Without going into it too deeply, the land was no longer Spanish but Mexican after 1821, and was broken up and granted to many people in varying circumstances without restriction. Miguel Leonis arrived in L.A. in the 1850s, became a citizen in 1867, and was able to buy, marry into, bully, litigate, threaten, and come by huge tracts of land by all the foregoing means.
I am familiar with another Mexican land grant, Boca de la Playa along the Pacific coast, on which the descendants of the grantees lived until recently. It was they who sold a little more than an acre "between the salt water and the sea strand" as I like to describe it, to my Bob in 1972. The original Spanish land was part of the Mission San Juan Capistrano until it was broken up after the Mexican War of Independence. I've written in my family history about this beautiful piece of land covered with bamboo by the side of San Juan Creek and adjacent to the ocean that was such a big part of our lives.
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