Recently Redlands University Professor John Sandos shared a mission record list which indicated that Ramon Nonato (baptized at age 6 in 1804, died in 1834) was probably the Indian vaquero for whom the San Ramon Valley was named. In the record his Indian name is written as “Usacse” and his tribe was the Souyen (Ohlone language group). This tribe was located in the Alamo and Tassajara Creek watersheds within the boundaries of today’s City of San Ramon.
After the Gold Rush, the small village of San Ramon had several names: Brewensville (for blacksmith Eli Brewen), Lynchville (for rancher William Lynch) and Limerick (for its many Irish settlers). In 1891, when the San Ramon Branch Line railroad ended nearby, the village was called San Ramon for good. And Ramon Nonato’s name lives on.
Randall Milliken’s, A Time of Little Choice, The Disintegration of Tribal Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area 1769-1810, Menlo Park: Ballena Press, 1995.
--------------, Spread sheet developed from mission baptism, marriage and death records at Missions Dolores, San Jose and Santa Clara
Land Case Number 322 Northern District Court, Jan. 13, 1855. Testimony from Jose Maria Amador regarding the origin of the name of Arroyo Ramon. Available at the Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley.