Starr Pait Gurcke: Translations of pre-statehood documents

This is a collection of translations by Starr Pait Gurcke of California pre-statehood documents.

Starr Pait was born in San Jose in 1911. She graduated from San Jose State and received a master’s degree in Germanic languages from Stanford. She married Werner Gurcke, a German citizen, in 1936 in Santa Cruz. Starr Pait Gurcke translated documents concerning Mission Santa Cruz and Villa de Branciforte for local historians and the County of Santa Cruz. She died in Santa Cruz in 1997. Her family’s story is told in the book “We Were Not the Enemy” by her daughter Heidi Gurcke Donald.

UCSC Special Collections has a complete set of Starr Gurke's research papers and copies of her translations. The following list from UCSC includes the names of the collections where she found documents about Villa de Branciforte and Santa Cruz.

Translations of pre-statehood documents: Villa de Branciforte, 1797-1859 Santa Cruz Mission Annual & Biennial Reports, 1791-1840 County of Santa Cruz - collection of early documents, ca. 1844-1865 Alcalde of the Villa de Branciforte, 1st & 2nd Constitutional Court - January-May, 1844, etc. Santa Barbara Mission Archives - H L. Lummis House Account Book of Mission Santa Cruz, 1792-1822 Mission Santa Cruz Reports, 1806, 1809, 1833 General Inventory of the Mission Santa Cruz, Aug.24, 1834 Miscellaneous letters from Santa Barbara Mission Archives - 1794, 1809-1844; from the De la Guerra Collection, Santa Barbara Mission Archives - 1815-1834; Mission Santa Cruz Letters - 1813; From the estate of Rosario Curletti, Santa Barbara Mission Archives Bancroft Library - Present Condition of California - General Report to the Viceroy, May 11, 1796 by Fr. Isidro Alonzo Salazar; "Priest's letters and Mission Accounts" - Santa Cruz - 1807-1846; Letters from BL Vallejo XXIX p.153 (1826), 232 (1838), 276 (1838), 489 (1824) Archivo General de la Nacion Mexico - "Year of 1803 Californias - Jose Marcelino Bravo & other settlers of the Villa de Branciforte - concerning their moving to the site of Corralitos 6 Leagues distant from the Villa" - Bravo Expediente San Francisco Chancery Archives - Letters concerning Mission Santa Cruz #234-768 - 1799-1817; #774-1399-2 - 1816-1820; #878-1660 - 1818-1824; Priest's Letters - 1816-1827 Huntington Library - Letters concerning Mission Santa Cruz - 1812-1852 Wallace B. Stevens Collection, University of Texas - Copy of the Report of the Royal Exchange and Minister in charge of the 2nd Naval Department concerning a new settlement in California titled "Branciforte" - 11/17/1795 - 12/17/1795; "Expediente concerning the Erection of the Villa de Branciforte in New California" - 1976, 1977, 1798, 1799, 1800-1803; J. S. Majors Original Grant from Governor Alvarado - 1839-1841 Monterey County Archives, Vallejo Collection - v.1 Criminal (ca. 1807-1833); #1-7/89, 401-586; 439-507 to 1807-1833; v.2 Criminal (1835-1837) #1-142; 143-256 to 1835-1837 MAMC Mexican Archives - Monterey County - Miscellaneous letters; Bolcoff Letters.

For a complete description of the Starr P. Gurcke Papers at UCSC see Inventory of the Starr P. Gurcke Papers

Access & Use: The Gurcke notebooks are open for research use. Appointments to view the collection can be made by contacting the library. Permission to publish materials must be requested from the Santa Cruz Public Libraries. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions.
Creator: Gurcke, Starr
Source: Gift of the Gurcke Family; received from Heidi Gurcke Donald, June 2019.
Date: Circa 1965-1990
  • Santa Cruz (County)
  • California
Rights: Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Santa Cruz Public Libraries. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Santa Cruz Public Libraries as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.
Identifier: MS-GURCKE



Gurcke, Starr. “Starr Pait Gurcke: Translations of pre-statehood documents.” Gift of the Gurcke Family; received from Heidi Gurcke Donald, June 2019. Circa 1965-1990. SCPL Local History. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.