Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Family History reply to Hank's question if I had any Californio relatives

A lot of the early Californians intermarried with the Indian population, but we have not been able to trace any Indian blood in us, my loss, I sunburn at the flash of a camera. And, no Spanish blood.

The Californio’s are an other interesting group of people. Back before the depression, my grandfather William Rathjens ( a German Immigrant ) was the manager of El Rancho Primero in Laytonville. I’ve meant to study the history of that ranch, but never have. I suspect that it has some roots in the Californio’s history.

If your wife is from Branscomb, she is familiar with Wilderness Lodge and Horseshoe Bend. Great, Great,Grampa Lockhart, and Great, great, Uncle Lovejoy settled that area, and built the lodges. My Great-Gramma (Lockhart) Middleton was raised there. My Gramma Ruby (Middleton) Branscomb went to school in the Elder Creek school house.

My family, ( I say proudly) not only has history, but they have incredibly rich history. The stories that I heard as a child of my direct ancestors were of Clipper Ship Captains that sailed miners to San Francisco during the gold rush, Wagon Train Masters, Sheriffs, Personal body-gaurd to The Kiaser, Judges, and early survivalists, and their association with the Indian people. The most fascinating of the stories involve my ever-so Great Grandmother Mary Cull who made her own way to San Francisco during the gold rush at the age of sixteen with her fourteen year old sister in tow.

Readers digest version: In New York City Mary turned her rich aunt’s pet monkey loose during a high-society party to allow her and her sister to escape during the distraction. She then left to find her lost Father and Brother that had headed to California on a wagon train, never to be heard from again. They made their way to new Orleans where they caught a ship to Panama. They took a couple of mules across the isthmus. They caught another ship to San Francisco. They were locked in their room aboard ship, for their own safety during a storm. The ship capsized and righted itself twice during the storm. They limped into San Francisco. She worked in a boarding house there, where she ran into the son of Ever-so-Great Grampa Lockhart. She knew Son of lockhart in New York. Married same and moved to Sacramento to find her dad and Brother. Never found them. Moved to Mud Creek in Branscomb to escape Sacramento Diphtheria epidemic. …And, I left the good parts out…Fascinating people.

No comments: