Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Was He Searching For His Pot Of Gold?

James T. Lorton
     After 1860, James T. Lorton lived in no less than eight locations around California.  He arrived in California in 1849 at the age of sixteen. We believe that he was on his own either when he arrived or shortly afterwards as there has been no evidence of his parents in California. He doesn't show up on the U.S.Census in 1852 but the census records of three counties are missing and Butte county records were damaged and no names appear.  
     Two of the locations were in Yolo County where he tried his hand at farming.  It seems that his wife passed away about the time he left Yolo County  and headed south to Ventura County.  He married for a second time in Ventura County.  In the 1890s at the age of sixty-two, he headed back to the Sierra foothills to try mining again.  His wife did not travel with him. (He stayed several years and even served a term on the school board. 
     I don't know if he moved frequently because he was just a wanderlust or he was unsuccessful at the various jobs that he held. 

  1. 1849 - Arrived in California by way of the Lassen Trail
  2. 1851 - Letter waiting in Sacramento
  3. 1852 - Another letter waiting
  4. 1850s - Lived with miners who taught him to 'read and rite'.
  5. 1860 - Worked on a ranch in Butte County
  6. 1862 - Married and worked in Calaveras County, near Copperopolis
  7. 1869 - Lived in Bird Valley, Yolo County
  8. 1870 - Farmed in Grafton Township, Yolo County
  9. 1874 - Homesteaded Land in northern Yolo County 
  10. 1876 - Registered to vote in Sespe, Ventura County
  11. 1880 - Lived in Saticoy, Ventura County
  12. 1881 - Married a second time
  13. 1888 - Bought land in Saticoy, Ventura County
  14. 1896 - Registered to vote in South Coulterville, Mariposa County
  15. 1900 - Mined for gold along the Merced River
  16. 1912 - Registered Voter in Harper, California 
  17. 1919 - Died in San Pedro, Los Angeles County
  18. 1919 - Buried in Harbor View cemetery, San Pedro - no known marker
     See the map below for the different residences in California. The red pins are placed based upon known land records. The orange and yellow pins are based on records where the location is less accurate.  

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