Hay view from Castle

Hay view from Castle
Hay-on-Wye, Powys (formerly Breconshire), Wales. The "Town of Books" (and Vaughans!)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

John Lewis & the Gold Country

We still do not understand the "why" of John's and Jane Vaughan Lewis's separation. We know that he was interested in mining because of his letter to Brigham Young and he may have been discouraged by the response. And it seems pretty clear that John did go to the gold fields in California, was drafted into the Union Army, and returned to the gold fields and the saloon business after the Civil War. Then, his death seems well-documented and a match with the right person in the right place.

The geography helps along with the National Park Service map for the California National Historic Trail. Remember that John first reappeared in Bridgeport, Nevada County, California. (And that's a different place than Bridgeport in Mono County, California.)

There were several trails over the Sierras as there were through the Great Basin. There were many bad choices because there was no good one. Yet please note that there is a direct route from Mormon Station (Genoa), Nevada to the Sacramento Valley. Follow No. 7, the Georgetown/Daggett Pass Trail to No. 5, the Georgetown Trail, and you end up in . . . Georgetown, just a few miles south of Bridgeport.

California Trail, GPO 2008-339-126/80149 Reprint 2006

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Lost Mormons of Carson Valley

Genoa (Mormon Station), Nevada, Pioneer Cemetery
There is another tempting title for this, "Journey to Genoa" that has already been used for a highly fictionalized novel of some of the pioneer people of this area, including my family. It isn't very well written in a literary sense. Most of the entertainment value comes from the whoppers of wrong information such as the Cavalry riding in to rescue disaffected Mormons (in 1853) and a questionably historical visit to a San Francisco bordello and opium den. Sigh.

The different title might have distracted web searchers from the book which is decidedly anti-Mormon. And putting the title in here might have the same positive effect.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Likely Johns Home, Jacks Valley, Nevada

I'm pretty sure after comparing Google Maps with the 1862 federal survey with BLM's amazing GeoCommunicator and the 1870 Grant Assignment (also from BLM online) that this is the house that Abednego Johns lived in with his second wife, Jane (Jeanette) Vaughn Lewis Johns. I have seen a historical building in Reno from the 1890's with similar stone, door, and window layout.
Best evidence says this is the Abednego Johns House, Jacks Valley Road, Genoa, Nevada, from Google Maps

Monday, October 13, 2014

Jane Vaughan 1827, Found!

Jane (Jeanette) Vaughan Lewis Johns, Jacks Valley, Nevada
In a rapidly developing and miraculous story, we just received confirmation today that the woman who married Abednego Johns in Jack's Valley (Genoa or Mormon Station), Nevada, was named Jane Vaughan Lewis at the time of her marriage in 1860. Her own records establish that she was born in Breconshire, Wales, in 1827.