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Balli Branch

Home Up Ma. Inez & Benigno Pic. Balli Cemetery South Padre Island


HISTORY: Jose Antonio Balli-Cavazos (1813-1887) founded the Balli or San Antonio de los Esteros Ranch About 1848,  in the Llano Grande Land Grant of his great-grandfather, Juan Jose Hinojosa. The ranch was probably named after Balli's patron saint. His family name (Variant Valli, Ballin) signifies "dweller in a valley".


His grandparents Matias Cavazos and Manuela Hinojosa had inherited her Share of (3325 Vares or 9283 feet river frontage  x 30,000 vargas) of the Llano Grande Land Grant. Their children; Ramon, Lino, and Antonia inherited in turn.


Antonia had married Jose Manuel Balli-Villarreal, and when she died, their son Jose Antonio Balli-Cavazos (1813-1887) acquired 1320.5 varas river front, a portion of which he Inherited from his mother Antonia and the balance acquired by purchase from his brothers and sisters.


San Antonio de los Esteros (or Esteritos) Ranch consisted of 7,000 acres or two square leages and extended from the Rio Grande, north 15 miles. It contained two bodies of water beside the the river frontage, enough to pasture large stocks of cattle. The Ballis also raised corn, beans and squash for domestic use in the fields close to the Rio Grande.


According to Antonio's son, Manuel, his family owned and used the land since 1839. For a few years around 1838, they fled across the Rio Grande because of Indian raids.


Antonio Balli married Manuela Rubalcaba in 1837, and they had eight children: Manuel (born in Mexico 1838, died after 1903), Refugia, Antonio (1851-1913), Francisca Natividad, Maria Inez, Victoria, and Librada.


When Hidalgo County was founded in 1852, Antonio Balli registered the first cattle brand at the county seat of Edinburg (Hidalgo County) on November, designed as (JAV) connected with a flat circle over the A.


When Don Antonio Balli died in 1887 (his widow died in 1897), the property was verbally partitioned amony his seven children. Each receiving 188.5 vargas river frontage. By 1913, most of the land was sold to the American Rio Grande Land & Irrigation Company of Merceden for land Development.


The first Balli in America, was Pedro Balli (1545-1600), a printer, of Salamanoam, Spain. He reached Mexico in 1569, where he married Catalina del Valle and had three sons. Balli was named fourth printer of the New World by royal decree of King Phillip II in 1574. His printing house was located on the corner of Honeda Street and Lic. Verdad on the plaza in Mexico City. He produced over 60 books, including some in native language and others for the University of Mexico.


Descendants of Pedro Balli II moved to Nuevo Leon. By 1750, Nicolas Balli (1701) and Josefa Guerra de Balli were living in Sabinas Hidalgo, about 70 miles north of present Monterrey. They had five (5) sons, Jose Manuel, Bartolomeo, Juan Jose, Juan Antonio, and Jose Maria Balli. Durning the colonization of Nuevo Santander by Jose de Escandon in 1749, Jose Maria Balli and Juan Antonio Balli settled in Reynosa and became rimitive settlers.


At the time of the General Visit to assign lands to settlers in 1767, Jose Maria Balli was one of the surveyors, and received porcion 72. His brother Juan Antonio Balli received porcion 13.


In 1800, because of continous flooding of the original site, the villa of Reynosa moved downstream 11 miles onto land donated by the Juan Jose Antonio Balli Family. Manuel Balli is probly descendant from one of these two Reynosa settlers.
At San Antonio del Estero Ranch, a one-acre plot was set aside for a family cemetery. First family member buried in the Balli Cemetery was Atilano Pina in 1874, the husband of Natividad Balli- Rubalcaba. Ranch founder, Antonio Balli and his Wife, Manuela Rubalcaba are also buried in the ranch cemetery, according to Mr. Arturo Balli of Donna. Last Balli to be buried in the ranch cemetary was Apolonio Balli-Salazar (1869-1956).

Source: Mr. Arturo Balli of Donna, Texas and Fresno, Califorina. ARGL&I Chain of Title, Llano Grande Grand, Share 2, 1913, Garcia, Clotilde. Padre Nicolas Balli and Padre Island.;

Balli Family Lineage:

Mauricio Balli Married Francisca M. De Balli

Pedro Balli (B: 1545) Married (August, 1559) Catalina Del Valle

Pedro Balli Married Mariana De La Cruz

Geronimo Balli Married (July 12, 1591) Ines de Bastida

Nicolas Balli Married(1608) Mariana Castro

Antonio Balli Married Martina Perez

Nicolas Balli Married (1706, Madrid, Spain) Josefa Fuera Guerra
They had the following Children:

Juan Antonio Balli Guerra, Jose Maria Balli Guerra(*), Juan Jose Balli Guerra, Rosa Maria Balli Guerra, Jose Santiago Balli Guerra

Juan Antonio Balli Guerra Married (1749) Francisca Rosalia Villarreal Rodriguez
They had the following children:

Maria Gregoria Balli Villarreal, Maria Guadalupe Balli Villarreal, Jose Cipriano Balli Villarreal,
Ana Catarina Balli Villarreal, Maria Josefa Balli Villarreal, Jose Enrique Balli Villarreal, Jose
Francisco Balli Villarreal, Jose Antonio Balli Villarreal, Jose Ignacio Balli Villarreal, Jose
Manuel Balli Villarreal
, Juan Antonio Balli Villarreal

Jose Manuel Balli Villarreal Married (February 7, 1791) Maria Antonia Cavazos Hinojosa
They had the following children:

Jose Antonio Balli Cavazos, Jose Francisco Balli Cavazos, Ygnacio Balli Cavazos, Victoria
Balli Cavazos, Refugia Balli Cavazos, Isidro Balli Cavazos, Manuel Balli Cavazos

Jose Antonio Balli Cavazos (1813- June 1887) Married (December 2, 1837) Manuela Rubalcaba Galvan (1824 - 1897 )

They had the following children:

Manuel Balli Rubalcaba, Antonio Balli Rubalcaba, Primo Balli Rubalcaba, Refugua Balli
Rubalcaba, Natividad Balli Rubalcaba, Maria Ines Balli Rubalcaba, Victoria Balli

Maria Ines Balli Rubalcaba Married (November 26, 1871) Benigno Casares De Leon
They had the following children:

Ildefonso Casares Balli (B: February 16, 1873 D: September 30 1940) Pedro Casares Balli,
Lazaro Casares Balli, Jose Casares Balli, Julia Casares Balli, Maria Ines Casares Balli (1886-1969), Antonia Casares Balli, Celestina Casares Balli, Manuela Casares Balli

Antonia Casares Balli Married Jesus Garza Robles
They had the following children:

Josefina Garza Robles Casares (B:10/20/1917) , Francisca Garza Robles Casares, Jesus Garza Robles Casares

Note: The manner in which the last names appear are as they appear on the document that I was given. It is worth noting that in the Spanish tradition the last name closest to the persons first name is the fathers last name the second last name that follows is the mothers last name. This was done so as to make it known from which families you were from. In this particular case you will notice that there are three last names attached to the relatives first name. It is not known why this has occurred in our family and is the only family noted in this manner in the document that I have.
They should read: Josefina Garza Casares, Francisca Garza Casares, Jesus Garza Casares.

This ends the direct Balli Lineage for our family.
This Balli family is the family of Father Nicolas Balli Hinojosa whom South Padre Island, Texas is named after and once belonged to. Father Balli was given this land after having a cape tied to the back of his horse and being told that the land that this cape touched would be given to him by the Spanish Crown. When Father Balli died he willed the land grant to a nephew (Juan Jose Balli Treviņo August 6, 1828) The direct descendants of Juan Jose Balli Treviņo were fighting for their Spanish land grants and mineral rights in court and won.

(*) Jose Maria Balli Guerra Married (February 17, 1760) Rosa Maria Hinojosa de Balli Benavides They had the following children:

Nicolas Balli Hinojosa (Priest), Juan Jose Balli Hinojosa, Jose Maria Balli Hinojosa

Juan Jose Balli Hinojosa Married Maria Ignacia Treviņo
They had the following children:

No Hiers

Jose Maria Balli Hinojosa Married Paula Treviņo
They had the following children:

Francisco Balli Treviņo, Josefa Balli Treviņo, Maria Guadalupe Balli Treviņo, Carmen Balli Treviņo, Juan Jose Balli Treviņo (benefactor of Father Nicolas Spanish land grants), Rosa Balli Treviņo, Concepcion Balli Treviņo

This information was given to me by Tio Jesus Garza (Tio Jay). The research does not have a name of the researcher so that I can give credit where credit is due. If you know of or remember who did this research please email me ( )