Also, as a religious order whose members take vows of poverty, Franciscans relied on the generosity of parishioners, many of whom were later buried on mission grounds. The birth record of Daniel Hill (b. Billerica, MA 1797) is easily found on the NEHGS site. Based on nearby gravestones, Daniel and his descendants intermarried with the local Spanish-speaking population and the family picked up some new surnames and a new religion. I saw gravestones of Rickards and Fitz Randolphs, too, names found in the Warren and E Fuller silver books. Daniel's stone said he had lived in CA since 1823, 11 years before Richard Henry Dana of Boston voyaged there, as told in his memoir Two Years Before the Mast. A generation later, New Englanders were part of the CA Gold Rush of 1849, some remaining in the Golden State. The Santa Barbara mission would have registered its parishioners, listing all family members, and today it has a large archive. If you have alta California ancestry, think about inquiring at the closest mission.
Photos taken at the Santa Barbara mission, Santa Barbara, CA. Non-flash photography is allowed for non commercial use, otherwise get permission from the Order of Franciscans, which still occupies and operates the mission. Top 2 images © Maura Mackowski, 2018, the original photo of the monks is property of the Santa Barbara Mission Archive-Library.