Yorba Linda Baby Named Linda Yorba

I’m sure you’ve heard of Yorba Linda, the affluent city in southern California whose name means “Beautiful Yorba” in English.

Did you know it was named in honor of wealthy rancher Bernardo Yorba (1800-1858), son of Spanish soldier and early California settler Jose Yorba?

Bernardo had 21 children, one of whom was a son named Vicente (b. 1844). One of Vicente’s children was a son named Bernardo (b. 1894), who also went on to have a son named Bernardo (b. 1921).

That last Bernardo, great-grandson of the original, had a high school sweetheart named Margaret.

Bernardo married Margaret in 1943. He soon left to fight in WWII, but not before Margaret became pregnant with their first child. She had the baby while he was overseas.

Margaret recalls:

“When I was in high school I remembered sitting with my friends at noon one time and talking about getting married and I said, ‘What if I married Bernardo Yorba and named our first baby Linda. She’d be Linda Yorba from Yorba Linda.’ And we all thought that was so hysterical. So of course, I named the baby Linda–it just came out of my mouth.”

After Linda, they went on to have nine more children: Cantana, Lisa, Bernardo, Nichola, Antonio, Miguel, Christopher, Jaime and Peter.

Source: Humphreys, Carol. “The Yorbas.” Orange Coast Magazine Feb. 2002: 76-79.

[Two more WWII-era Linda stories: Linda Ann, Linda Vista]

4 thoughts on “Yorba Linda Baby Named Linda Yorba

  1. I certainly have heard of Yorba Linda–I grew up and still live within spittin’ distance–but I didn’t know the history of the name or the family. Very interesting! (I’m wondering if the name of the family’s second child after Linda was Santana, not Cantana?)

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