My 42nd entry in Amy Johnson Crow’s “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks family history blogging challenge.
The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.
I am still playing catch-up, after being sick for much of this year.
My 42nd ancestor is my husband Jeff’s 2nd great grandmother, Pauline Adeline Gann (1860-1938). Pauline was married to Leonard Jackson Harless (1858-1946), the ancestor I recently wrote about who emigrated as a baby with his family from Missouri to California in 1858 over Ebbetts pass in the high Sierras. Pauline’s parents were William Chamberlain Gann (1831-1893) and Elmira Tucker (1840-1920). She and her husband Leonard Jackson were 2nd cousins, sharing the same great grandparents.
About Jenny Lind
Pauline Adeline Gann was allegedly born on 4 December 1860 in the mining town of Jenny Lind (Calaveras County), California, which was located on the road between Stockton and the southern mines. “Jenny Lind, located on the north bank of the Calaveras River, was a placer mining town as early as 1849. Most of the placer mining was done along the hillsides above the river – later the river was mined with dredgers. In 1864 the population was said to be 400, half of them Chinese.” (California Office of Historical Preservation) The town became a California historical registered landmark in 1937, and still exists as a small unincorporated community.
I do not yet have a birth record for Pauline.
When Jeff and I took that genealogy road trip this past July, after crossing Ebbetts Pass, we set up camp in adorable Dorrington just outside of Calaveras Big Trees State Park. We dedicated one entire day of this vacation to what we now call our “ancestor wild goose chase” day, to drive from Dorrington across the San Joaquin Valley and back again trying to find various historical places I have identified on records pertaining to Jeff’s Harless family history. Jenny Lind was on that list of places — along with French Camp (aka Castoria) and 26 Mile House.
Visiting Jenny Lind
Like French Camp, Jenny Lind was not what I expected. Although only 11.7 miles off of Highway 4, the slow drive up Milton Road felt much longer, with views of a whole lot of nothing. But, because the area is still so rural and isolated, it did provide us with a little glimpse of what life must have been like for Jeff’s ancestors here in the 1800s. The route we drove is the same one our Harless and Gann ancestors in that area would have taken any time they had to visit the post office, stage coach stop, or store at 26 Mile House or 28 Mile House.
But we were even more surprised when we reached the actual community. There is nothing there. Well, almost nothing. Very few buildings. And really nothing that looked to us like it dated back to the time of Pauline Adeline Gann. We never even found the state landmark. I thought for sure that such a place would have a historical district. After about 10 minutes taking in the entire town, we disappointedly headed back along that long isolated rural road to the main highway.
Genealogy SnapshotName: Gann, Pauline Adeline (1860-1938)
Parents: William Chamberlain Gann and Elmira Tucker
Spouse: Leonard Jackson Harless
Surnames: Broyles, Gann, Tucker
Relationship to CJRoots: 2nd Great Grandmother