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John "Don Juan" Forster
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Birth: 1814
Liverpool
Merseyside, England
Death: Feb. 20, 1882
Rancho Santa Margarita
Orange County
California, USA

An Englishman who made his fortune in California land development, John (Don Juan) Forster left his native Liverpool at the age of 17 to work for an uncle, James Johnson, a merchant in Guaymas, Mexico, eventually becoming the captain of one of Johnson's ships. In 1836 he became a Mexican citizen, and the following year wed Ysidora Pico, a sister of Pio Pico, the last governor of Mexican California, who enabled him to acquire substantial land holdings there. Forster shrewdly played both sides during the Mexican-American War, appearing sympathetic to US forces, while secretly assisting his brother-in-law to escape capture. His wealth was further increased during the Gold Rush of 1849, when his cattle provided beef for thousands of newly arrived prospectors. Forster and his wife had six children, three of whom survived to adulthood, among them the rakish Francisco "Chico" Forster, said to have been the family favorite. After Chico's fatal shooting by the jilted Lastania Abarta, Forster's health rapidly declined. The 68-year-old land baron died the following year at his Rancho Santa Margarita estate, and was entombed in the Forster Mausoleum in the old Mission Cemetery of San Juan Capistrano, a property he had once owned but which was later returned to the Catholic Church by President Abraham Lincoln. His survivors included his wife and two sons. 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Ysidora Ygnacia Pico Forster (1808 - 1883)
 
 Children:
  Marco Antonio Forster (1839 - 1904)*
  Francisco Forster (1841 - 1881)*
  John F. Forster (1845 - 1901)*
 
*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# 114856406
John Don Juan Forster
Added by: Nikita Barlow
 
John Don Juan Forster
Added by: Nikita Barlow
 
 
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- Saralee
 Added: Jan. 12, 2016
 
 
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