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Saturday, August 7, 2010

McLaughlin's Go West - Part 1

I have written a lot about my connection to Newport, Herkimer County, New York.  My McLaughlin's and Maxwell's are from there.  I've also posted about Thomas Michael McLaughlin, my great-great grandfather who was married to Ellen Maxwell.  They ended up in Napa, California.  Napa makes an appearance yet again in my genealogy blog.  I literally have dozens of relatives who lived their lives in Napa.  I am still working on tracking down information about how my McLaughlin's and Maxwell's lived in Napa Valley.  I know the journey that they took and some of the people who followed.

Thomas McLaughlin and Ellen Maxwell were married in Newport, New York, on January 5, 1869.  They migrated to Lander County, Nevada in 1870.  The McLaughlin's made their home in Austin, Nevada.  It is now a bit of a ghost town in Northern Nevada off Highway 50.  By 1877, he had purchased three lots on ranchlands located in Grass Valley, about 20 miles northeast of Austin.  My grandfather kept a page with the specific map coordinates of the land.  That page is just another "little treasure" that I found in "the box".

To quote another McLaughlin researcher, Mr. Capes:

"On 18 May 1880 Thomas filed a Pre-Emption Application as noted in the local newspaper, the ‘Reese River Reville’, as follows: “ Notice Is Hereby Given, That the following named settler has filed notice of his intention to make final proof in support of his claim and secure final entry thereof, and that said proof will be made before the Clerk of the District Court in and for the Fifth Judicial District of the State of Nevada, at Austin, on the 16th Day of June, A.D. 1880, Viz: Thomas McLaughlin, Declaratory Statement No. 801, for the N ½ of NW ¼ and NW ¼ of NE ¼ of Section 20, SW ¼ of SE ¼ of Section 17, T. 21, N.R. 46 East, containing 160 acres, and he names the following witnesses to prove his claim; George Lammerhart, James McLaughlin, Hugh McLaughlin and Thomas J. O’Leary, all of Austin, Lander County, Nevada.”  By 1883, Thomas filed land claims for mining rights on these and other lots for a total of approximately 1,077 ac. In Nov 1884 he purchased a residence in the village of Austin, and then sold all the Grass Valley lands in Jul 1885, when he purchased a second city lot in Austin."

Thomas was joined in Nevada by four of his brothers - Frank, James, and Hugh.  Hugh lived with Thomas in Austin and Grass Valley.  The various census show him living with the rest of Thomas' immediate family.  Thomas sold one of his lots in Austin to Julia Mahoney McLaughlin, his sister-in-law, in December 1885.  He sold his own residence in Austin on December 21, 1885.  He packed up the family and moved to Napa, California. This article appeared in the ‘Reese River Reveille’ on 04 Jan 1886: “ Personal Note – Mr. McLaughlin and family expect to leave in the morning for Napa, Cal., in which place they expect to make their future home. Sorry to part with Mac.”  Thomas' brother Hugh joined them in Napa in 1886.

What I am not clear on is why Thomas decided to leave Grass Valley, Nevada, and move to Napa, California.

To be continued.....................................

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