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California Trail

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The '''[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Trail California Trail]''' went from western [[Missouri, United States Genealogy|Missouri]] across the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Plains Great Plains] into the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Mountains Rocky Mountains] to the gold fields of northern [[California, United States Genealogy|California]]. It was most heavily used in the 1840s, 1850s, and 1860s. The length of the wagon trail from the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missouri_River Missouri River] to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacramento,_California 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 [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covered_wagon covered wagons] pulled by [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ox oxen]. About 250,000 pioneers, the most of any American [[US Migration Trails and Roads|emigration trail]], used it to reach California before the [[First Transcontinental Railroad|transcontinental railroad]] in 1869.<ref name="OrTr">Wikipedia contributors, "Oregon Trail" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_Trail (accessed 12 July 2012).</ref>
The main California Trail overlapped the [[Oregon Trail]] from western [[Missouri, United States Genealogy|Missouri]] to the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raft_River Raft River] crossing in [[Idaho Genealogy|Idaho]]. This route passed the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_Rocks_National_Reserve City of Rocks, Idaho] and followed the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humboldt_River Humboldt River] in [[Nevada, United States Genealogy|Nevada]] toward California. An alternate California Trail route overlapped the [[Mormon Trail]] all the way [[Image:{{HumRivCam}}]] to [[Salt Lake City, Utah]] and then to the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_Rocks_National_Reserve City of Rocks] in Idaho. The trail ended at several destination places mostly in the gold fields in the mountains of northern California.<ref name="CaTr">Wikipedia contributors, "California Trail" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Trail (accessed 24 July 2011).</ref><br><br>
* 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.
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/88428?availability=Family%20History%20Library 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]
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/306247?availability=Family%20History%20Library John Walton Caughey. ''The California gold rush.''Berkeley, California : University of California Press, 1948. FHL 979.4 H2cjw]
== Records and Lists of Settlers ==
 
Pioneers who used the California Trail were mostly Americans from the Midwest or Mid-South. Most settled in [[California, United States Genealogy|California]]. A few moved on to [[Oregon, United States Genealogy|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 ===
 
==== Online Databases ====
*[https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2161 California, Pioneer and Immigrant Files, 1790-1950] - ($)
*[https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1040 California, Pioneer Index, 1769-1848] - ($)
*[http://www.cagenweb.com/cpl/cpl_list.htm CAGenWeb USGenWeb Project]
*[http://www.ndgw.org/PRosterIndex/rostermain.html 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.
*[http://www.cagenweb.com/cpl/ndgwmaster.htm 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.
*[http://www.over-land.com/emigrants.html Over-land Trail] - Website listing multiple trail lists for various states
*California Pioneer Index (California), 1906-1935 - digital images on FamilySearch Catalog: {{FHL|486936|item|disp=FHL films 1712022-1712041}}
*[http://www.paper-trail.org/search.asp Paper Trail Database] - By Oregon California Trails Association; [https://www.octa-trails.org/geneaology-paper-trail/ A Guide to Overland Pioneer Document]
 
==== Books Online ====
 
*[https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?from=fhd&dps_pid=IE215626 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 [http://books.google.com/books?id=TH1L60nlSw4C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false digital copy]. Internet Archive [http://www.archive.org/details/argonautscalifor00hask digital copy]. Includes about 27,000 names. '''Index to above book''' - [https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/records/item/458453-the-argonauts-of-california-being-the-reminiscences-of-scenes-and-incidents-that-occurred-in-california-in-early-mining-days-by-a-pioneer?offset=1 FamilySearch Digital Library] - Libera Martina Spinazze,''Index to the Argonauts of California'' (New Orleans, La.: Polyanthus, 1975) FamilySearch Catalog] {{WorldCat|38651122|disp=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.<br>
 
==== Books ====
 
*''Index to Roster of California Pioneers.'' Native Daughters of the Golden West. San Francisco, California: Native Daughters of the Golden West, 2001. {{FHL|1131106|item|disp=FHL book 979.4 H22i 2002}}; {{WorldCat|866176724|disp=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|234615|item|disp=FHL films 844435-844446}}; {{WorldCat|866661158|disp=At various libraries (WorldCat)}}; Index to "Records of the families of the California pioneers" {{FHL|435510|item|disp=FHL book 979.452 D22i}}; {{WorldCat|866338676|disp=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|1246010|item|disp=FHL 979.4 W2j}}; {{WorldCat|73841357|disp=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|1219714|item|disp=FHL 977.8 D2wk}}; {{WorldCat|62246193|disp=At various libraries (WorldCat)}}
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1111993?availability=Family%20History%20Library 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]
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/630981?availability=Family%20History%20Library 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]
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/116498?availability=Family%20History%20Library 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 ====
*[http://www.oregonpioneers.com/trail.htm Oregon-California Trail Sources]
*[https://www.californiapioneers.org/library/accessthelibrary/ 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|19740|item|disp=FHL book979.4 E24g}}; {{WorldCat|19740|disp=At various libraries (WorldCat)}}
 
=== California Land Records ===
Deeds, mining claims, and other land records from '''''any&nbsp;''''' time period are clues to when a pioneer arrived. See [[California Land and Property]]. After 1862 some California land was eligible for [[Homestead Records|homesteading]].
 
=== Censuses ===
These can be used to identify pioneers who traveled the California Trail:
 
:*[https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1438024 1870 federal census of California]
:*[https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1473181 1860 federal census of California]
:*[https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1401638 1850 federal census of California]
 
Also, California took a [https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1771089 state census in 1852] which lists each person's state of birth and last residence.<ref name="Lain">Ann S. Lainhart, ''State Census Records'' (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992), 21-26. [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/26517040 Worldcat entry]. {{Lainha}}.</ref>
 
=== Great Registers (voter lists) ===
Began in some California counties as early as 1866. The [[California Voting Registers|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:
 
:{{FHL|206978|item|disp=Alameda 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|663187|item|disp=Alpine 1866}}{{·}} {{FHL|207200|item|disp=Amador 1867, 1868}}{{·}} {{FHL|207301|item|disp=Butte 1866}}{{·}} {{FHL|207211|item|disp=Calaveras 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|571690|item|disp=Colusa 1866}}{{·}} {{FHL|207312|item|disp=Contra Costa 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|207324|item|disp=El Dorado 1867, 1868}}{{·}} {{FHL|207042|item|disp=Fresno 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|827235|item|disp=Humboldt 1866-1875}}{{·}} {{FHL|207005|item|disp=Kern 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|206697|item|disp=Klamath (Del Norte and Siskiyou) 1869}}{{·}} {{FHL|493007|item|disp=Lake 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|628981|item|disp=Lassen 1866, 1868}}{{·}} {{FHL|207944|item|disp=Marin 1867-1868}}{{·}} {{FHL|523306|item|disp=Mendocino 1866-1873}}{{·}} {{FHL|207936|item|disp=Merced 1867, 1869}}{{·}} {{FHL|207637|item|disp=Monterey 1867, 1869}}{{·}} {{FHL|207611|item|disp=Napa 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|207571|item|disp=Nevada 1867-1868}}{{·}} {{FHL|208067|item|disp=Placer 1867-1868}}{{·}} {{FHL|208086|item|disp=Plumas 1857-1898}}{{·}} Sacramento {{FHL|210199|item|disp=1866}}, {{FHL|486373|item|disp=1867}}, {{FHL|208109|item|disp=1867-1868}}{{·}} {{FHL|208148|item|disp=San Diego 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|313680|item|disp=San Francisco 1866}}{{·}} {{FHL|208177|item|disp=San Joaquin 1867-1869}}{{·}} {{FHL|208204|item|disp=San Luis Obispo 1867-1868}}{{·}} {{FHL|208196|item|disp=San Mateo 1867-1869}}{{·}} {{FHL|609766|item|disp=Santa Barbara 1866-1869}}{{·}} {{FHL|208253|item|disp=Santa Clara 1867-1869}}{{·}} {{FHL|210163|item|disp=Santa Cruz}}{{·}} {{FHL|210151|item|disp=Shasta 1867-1869}}{{·}} {{FHL|210065|item|disp=Siskiyou 1867-1868}}{{·}} {{FHL|210056|item|disp=Solano 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|209628|item|disp=Sonoma 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|209621|item|disp=Stanislaus 1867, 1869}}{{·}} {{FHL|209619|item|disp=Sutter 1867, 1869}}{{·}} {{FHL|208482|item|disp=Trinity 1867-1868}}{{·}} {{FHL|208459|item|disp=Tulare 1869}}{{·}} {{FHL|208347|item|disp=Tuolumne 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|208287|item|disp=Yolo 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|208261|item|disp=Yuba 1867-1869}}<br><br>
 
=== Local and county histories and biographies ===
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/2337862?availability=Las%20Vegas%20Nevada%20FamilySearch%20Library 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:
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1354033?availability=Family%20History%20Library 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&nbsp;: 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). [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/11510628 WorldCat entry]. {{FHL|572031|item|disp=FHL Book 979.43 H2L}}.
*Betty Yohalem, ''"I remember..."&nbsp;: stories and pictures of El Dorado County pioneer families'' ([Placerville, Calif.]&nbsp;: El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce, 1977). [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/3657533 WorldCat entry]. {{FHL|75462|item|disp=FHL Book 979.441 H2y}}.<br><br>
 
=== [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_of_California_Pioneers Society of California Pioneers] ===
*[https://archive.org/details/constitutionbyla02soci Constitution,By-Laws and List of members of the Society of California Pioneers... (San Francisco, 1869) ]
*[https://archive.org/details/constitutionbyla03soci Constitution,By-Laws and List of members of the Society of California Pioneers... (San Francisco, 1888)]
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/290694?availability=Family%20History%20Library ''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]
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/816699?availability=Family%20History%20LibraryThe ''Society of California Pioneer sesquicentennial roster, 1850-2000 : commemorative edition.''San Francisco, California:Society of California Pioneers, 2000 FHL 979.4 C4p 2000]
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1138196?availability=Family%20History%20Library ''Quarterly of the Society of California Pioneers, v. 1 1924 - FHL 979.4 B2q v. 1]
*[https://www.californiapioneers.org/collections/libraryspecialcollections/ Society of California Pioneers Library & Special Collections]
 
''' Related Publications'''
*[https://archive.org/details/constitutionbyla02sacr Constitution, By-Laws of the Sacramento Society of California Pioneers and Lists of Officers and Members.'' (1877)]
*[https://archive.org/stream/constitutionbyla00sons#page/n0 Sons and Daughters of the Sacramento Society of California Pioneers ( 1891)]
*[https://archive.org/details/constitutionbyla00sacr Constitution, By-Laws of the Sacramento Society of California Pioneers and Lists of Officers and Members.'' (1910)]
*[https://archive.org/details/annualpublicatio19021904hist ''Historical Society of Southern California and the Pioneers of Los Angeles County, 1902.'']
Some California Trail pioneers also settled in [[Oregon, United States Genealogy|Oregon]], [[Nevada, United States Genealogy|Nevada]], or [[Idaho, United States Genealogy|Idaho]]. Local histories and biographies from those places may also include some pioneers who traveled the California Trail.
== Background History ==
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/2257487?availability=Fresno%20California%20Family%20History%20Center Sutter's Fort, State Historical Monument. FHL Digital images]
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/90980?availability=Family%20History%20Library Julian Dana. ''Sutter of California: a biography.'' new York,New York: Macmillan, 1936. FHL 921.73 Su86d]
*[http://donnersummithistoricalsociety.org/pages/bookreviews/CaliforniaTrailMap1849andAdvice.html California Trail Map & Advice for Emigrants - Donner Summit Historical Society]
=== Deaths ===
|}
</div><br><br>
=== Decline of trail use ===
In 1855 the California Trail (and Oregon Trail) traffic declined dramatically. First, the bloom was off the California gold rush. Second, the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama_Railroad 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.<ref name="OrTr" /> From 1857 to 1861 the [[Butterfield Overland Mail]] stagecoach route took some traffic from the California Trail. In 1869 the [[First Transcontinental Railroad|transcontinental]] [[Union Pacific Railroad|Union Pacific]] and [[Central Pacific Railroad|Central Pacific]] railroads completed to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacramento,_California Sacramento, California] made that route faster, safer, and less expensive than traveling the California Trail.<ref name="CaTr" />
Two of the most popular early outfitting or "jumping off points" were [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence,_Missouri Independence] and [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Joseph,_Missouri St. Joseph] in western [[Missouri, United States Genealogy|Missouri]]. Once the river was dredged and steamboats could reach it in the early 1850s, [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_Bluffs,_Iowa Council Bluffs, Iowa] became the most popular California Trail starting place.<ref name="EmigTr">Wikipedia contributors, "Emigrant trail" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emigrant_trail (accessed 15 July 2012).</ref> [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kansas_City,_Missouri Kansas City], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence,_Kansas Lawrence], and [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topeka,_Kansas Topeka] in [[Kansas, United States Genealogy|Kansas]] were also used. From their starting point emigrants often followed the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missouri_River Missouri River] up to the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platte_River Platte River]. Another option was to follow the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kansas_River Kansas River] and then the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Blue_River_%28Kansas/Nebraska%29 Little Blue River] toward the Platte River.<ref name="OrTr" />
Livestock needed watering so the California Trail followed rivers across the dry [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Plains prairies]. The California Trail usually followed the south side of the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Platte_River North Platte River] west through [[Nebraska, United States Genealogy|Nebraska]] into [[Wyoming, United States Genealogy|Wyoming]]. Near Casper, Wyoming California Trail emigrants followed the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweetwater_River_%28Wyoming%29 Sweetwater River] farther west. An important goal was to reach [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Rock_%28Wyoming%29 Independence Rock] on the Sweetwater River by [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day_%28United_States%29 Independence Day]. The trail went over [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Pass South Pass] then worked its way through the mountains. One [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sublette_Cutoff#Sublette-Greenwood_Cutoff shortcut] went from South Pass due west toward [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Hall Fort Hall]. The main trail from South Pass headed southwest to cross the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_River_%28Utah%29 Green River] at [http://wyoshpo.state.wy.us/trailsdemo/lombard_ferry.htm Lombard Ferry], headed for [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Bridger Fort Bridger]. At Fort Bridger the [[Mormon Trail]] branched southwest toward [[Salt Lake City, Utah|Salt Lake City]].<ref name="MorTr">Wikipedia contributors, "Mormon Trail" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormon_Trail (accessed 15 July 2012).</ref> The main California Trail went northwest from Bridger to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Hall Fort Hall, Idaho]. From the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raft_River Raft River] southwest of Fort Hall most '''''California Trail emigrants''''' forked southwest past the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_Rocks_National_Reserve City of Rocks, Idaho] toward [[Nevada, United States Genealogy|Nevada]],<ref name="CaTr" /> while '''''Oregon Trail followers''''' continued along the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snake_River Snake River] to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Boise Fort Boise] and the [[Oregon, United States Genealogy|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, United States Genealogy|Nevada]] the trail followed the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humboldt_River Humboldt River] westward to its end. The next stage of the journey was usually considered the worst--southwest across the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forty_Mile_Desert#Forty_Mile_Desert Forty Mile Desert] to the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truckee_River Truckee River] or [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carson_River Carson River] in the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sierra_Nevada_%28U.S.%29 Sierra Nevada].<ref name="CaTr" />  *[https://archive.org/details/GR_4538 Joseph E. Ware. '' The Emigrants' Guide to California.'' St. Louis, Mo.: J.H. Halsall,1849] *[https://archive.org/stream/GR_1952#page/n3 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 <ref name="CaTr" /> ==
=== Truckee (River) Trail 1844 ===
Crossed the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forty_Mile_Desert#Forty_Mile_Desert Forty Mile Desert] to the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truckee_River Truckee River] to follow it west past [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reno,_Nevada Reno, Nevada] to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donner_Pass Donner Pass] to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emigrant_Gap Emigrant Gap] to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sutter%27s_Fort Sutter's Fort] ([http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacramento,_California Sacramento, California]). The exact route varied over the years, the most used being the Nevada City Road and Auburn Emigrant Road combination. *[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/719062?availability=Family%20History%20Library 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 ===
Believed to be from [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nevada_City,_California Nevada City] to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auburn,_California Auburn] to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacramento,_California Sacramento, California]
=== [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henness_Pass Henness Pass Road 1850 ] ===Branched off the Truckee Trail at [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verdi,_Nevada Verdi, Nevada] headed for [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camptonville,_California Camptonville] and steamboat service at [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marysville,_California Marysville, California]. In 1860 it became a major route to the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comstock_Lode Comstock Lode silver mines] in [[Nevada Genealogy|Nevada]].
=== [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beckwourth_Pass Beckwourth Trail 1850] ===
=== The Lassen Cutoff 1848 ===
Was established by [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Gold_Rush gold rushers] from [[Oregon, United States Genealogy|Oregon]] going to [[California, United States Genealogy|California]]. It branched off the [[Applegate Trail]] at [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davis_Creek,_California Davis Creek], went through [httphttps://www.fs.fed.us/rangelands/ecology/wildhorseburrowild-horse-burro/territories/DevilsGardenPlateau.shtml Devil's Garden] to the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pit_River Pit River] passing east of [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mt._Lassen Mt. Lassen], and turning west to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rancho_Bosquejo Lassen Rancho, California], and from there to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacramento,_California 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 ===
=== Sonora Road 1852-1854 ===
From the Carson Trail south to the Walker River along the base of the Sierra Nevada until it ascends to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonora_Pass Sonora Pass] and then down to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strawberry,_Tuolumne_County,_California Strawberry] and [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonora,_California Sonora, California] *[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1246010?availability=Family%20History%20Library Dvid H. Johnson. ''Sonora Pass pioneers : California bound emigrants and explorers, 1841-1864.'' Sonora, California : Tuolumne County Historical Society, c2006. FHL 979.4 W2j]
=== [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luther_Pass Luther Pass Trail 1854] ===
=== Modern parallels ===
The modern roads that roughly match the California Trail from [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence,_Missouri Independence, Missouri] to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacramento,_California Sacramento] among other places in northern [[California, United States Genealogy|California]] are listed in an online edition of a National Park Service publication about the California Trail:  :*[https://www.nps.gov/cali/planyourvisit/publications.htm National Park Service - Trail Map, Brochure and Auto Tours Interpretive Guides]
:*[http://www.nps.gov/oreg/planyourvisit/auto_mo.htm Auto Tour Route - '''Missouri''']
:*[http://www.nps.gov/cali/planyourvisit/auto_nv.htm Auto Tour Route - '''Nevada''']
:*[http://www.nps.gov/cali/planyourvisit/auto_ca.htm Auto Tour Route - '''California''']
 
== Settlers and Records ==
 
Pioneers who used the California Trail were mostly Americans from the Midwest or Mid-South. Most settled in [[California, United States Genealogy|California]]. A few moved on to [[Oregon, United States Genealogy|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 ===
Two partial lists of pre-1870 pioneers include:
 
*Native Daughters of the Golden West, ''[http://www.cagenweb.com/cpl/ndgw.htm Roster of California Pioneers]''. So far 35,000 pioneers (14 percent) 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.
*[https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?from=fhd&dps_pid=IE215626 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 [http://books.google.com/books?id=TH1L60nlSw4C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false digital copy]. Internet Archive [http://www.archive.org/details/argonautscalifor00hask digital copy]. Includes about 27,000 names.
 
::[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/282435?availability=Family%20History%20Library For an index see Libera Martina Spinazze,''Index to the Argonauts of California'' (New Orleans, La.: Polyanthus, 1975) FamilySearch Catalog] [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/38651122 WorldCat entry]. 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.<br><br>
 
''' Additional Sources'''
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/486936?availability=Family%20History%20Library California Pioneer Index]
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1131106?availability=Family%20History%20Library Native Daughters of the Golden West. Index to Roster of California Pioneers. San Francisco, California: Native Daughters of the Golden West, 2001. FHL 979.4 H22i 2002]
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/234615?availability=Family%20History%20Library Daughters of the American Revolution (California). Unpublished records of the families of California pioneers. FHL 13 rolls]
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/435510?availability=Family%20History%20Library Solano County Genealogicl Society. Index to the DAR "Records of the families of the California pioneers." 2 volumes. Fairfield, California: Solano County Genealogical Society, 1988-1991. FHL 979.452 D22i]
*[http://www.cagenweb.com/cpl/index.htm California Pioneer Project: CAGenWeb USGenWeb Project]
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1246010?availability=Family%20History%20Library David H. Johnson. ''Sonora Pass pioneers. California Bound Emigrants and Explorers, 1841-1864.'' Sonora, California: Tuolumne County Historical Society, 2006. FHL 979.4 W2j]
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1219714?availability=Family%20History%20Library Kenneth E. Weant. ''The 49ers, as reported by the Missouri Republication,St. Louis,Missouri.'' 10 volumes.Arlington, Texas : K.E. Weant, c2004-2010 FHL 977.8 D2wk]
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/19740?availability=Family%20History%20Library Edwin G. Gudde. ''California gold camps : a geographical and historical dictionary of camps, towns, and localities where gold was found and mined; wayside stations and trading centers.'' Berkeley,California: University of California Press, 1975. FHL 979.4 E24g]
 
=== California Land Records ===
Deeds, mining claims, and other land records from '''''any&nbsp;''''' time period are clues to when a pioneer arrived. See [[California Land and Property]]. After 1862 some California land was eligible for [[Homestead Records|homesteading]].
 
=== Censuses ===
These can be used to identify pioneers who traveled the California Trail:
 
:*[https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1438024 1870 federal census of California]
:*[https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1473181 1860 federal census of California]
:*[https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1401638 1850 federal census of California]
 
Also, California took a [https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1771089 state census in 1852] which lists each person's state of birth and last residence.<ref name="Lain">Ann S. Lainhart, ''State Census Records'' (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992), 21-26. [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/26517040 Worldcat entry]. {{Lainha}}.</ref>
 
=== Great Registers (voter lists) ===
Began in some California counties as early as 1866. The [[California Voting Registers|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:
 
:{{FHL|206978|item|disp=Alameda 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|663187|item|disp=Alpine 1866}}{{·}} {{FHL|207200|item|disp=Amador 1867, 1868}}{{·}} {{FHL|207301|item|disp=Butte 1866}}{{·}} {{FHL|207211|item|disp=Calaveras 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|571690|item|disp=Colusa 1866}}{{·}} {{FHL|207312|item|disp=Contra Costa 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|207324|item|disp=El Dorado 1867, 1868}}{{·}} {{FHL|207042|item|disp=Fresno 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|827235|item|disp=Humboldt 1866-1875}}{{·}} {{FHL|207005|item|disp=Kern 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|206697|item|disp=Klamath (Del Norte and Siskiyou) 1869}}{{·}} {{FHL|493007|item|disp=Lake 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|628981|item|disp=Lassen 1866, 1868}}{{·}} {{FHL|207944|item|disp=Marin 1867-1868}}{{·}} {{FHL|523306|item|disp=Mendocino 1866-1873}}{{·}} {{FHL|207936|item|disp=Merced 1867, 1869}}{{·}} {{FHL|207637|item|disp=Monterey 1867, 1869}}{{·}} {{FHL|207611|item|disp=Napa 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|207571|item|disp=Nevada 1867-1868}}{{·}} {{FHL|208067|item|disp=Placer 1867-1868}}{{·}} {{FHL|208086|item|disp=Plumas 1857-1898}}{{·}} Sacramento {{FHL|210199|item|disp=1866}}, {{FHL|486373|item|disp=1867}}, {{FHL|208109|item|disp=1867-1868}}{{·}} {{FHL|208148|item|disp=San Diego 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|313680|item|disp=San Francisco 1866}}{{·}} {{FHL|208177|item|disp=San Joaquin 1867-1869}}{{·}} {{FHL|208204|item|disp=San Luis Obispo 1867-1868}}{{·}} {{FHL|208196|item|disp=San Mateo 1867-1869}}{{·}} {{FHL|609766|item|disp=Santa Barbara 1866-1869}}{{·}} {{FHL|208253|item|disp=Santa Clara 1867-1869}}{{·}} {{FHL|210163|item|disp=Santa Cruz}}{{·}} {{FHL|210151|item|disp=Shasta 1867-1869}}{{·}} {{FHL|210065|item|disp=Siskiyou 1867-1868}}{{·}} {{FHL|210056|item|disp=Solano 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|209628|item|disp=Sonoma 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|209621|item|disp=Stanislaus 1867, 1869}}{{·}} {{FHL|209619|item|disp=Sutter 1867, 1869}}{{·}} {{FHL|208482|item|disp=Trinity 1867-1868}}{{·}} {{FHL|208459|item|disp=Tulare 1869}}{{·}} {{FHL|208347|item|disp=Tuolumne 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|208287|item|disp=Yolo 1867}}{{·}} {{FHL|208261|item|disp=Yuba 1867-1869}}<br><br>
 
=== Local and county histories and biographies ===
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/2337862?availability=Las%20Vegas%20Nevada%20FamilySearch%20Library 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:
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1354033?availability=Family%20History%20Library 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&nbsp;: 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). [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/11510628 WorldCat entry]. {{FHL|572031|item|disp=FHL Book 979.43 H2L}}.
*Betty Yohalem, ''"I remember..."&nbsp;: stories and pictures of El Dorado County pioneer families'' ([Placerville, Calif.]&nbsp;: El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce, 1977). [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/3657533 WorldCat entry]. {{FHL|75462|item|disp=FHL Book 979.441 H2y}}.<br><br>
 
 
Some California Trail pioneers also settled in [[Oregon, United States Genealogy|Oregon]], [[Nevada, United States Genealogy|Nevada]], or [[Idaho, United States Genealogy|Idaho]]. Local histories and biographies from those places may also include some pioneers who traveled the California Trail.
== Other Wiki Pages ==
*Many of the [[:Category:US Migration Trails and Roads|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 ==
*"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 [http://www.paper-trail.org/search.asp 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 httphttps://www.blm.gov/nvvisit/st/en/fo/elko_field_office/blm_programs/blm_special_areas/california_trail_historic.html 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.
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