Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.
view all


  • Sylvester Goodwin (1827 - 1893)
    Married Ruth Foster first and then married her sister Judith Maria Foster. He went to California with the 1849 Gold Rush. Was Part of a shipbuilding company and co owner of the famous ship "Marie Celes...
  • Abia Taylor Lightner, Sr. (1801 - 1867)
    Abia (or Abiah in some texts) Taylor Lightner was the son of Adam Lightner and wife Mary Trout. He was born September 27, 1801 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He married Jemima Snelling on July 1, 1...
  • Edward Lyman Kittredge (1827 - 1906)
    Edward "Kit" Lyman Kittredge, had participated in the California Gold Rush of 1849, been shipwrecked, and had walked 700 miles across the desert before returning to Boston to marry a widow, Mrs. Debora...
  • Lyman John Burrell (1801 - 1884)
    Lyman John Burrell joined the gold rush in California and ended up with large land holdings, orchards and vineyards. Burrell, California was an early settlement in Santa Cruz County near the summit...
  • Duane LeRoy Bliss (1833 - 1907)
    Born in 1833 in Savoy, Massachusetts, Duane Bliss left home at the age of 13 to work as a cabin boy on a ship sailing to South America. Following a two-year journey, Bliss decided to join the rush of f...

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