The California Trail went from western Missouri across the Great Plains into the Rocky Mountains to the gold fields of northern California. It was most heavily used in the 1840s, 1850s, and 1860s. The length of the wagon trail from the Missouri River to Sacramento, California was about 1,950 miles (3,138 km). It normally took four to six months to traverse the length of the California Trail with covered wagons pulled by oxen. About 250,000 pioneers, the most of any American emigration trail, used it to reach California before the transcontinental railroad in 1869.
The main California Trail overlapped the Oregon Trail from western Missouri to the Raft River crossing in Idaho. This route passed the City of Rocks, Idaho and followed the Humboldt River in Nevada toward California. An alternate California Trail route overlapped the Mormon Trail all the way
- Gregory MacGregor. The California Emigrant Trail of 1841-1870. Albuquerque:University of New Mexico Press, 1996.
- Malcolm J. Rohrbough. Days of Gold: The California Gold Rush and the American Nation. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.
- Edward White Stewart. The Forty-Niners: a chronicle of the California Trail and El Dorado. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1920. FHL 973 H2ch v. 25
- John Walton Caughey. The California gold rush.Berkeley, California : University of California Press, 1948. FHL 979.4 H2cjw
- 1 Records and Lists of Settlers
- 2 Background History
- 3 Main Route
- 4 Trails over the mountains to the gold fields 
- 4.1 Truckee (River) Trail 1844
- 4.2 Roller Pass 1846
- 4.3 Nevada City Road 1850
- 4.4 Auburn Emigrant Road 1850
- 4.5 Henness Pass Road 1850
- 4.6 Beckwourth Trail 1850
- 4.7 Applegate Trail 1846
- 4.8 The Lassen Cutoff 1848
- 4.9 Yreka Trail 1851
- 4.10 Nobles Road 1851
- 4.11 Carson (River) Trail 1848
- 4.12 Johnson's Cutoff 1850-1851
- 4.13 Daggett Pass 1850
- 4.14 Big Tree Road (Ebbetts Pass) 1851
- 4.15 Grizzly Flat Road 1852
- 4.16 Volcano Road 1852
- 4.17 Sonora Road 1852-1854
- 4.18 Luther Pass Trail 1854
- 4.19 Connecting migration routes
- 4.20 Modern parallels
- 5 Other Wiki Pages
- 6 External Links
- 7 References
Records and Lists of Settlers[edit | edit source]
Pioneers who used the California Trail were mostly Americans from the Midwest or Mid-South. Most settled in California. A few moved on to Oregon. A few may have settled along the trail before reaching California.
No complete list of pioneer settlers who traveled the California Trail is known to exist. However, a variety of sources exist which can be used to identify most of them. Some of these sources may reveal their place of origin.
Pioneer lists[edit | edit source]
Online Databases[edit | edit source]
- California, Pioneer and Immigrant Files, 1790-1950 - ($)
- California, Pioneer Index, 1769-1848 - ($)
- CAGenWeb USGenWeb Project
- Roster of California Pioneers - Native Daughters of the Golden West; Index only; 35,000 pioneers entries who lived in California before 1870 have been submitted by descendants. The index shows each pioneer's name, volume and page number. Original entries in San Francisco may contain the full name of pioneer, place and date of birth, marriage and death, date of arrival in California, method of travel, name of rail or vessel; states lived in prior to California, place and year of California residence; where educated, profession or occupation, public offices held; names of children; parents' names; name, address, relationship of informant (if any); date of registration and other comments. For a small fee NDGW will copy original biographies.
- Native Daughters of the Golden West California Pioneer Project Master Surname Index - CaGenWeb - Index of California Pioneers who resided or were born in California before December 31, 1869.
- Over-land Trail - Website listing multiple trail lists for various states
- California Pioneer Index (California), 1906-1935 - digital images on FamilySearch Catalog: FHL films 1712022-1712041
- Paper Trail Database - By Oregon California Trails Association; A Guide to Overland Pioneer Document
Books Online[edit | edit source]
- Charles Warren Haskins, The Argonauts of California: Being the Reminiscences of Scenes and Incidents That Occurred in California in Early Mining Days (New York: Fords, Howard, and Hulbert, 1890) Google books digital copy. Internet Archive digital copy. Includes about 27,000 names. Index to above book - FamilySearch Books Online - Libera Martina Spinazze,Index to the Argonauts of California (New Orleans, La.: Polyanthus, 1975) FamilySearch Catalog] At various libraries (WorldCat). Includes the pioneer's name, page in Haskins, and a note listing the pioneer's mining company (or other group); if by ship, its port of departure, and either the date of sailing or arrival.
Books[edit | edit source]
- Index to Roster of California Pioneers. Native Daughters of the Golden West. San Francisco, California: Native Daughters of the Golden West, 2001. FHL book 979.4 H22i 2002; At various libraries (WorldCat)
- Unpublished Records of the Families of California Pioneers: Collections of the State Committee of Genealogical Research by Daughters of the American Revolution (California) FHL films 844435-844446; At various libraries (WorldCat); Index to "Records of the families of the California pioneers" FHL book 979.452 D22i; At various libraries (WorldCat)
- David H. Johnson.Sonora Pass Pioneers. California Bound Emigrants and Explorers, 1841-1864. Sonora, California: Tuolumne County Historical Society, 2006. FHL 979.4 W2j; At various libraries (WorldCat)
- The 49ers as reported by the Missouri Republication, St. Louis, Missouri. 10 volumes.Arlington, Texas : K.E. Weant, c2004-2010 FHL 977.8 D2wk; At various libraries (WorldCat)
- Edward Leo Lyman. The Overland Journey from Utah to California: wagon travel from the city of saints to the city of angels. Reno, Nevada: University of Nevada Press, 2004. FHL 979 H2L
- Doyce B. Nunis, ed.The Bidwell-Bartleson Party, 1841 California emigrant adventure : the documents and memoirs of the overland pioneers. Santa Cruz,California: Western Tanager Press, 1991. FHL 979.4 W2n
- Hubert Howe Bancroft. California pioneer register and index, 1542-1848 : including inhabitants of California, 1769-1800, and list of pioneers. Baltimore, Maryland, Regional Pub., Co, 1964. FHL 979.4 D3bh
Additional Resources and History[edit | edit source]
- Oregon-California Trail Sources
- Society of California Pioneers
- California Gold Camps: A Geographical and Historical Dictionary of Camps, Towns, and Localities Where Gold was Found and Mined; Wayside Stations and Trading Centers. Edwin G. Gudde. Berkeley,California: University of California Press, 1975. FHL book979.4 E24g; At various libraries (WorldCat)
California Land Records[edit | edit source]
Censuses[edit | edit source]
These can be used to identify pioneers who traveled the California Trail:
Great Registers (voter lists)[edit | edit source]
Began in some California counties as early as 1866. The Great Registers prior to 1870 showed males over age 21 who arrived before the transcontinental railroad. Great Registers often showed places of origin. Counties with early Great Registers on microfilm included:
- Alameda 1867 · Alpine 1866 · Amador 1867, 1868 · Butte 1866 · Calaveras 1867 · Colusa 1866 · Contra Costa 1867 · El Dorado 1867, 1868 · Fresno 1867 · Humboldt 1866-1875 · Kern 1867 · Klamath (Del Norte and Siskiyou) 1869 · Lake 1867 · Lassen 1866, 1868 · Marin 1867-1868 · Mendocino 1866-1873 · Merced 1867, 1869 · Monterey 1867, 1869 · Napa 1867 · Nevada 1867-1868 · Placer 1867-1868 · Plumas 1857-1898 · Sacramento 1866, 1867, 1867-1868 · San Diego 1867 · San Francisco 1866 · San Joaquin 1867-1869 · San Luis Obispo 1867-1868 · San Mateo 1867-1869 · Santa Barbara 1866-1869 · Santa Clara 1867-1869 · Santa Cruz · Shasta 1867-1869 · Siskiyou 1867-1868 · Solano 1867 · Sonoma 1867 · Stanislaus 1867, 1869 · Sutter 1867, 1869 · Trinity 1867-1868 · Tulare 1869 · Tuolumne 1867 · Yolo 1867 · Yuba 1867-1869
Local and county histories and biographies[edit | edit source]
- J. Carlyle Parker. An Index to the biographes in 19th Century California county histories. Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research,1979. FHL 979.4 A4pjc v. 7
These may help identify additional pioneers. For example:
- Edna Bryan Buckbee. Calaveras County gold rush stories.San Andreas, California : Calaveras County Historical Society, c2005 FHL 979.444 H2b
- W. B. Lardner, and M. J. Brock, History of Placer and Nevada counties, California : with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the counties who have been identified with their growth and development from the early days to the present (1991 Reprint; Los Angeles, Calif.: Historic Record Co., 1924). WorldCat entry. FHL Book 979.43 H2L.
- Betty Yohalem, "I remember..." : stories and pictures of El Dorado County pioneer families ([Placerville, Calif.] : El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce, 1977). WorldCat entry. FHL Book 979.441 H2y.
- Constitution,By-Laws and List of members of the Society of California Pioneers... (San Francisco, 1869)
- Constitution,By-Laws and List of members of the Society of California Pioneers... (San Francisco, 1888)
- Constitution and by-laws of the Society of California Pioneers, as revised December 1912 : and list of members since its organization.San Francisco, California : Society of California Pioneers, 1912 FHL 979.4 C4p
- Society of California Pioneer sesquicentennial roster, 1850-2000 : commemorative edition.San Francisco, California:Society of California Pioneers, 2000 FHL 979.4 C4p 2000
- Quarterly of the Society of California Pioneers, v. 1 1924 - FHL 979.4 B2q v. 1
- Society of California Pioneers Library & Special Collections
- Constitution, By-Laws of the Sacramento Society of California Pioneers and Lists of Officers and Members. (1877)
- Sons and Daughters of the Sacramento Society of California Pioneers ( 1891)
- Constitution, By-Laws of the Sacramento Society of California Pioneers and Lists of Officers and Members. (1910)
- Historical Society of Southern California and the Pioneers of Los Angeles County, 1902.
Background History[edit | edit source]
Footpaths, wagons, and stagecoaches[edit | edit source]
The overland route over South Pass was discovered by fur trappers in 1811. By the 1830s that pass was used as part of the Oregon Trail. Between 1829 and 1840 other mountain men explored possible additional routes extending through northern Utah and Nevada toward California. At first these were footpaths or pack train trails. The earliest wagon road was pioneered through South Pass to a mountain man rendezvous on the Green River in Wyoming in 1830. By 1836 a wagon road reached as far as Fort Hall, Idaho. In 1841 and 1843 wagon trains started for California but abandoned their wagons in Nevada and went on by foot. The first overland wagon train to reach California arrived in 1844 by leaving the Oregon Trail after crossing the Raft River in Idaho. From there they followed Nevada's Humboldt River west to the Sierra Nevada mountains, up the Truckee River and over Donner Pass to Sacramento, California. This became the most popular route, but other pioneers also came via Salt Lake City, Utah to the City of Rocks. From 1857 to 1861 the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach route near the Mexican border opened to Calfornia. That mail route was closed in favor of the Pony Express (Central Overland) route through central Nevada farther south than the Humboldt River. In time these various paths to California were followed by wagon roads, railroads, and modern highways.
Reasons for migrating[edit | edit source]
Mountain men fur trappers were the earliest to use the California Trail. Larger groups of American settlers began arriving in 1846. The outbreak of the Mexican-American War 1846-1848 resulted in American soldiers invading California to help secure it for the United States. Once California was officially United States territory it immediately began to attract more immigrants. Several western gold and silver strikes, productive farm land, lumber, and ranching all increased traffic on the California Trail. The California gold rush attracted adventurers and gold seekers from around the world after gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill. An estimated 90,000 arrived in 1849, about half of them Americans. Americans usually took the California Trail to reach the gold fields. Some came by ship. Others used the Oregon Trail and then came south to California on the Siskiyou Trail, or Applegate Trail-Lassen Cutoff.
Preparations[edit | edit source]
Many emigrants were farmers who already had their own wagons and most of their own supplies. Other travelers usually purchased supplies at "jumping off points" in Missouri, Iowa, or Kansas. Supplies cost as much as $200 per person including a covered wagon, teams of oxen, 150 pounds of food per person, tobacco, cooking gear, extra shoes, two sets of clothes, 25 pounds of soap, washboard and wash tub, tent, a canvas or rubber groundcloth with blankets for sleeping, tools, guns and ammunition. Some also bought a trail guide book.
Trail life[edit | edit source]
Non-essentials were often abandoned on the trail to lighten the load. Forts and trading posts (Ft. Kearny, Ft. Laramie, Ft. Fetterman, Ft. Bridger, Ft. Hall, and Sutter's Fort along the way usually provided supplies, fresh animal teams, repairs, spare parts, and news of trail conditions. Hunting (including bison), fishing, and trading were also common along the route. Emigrants usually formed into wagon trains for security. Almost everyone preferred to walk rather than ride in dusty, bumpy wagons. They had to average 11 miles (18 km) to 17 miles (27 km) per day to reach California in four to six months. To leave too early risked muddy trails and too little grass for livestock. To arrive late risked traveling in winter weather. Thunderstorms and fierce winds were common. In good weather they often slept under the stars. On the prairie buffalo chips were gathered for use as cooking fuel. Wash day was about every two weeks. Many travelers enjoyed side trips climbing over trail landmarks like Chimney Rock, Scott's Bluff, and Independence Rock. Some entrepreneurs drove herds of cattle over the trail to sell and help pay for the trip.
- Sutter's Fort, State Historical Monument. FHL Digital images
- Julian Dana. Sutter of California: a biography. new York,New York: Macmillan, 1936. FHL 921.73 Su86d
- California Trail Map & Advice for Emigrants - Donner Summit Historical Society
Deaths[edit | edit source]
About five percent of pioneers died on the Oregon-California-Mormon trails. The most common killer was cholera along the Platte River in Nebraska. This disease killed as much as three percent between 1849 and 1855 (6,000 to 12,500 individuals). About 3,000 to 4,500 deaths happened because of Indian attacks especially in Idaho and Nevada after U.S. Army troops were withdrawn in 1860 in the run up to the Civil War. Other causes of death included freezing, scurvy, being run over, drownings (especially in the 1850s before many ferries), and accidental shootings.
Decline of trail use[edit | edit source]
In 1855 the California Trail (and Oregon Trail) traffic declined dramatically. First, the bloom was off the California gold rush. Second, the Panama Railroad was completed with steamship links that made transportation from the east coast to the west coast of America more practical than using an overland wagon trail. From 1857 to 1861 the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach route took some traffic from the California Trail. In 1869 the transcontinental Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads completed to Sacramento, California made that route faster, safer, and less expensive than traveling the California Trail.
Main Route[edit | edit source]
The California Trail was miles wide with many variations. Emigrants started on their journey from many sundry "jumping off points" in three states. Some took a variety of shortcuts, and others traveled on different sides of the rivers from other emigrants. Travelers often completed their journey in Idaho, Nevada or places other than northern California. The California Trail was a branch of the Oregon trunk trail.
Two of the most popular early outfitting or "jumping off points" were Independence and St. Joseph in western Missouri. Once the river was dredged and steamboats could reach it in the early 1850s, Council Bluffs, Iowa became the most popular California Trail starting place. Kansas City, Lawrence, and Topeka in Kansas were also used. From their starting point emigrants often followed the Missouri River up to the Platte River. Another option was to follow the Kansas River and then the Little Blue River toward the Platte River.
Livestock needed watering so the California Trail followed rivers across the dry prairies. The California Trail usually followed the south side of the North Platte River west through Nebraska into Wyoming. Near Casper, Wyoming California Trail emigrants followed the Sweetwater River farther west. An important goal was to reach Independence Rock on the Sweetwater River by Independence Day. The trail went over South Pass then worked its way through the mountains. One shortcut went from South Pass due west toward Fort Hall. The main trail from South Pass headed southwest to cross the Green River at Lombard Ferry, headed for Fort Bridger. At Fort Bridger the Mormon Trail branched southwest toward Salt Lake City. The main California Trail went northwest from Bridger to Fort Hall, Idaho. From the Raft River southwest of Fort Hall most California Trail emigrants forked southwest past the City of Rocks, Idaho toward Nevada, while Oregon Trail followers continued along the Snake River to Fort Boise and the Oregon border. The California Trail followers who opted to go through Salt Lake City often rejoined the main trail at the City of Rocks. In Nevada the trail followed the Humboldt River westward to its end. The next stage of the journey was usually considered the worst--southwest across the Forty Mile Desert to the Truckee River or Carson River in the Sierra Nevada.
- Joseph E. Ware. The Emigrants' Guide to California. St. Louis, Mo.: J.H. Halsall,1849
- Hosea B. Horn and J.H. Colton. Horn's Overland Guide, from the U.S. Indian sub-agency,Council Bluffs, on the Missouri River, to the city of Sacramento, in California. New York: J.H. Colton, 1852
Trails over the mountains to the gold fields [edit | edit source]
Truckee (River) Trail 1844[edit | edit source]
Crossed the Forty Mile Desert to the Truckee River to follow it west past Reno, Nevada to Donner Pass to Emigrant Gap to Sutter's Fort (Sacramento, California). The exact route varied over the years, the most used being the Nevada City Road and Auburn Emigrant Road combination.
- Olive Newell. Tail of the elephant : the emigrant experience on the Truckee route of the California Trail 1844-1852. Cedar Ridge, California: Nevada County Historical Society, 1997. FHL 979.4 H2n
Roller Pass 1846[edit | edit source]
Nevada City Road 1850[edit | edit source]
Auburn Emigrant Road 1850[edit | edit source]
Applegate Trail 1846[edit | edit source]
Avoided the Forty Mile Desert) by leaving the Humboldt River in Nevada early at present-day Rye Reservoir, Nevada and passing through the Black Rock Desert to Fandango Pass past Goose Lake on to the Lost River and eventually the Willamette Valley in Oregon.
The Lassen Cutoff 1848[edit | edit source]
Was established by gold rushers from Oregon going to California. It branched off the Applegate Trail at Davis Creek, went through Devil's Garden to the Pit River passing east of Mt. Lassen, and turning west to Lassen Rancho, California, and from there to Sacramento. In some years as much as 1/3 of emigrants mistakenly took the Applegate Trail-Lassen Cutoff, a much longer and more difficult trail than the Truckee or Carson routes.
Yreka Trail 1851[edit | edit source]
Nobles Road 1851[edit | edit source]
Carson (River) Trail 1848[edit | edit source]
aka Mormon Emigrant Trail crossed the Forty Mile Desert past the west side of the Carson Sink to pick up the Carson River near Fallon, Nevada up to Hope Valley and Red Lake. The Devil's Ladder then climbed 700 feet (210 m) in half a mile so ropes, chains, and pulleys were required to lift the wagons. Carson Pass was followed by the relatively easy West Pass (Kirkwood, California) and then on to Pollock Pines, Placerville, and Sutter's Fort, California
Johnson's Cutoff 1850-1851[edit | edit source]
Daggett Pass 1850[edit | edit source]
aka Georgetown Pack Trail, Carson Valley, Nevada to Johnson's Cutoff near South Lake Tahoe, California
Big Tree Road (Ebbetts Pass) 1851[edit | edit source]
Grizzly Flat Road 1852[edit | edit source]
Volcano Road 1852[edit | edit source]
Sonora Road 1852-1854[edit | edit source]
- Dvid H. Johnson. Sonora Pass pioneers : California bound emigrants and explorers, 1841-1864. Sonora, California : Tuolumne County Historical Society, c2006. FHL 979.4 W2j
The exact route of the California Trail varied from group to group over the years. Most often it passed through:
The Oregon-California Trails Association provides a Virtual Trail map with images, and brief histories of points along the trail.
Connecting migration routes[edit | edit source]
The California Trail linked to other migration routes at each end, and at junctions in the middle. The migration pathways connected near the east end included:
- Mississippi River
- Missouri River
- Santa Fe Trail 1821-1880 from western Missouri to Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Oregon Trail 1820s from western Missouri to the Willamette Valley of Oregon
- California Trail 1841 from western Missouri to northern California overlapped the Oregon Trail most of the way to the Raft River in Idaho
- Mormon Trail 1846-1847 from Nauvoo, Illinois to Salt Lake City, Utah overlapped the California Trail from the North Platte River, Nebraska to Ft. Bridger, Wyoming
- Union Pacific Railroad 1865 from Omaha, Nebraska and extending its way slowly west to Ogden, Utah in 1869
- Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway 1872 eventually from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California
The migration pathways connected near the west end of the California Trail included:
- Camino Real de California 1683 from San José del Cabo, Mexico to Sonoma, California
- Siskiyou Trail 1829 from Portland, Oregon to San Francisco, California
- California Trail 1841 from western Missouri to northern California
- Applegate Trail 1846 from the Willamette Valley in Oregon to the California_Trail at the Humboldt River in Nevada
- Butterfield Overland Mail 1857-1861 from St. Louis, Missouri or Memphis, Tennessee across Texas, southern New Mexico and Arizona to southern California and San Francisco
- Central Overland Trail from Salt Lake City, Utah to Carson City, Nevada with connections to California
- Central Pacific Railroad 1869 Sacramento, California to Ogden, Utah and Union Pacific Railroad 1869 Ogden, Utah to Omaha, Nebraska
- Southern Pacific Railroad 1883 Los Angeles to New Orleans, including the Central Pacific Railroad tracks during many years
Several migration pathways had junctions at various places along the middle of the California Trail:
- Oregon Trail 1830s (and California Trail 1841) from western Missouri were the main trunk trails. The California Trail usually split off from the Oregon Trail after the Raft River crossing near the Snake River in Idaho. The California Trail headed toward northern California via Nevada. The Oregon Trail continued to follow the Snake River to Oregon and beyond.
- Mormon Trail 1847 from Omaha, Nebraska branched off the California Trail at Ft. Bridger, Wyoming going to Salt Lake City, Utah.
- Salt Lake Cutoff 1848, an alternate route from Salt Lake City, Utah that rejoined the main California Trail at City of Rocks in Idaho.
- Cherokee Trail (aka Trapper's Trail) 1849 to early 1890s from Salina, Oklahoma merged with the California Trail near Ft. Bridger, Wyoming
- Central Overland Trail 1859 from Salt Lake City, Utah through central Nevada rejoined the California Trail at Carson City, Nevada.
- Bozeman Trail 1863 branched from the California Trail at Ft. Fetterman, near Douglas, Wyoming heading to Bozeman, Montana
Modern parallels[edit | edit source]
The modern roads that roughly match the California Trail from Independence, Missouri to Sacramento among other places in northern California are listed in an online edition of a National Park Service publication about the California Trail:
Other Wiki Pages[edit | edit source]
- Many of the US Migration Trails and Roads
- United States Overland Travel 1840 to 1865, Oregon Trail, California Trail (National Institute)
- Oregon Trail
- Mormon Trail
- Pioneer Journals
- Society of California Pioneers Library
External Links[edit | edit source]
- "California Trail" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Trail (accessed 1 August 2011). History and relatively detailed list of sites along the trail with some images.
- National Park Service, California National Historic Trail at http://www.nps.gov/cali/index.htm (accessed 1 August 2011). History, culture, photos, map.
- National Park Service, "California Trail" (map) in California National Historic Trail at http://www.nps.gov/cali/planyourvisit/upload/CALImap1-web.pdf (accessed 2 August 2011). Detailed .pdf map of all the various branches of the California Trail.
- "Oregon - California Trails Association" in Calcite Rocky Mountain College (Internet site) at http://www.octa-trails.org/ (accessed 1 August 2011). Includes California Trail maps, photos, site descriptions, and diary quotations. For an index of overland trail documents see www.paper-trail.org/search.asp.
- Trails West, Marking the Emigrant Trails to California at http://emigranttrailswest.org/virtual-tour/california-trail/ (accessed 1 August 2011). Lots of images of various routes over the Sierra Nevada.
- "California Trail Historic Interpretive Center" in U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management at https://www.blm.gov/visit/california-trail-interpretive-center (accessed 1 August 2011). Contact information for center near Elko, Nevada and activities calendar.
- "Emigrant trail" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emigrant_trail (accessed 15 July 2011). Includes description of trails in general, and partial map.
References[edit | edit source]
- Wikipedia contributors, "Oregon Trail" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_Trail (accessed 12 July 2012).
- Wikipedia contributors, "California Trail" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Trail (accessed 24 July 2011).
- Ann S. Lainhart, State Census Records (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992), 21-26. Worldcat entry. FHL book 973 X2Lai.
- Wikipedia contributors, "California Gold Rush" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Gold_Rush (accessed 24 July 2011).
- John D. Unruh, The Plains Across: the Overland Immigrants and Trans-Mississippi West 1840–1860 (University of Illinois Press, 1979), 119–20.
- Wikipedia contributors, "Emigrant trail" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emigrant_trail (accessed 15 July 2012).
- Wikipedia contributors, "Mormon Trail" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormon_Trail (accessed 15 July 2012).
- Wikipedia contributors, "Cherokee Trail" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherokee_Trail (accessed 15 July 2012).
- Wikipedia contributors, "Bozeman Trail" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bozeman_Trail (accessed 15 July 2012).