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  • Daniel Hartley (1828 - 1885)
    Traveled in April 1850 (to California Gold Fields) from New Burgh (NY) to New Orleans to S. Chagres, then up the river and across Panama. Then to the Steamer Carolina to San Francisco. Married Amanda...
  • James Harmon (1801 - 1851)
    The story of the Harmon family who traveled to Utah as pioneers of 1847 reads like a romance of the Old South. The father, James Harmon, was born in 1801 in Boonesborg, Kentucky, descendant of a long l...
  • Mary Ann Blanks Harmon (1808 - 1897)
    Mary Ann Blanks Smithson was a Utah pioneer of 1847. She came with her parents, Bartley Smithson and Sarah Weatherford, from Mississippi, who spent the winter of 1846/47 in Pueblo, Colorado. She was bo...
  • Gen. James Madison Estill (1811 - 1859)
    JME was an early Californian politician and opportunist who made his fortune from the young state during the hay-days of the Gold Rush without involving himself directly with the ore. He is most famous...
  • John Haws (c.1690 - d.)
    Recorded as written: A number of other clans/families are septs (sub branches) of the Campbells including Burns/Burnes, Caddell, Hastings, Hawes/Haws/Hawson,Lorne, Loudon, Mac Connechey, MacDermid/Ma...

The Gist:

All people associated with the California Gold Rush era.

Brief History

In January of 1848, James Marshall had a work crew camped on the American River at Coloma near Sacramento. The crew was building a saw mill for John Sutter. On the cold, clear morning of January 24, Marshall found a few tiny gold nuggets. Thus began one of the largest human migrations in history as a half-million people from around the world descended upon California in search of instant wealth.

The first printed notice of the discovery was in the March 15 issue of "The Californian" in San Francisco. Shortly after Marshall's discovery, General John Bidwell discovered gold in the Feather River and Major Pearson B. Reading found gold in the Trinity River. The Gold Rush was soon in full sway.

In 1849, quartz mining began at the Mariposa mine in Mariposa County. Gold deposits were often found inside quartz veins. In 1850, California became a state. Also that year, gold-bearing quartz was found at Gold Hill in Grass Valley. This led to the development of the great underground mines in that district and a major industry the continued for more than 100 years.

In 1851, Gold was discovered in Greenhorn Creek, Kern County. This discovery led to the rush to the upper Kern River region. By 1852, California's annual gold production reached a then all-time high of $81 million.

California Gold Rush Links