Chabot was raised on a farm in La Presentation, near Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada. He was one of sixteen children and the son of a farmer. When he was sixteen years old, he left home, eventually settling in California in 1849.
He began working in …
Joshua Abraham Norton
Norton was born in England in 1818 and immigrated with him family to South Africa in May 1820. South African genealogies suggest his parents were John Norton (d.1848) and Sarah Norden. Sarah was a daughter of Abraham Norden and a sister of Benjamin Norden …
John Augustus Sutter
Johann went to school in Neuchâtel, Switzerland and later joined the Swiss army, eventually becoming captain of the artillery. At age 23, Johann married Annette Dübold, the daughter of a rich widow. He operated a store but he was more …
Brannan was born in Saco, Maine, about a year before its independence from Massachusetts. When he was 14 years old, he moved with his sister to Kirtland, Ohio, where Brannan learned the printer's trade. There, he joined the Church of Jesus …
Edwin G. Waite
Edwin G. Waite (b. circa 1832) is newspaper man, author, and (former) gold miner. Waite is owner and publisher of the Nevada Daily Transcript (The Nevada Journal) - the official newspaper of Nevada City, California.
He was a member of California's …
George Hearst (b. Sep 1820) is described as "almost illiterate” and having a taste for poker, bourbon and tobacco. He has an interest in books, but can barely read. His manner and dress were often described as rough, disheveled, and crude, as he appeared …
Samuel Very Shreve
Theodore "Crazy Judah" Judah
Theodore Judah was born in 1826 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the son of an Episcopal clergyman. After his family moved to Troy, New York, Judah studied engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Judah married Anna Pierce on May 10, 1847 in …
Hubert Howe Bancroft
Hubert Howe Bancroft (b. May 1832) was born in Granville Ohio. Although he had little formal education, he secured a job as a bookstore clerk in Buffalo New York in his teens.
Catching "gold fever" he left for the west in 1852 to pursue his fortune. …
Charles Albion Tuttle
Charles Tuttle (b. circa 1820) graduated from Hobart College in 1844 and was admitted to the bar in New York. The family comes from a prestigious Connecticut family which emigrated to the colony in the 1640s as a Puritan immigrant.
He crossed the …
Peter Donahue, a founder of industrial San Francisco, made his way to gold-rush San Francisco aboard the steamship Oregon from Ireland by way of Peru.
In 1849 almost everyone in San Francisco wanted to go and dig for gold. Few were …
E.F. "Ned" Beale
Edward Fitzgerald "Ned" Beale (b. February 4, 1822) was a national figure in 19th century America. He was naval officer, military general, explorer, frontiersman, Indian affairs superintendent, California rancher, diplomat, and friend of Kit Carson and …
Juana Briones de Miranda
Briones was born in 1802 at Villa Branciforte near the Santa Cruz Mission. She was considered a mulato, i.e. of mixed Spanish and African descent. Some of her family members had arrived in Alta California with the Gaspar de Portolà and the …
Levi Strauss was born in Buttenheim, Germany, on February 26, 1829, in the Franconian region of Bavaria, Germany, to an Ashkenazi Jewish family. He was the son of Hirsch Strauss and his second wife Rebecca Strauss. At the age of 18, Strauss, his mother …
Luzena Stanley Wilson
Luzena Stanley Hunt (b.1819) was the third of nine children born to a Quaker family living in North Carolina. The family had moved to Andrew County, Missouri by 1843, and in 1844 Luzena married Mason Wilson there.
Gold fever spread in …