mexican governor of California. Born Maria Ysidora Ygnacia Pico, she was the daughter of Jose and Eustaquia (nee Gutierrez) Pico of San Diego, then a Mexican city. After her father's death, she and her widowed mother lived with her brother, and at one point escaped massacre by Indians, Senora Pico having been forewarned by a friendly member of the tribe. A devout but vivacious girl, Ysidora attracted both Anglo and Hispanic suitors, and was reknowned for her kindness to a group of Kentucky trappers who had been imprisoned by Mexican authorities in 1828. Unlike most women of her era, however, she did not marry until her late 20's, when she became the bride of the English-born John Forster, the captain of a merchant ship and was six years her junior. Forster had become a Mexican citizen in 1836, and the couple were married at the Mission of San Luis Rey in late 1837. They subsequently became the parents of six children, three of whom--all sons--survived to adulthood. The Forsters lived in Los Angeles until c.1844, when her husband acquired the Mission of San Juan Capistrano. After its return to the Catholic Church by Abraham Lincoln, they moved to Rancho Santa Margarita. A devoted wife and mother, gracious hostess, and friend of the poor, Mrs. Forster was also a zealous guardian of female virtue, carefully locking in her maidservants each night. Ironically, the Forsters' favorite son, Chico, became a notorious rake in Gilded Age Angeleno society, and in 1881 was killed by Lastania Abarta, a young singer with whom he'd spent the night but refused to marry. Abarta was afterwards acquitted of his murder on the grounds that a virtuous woman who'd been deprived of her honor would inevitably go mad. Devastated by grief and scandal, Mrs. Forster's sufferings were compounded by the loss of her husband in 1882. She died the following year, mourned by their two surviving sons. 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  John Forster (1814 - 1882)*
 
 Children:
  Francisco Forster (1841 - 1881)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Old Mission Cemetery
San Juan Capistrano
Orange County
California, USA
Plot: Forster Mausoleum
 
Created by: Nikita Barlow
Record added: Aug 03, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 114875753
Ysidora Ygnacia <i>Pico</i> Forster
Added by: Nikita Barlow
 
Ysidora Ygnacia <i>Pico</i> Forster
Added by: Nikita Barlow
 
 
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