Monday, July 8, 2019

Where Has Zina Abbott Been Lately?

 Okay, I know I’m late getting my blog post up. I usually am on Facebook or Instant Message reminding the SAS bloggers about their day on the blog. Today, it is 6:30pm CALIFORNIA time as I write. Shame on me.

So, what have I been up to that I’m so late getting this posted?

After I returned from my two week vacation / Wild Deadwood Reads event / research trip, I took my cat sitter, "Cat Lady," for a day trip to nearby Mariposa County. She was the one who spotted the newly-painted retaining wall that had all the butterflies.

"Mariposa" is Spanish for butterfly, the name given by early Spanish explorers

I took some photos of the Mariposa Courthouse from a different angle. Cat Lady loved the historical building. However, since she is a plant science major, she was more interested in how the oleander bush was pruned. For more on the history of the Mariposa Courthouse, the oldest courthouse in continuous use in California, please CLICK HERE.

Mariposa County Courthouse

We also visited the Mariposa  Museum. I love going there. My book purchases must boost their bottom line. For a small Mother Lode tourist town, they have a great museum, including as part of their display the story of the John C. Fremont family and Fremont’s “floating land grant.” Cat Lady loves historical places, and since this was her first trip to Mariposa, she was as caught up in the museum as I was.

Tomorrow, I'm taking Cat Lady to Columbia, a preserved Gold Rush town. She's never been to that historical place, either.

Today, I finally finished up the July edition of the local Merced County Genealogical Society newsletter, The Family Snoop. It took me all day. Most of it may not be of interest to you. I will share with you one of my articles, just in case you are interested in researching EARLY California history (as in, before the United States won the Mexican-American War), or in case you have genealogical research you need to work on for California ancestors. There is also mention of the Mariposa Land Grant.

John C. Fremont-Courtesy of Mariposa County Museum

More Alta California Genealogical Sources
(From notes taken at Susan Skilton’s April, 2019 presentation on Alta California)
(Part 1 was published in the April-May, 2019 edition of The Family Snoop.)

     Most land grants in Alta California were awarded to soldiers who served in Alta California in recognition of their service. Foreigners could also apply for land grants. Two famous people who were given land grants were John Sutter, who held the land now in Sacramento, including where the American and Sacramento Rivers join. The other is John C. Fremont, who received the Rancho Las Mariposas, which was a 44,387-acre Mexican land grant, located in Mariposa County, California.
     Rancho Panoche de San Juan y Los Carrisolitos, a  22,175-acre land grant, included parts of Merced County. It was given in 1844 to Julian Ursua and Pedro Romo.
     The following are the relevant websites and book for doing genealogical research in Alta California during this time period:
* Los
* Online Archive of California, University of California-
* The Huntington Library Early California Population Project-
* SF Genealogy (some mission records)-
* (some mission records, 1852 California census)
* Google Books
*National Parks Service De Anza Trail-  
* Web De Anza- 
* The works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, Thomas Workman Temple, and Dorothy Mutnick


In my spare time, I have been sitting in the library reading microfilms. To double-check some details for my novel, Escape from Gold Mountain, now on pre-order, I have been perusing past issues of the Bridgeport Chronicle. For my next Too Old in Columbia book, which will also be Book 9 in the Bachelors & Babies series (my book publishes January 31st and is not on preorder yet), I have been reading through some issues of The Weekly Columbian starting in June 1856. Here is a snippet for your reading pleasure:

For the book description and preorder link for Escape from Gold Mountain, PLEASE CLICK HERE.


  1. Thank you Zina for this amazing post Loved it!

    1. Thank you, Sarah. It was a hodgepodge, but maybe explains why this past several weeks things have been a bit disorganized at home. Or not....

  2. Love this! Deadwood was so much fun!

    1. Thanks, Sandy. We had a great time at Deadwood. I was so happy to see you there again this year.

  3. Very interesting and informative! Great job!

    1. Thanks, Kris. I wish I could share all the information on the displays in the museum. Who knows? A lot of it might turn up in one or two of my books.

  4. I love your posts, Zina. I lived in CA for seven years as a child. And then one year as an adult. I have many relatives there but I don’t believe any were there before the Depression.