Nov 7, 2014

California Adventures day 3&4: The Captain and the Cowboy and random graveyard stalking

Yesterday was crazy. I decided to allow my mother's car's GPS to guide me down to where my grandfather is buried, in a cemetery in the town where he grew up. We found the grave

and also 4g, on our phone. In the middle of nowhere between Marysville and Sacramento. We haven't been able to get full bars or 4g anywhere , not even in Grass Valley or Nevada City. Apparently farmers really like Sprint, but Hippies are more T-Mobile types.

While down in Wheatland, I decided to travel to the county assessors office as well, in Marysville, to see if I could find anything on any of my ancestors here. I looked through stuff from the late 1800's on up to the mid 1900s and found one thing, in the twenties. A notice of decision of judgment. No deeds or anything that would help me know where properties are located. But on my way home, I took a route past Smartville and Beale, where my family owned some land before the government took it for the air force base. I also drove out on Mooney Flat Road, where my great, great, great grandfather and grandmother ran a boarding house in the mid 1850s, taking in mostly 49er gold miners, of course. I don't know where that was located either. I need addresses.... but my mother is in China, so.

IN any case, as I drove home I felt a deep sense of nourishment. It was like I was one of those dusty oak trees, finding my native soil again. Honestly. It sounds cheesy, but it's how I felt and I always feel this way, coming back here. It's kind of hard to brush off six to eight generations of ancestors. I grew up right here... right where my family settled after coming over on the boat from England.

We then headed up to Nevada City (after picking up my sisters at the high school).

We saw lots of fanciful and beautiful things, as is usual in that town. I wanted to take more pictures of people but worried it would be offensive... you'll have to take my word for it that literally half of the people who pass you by are fancifully hippie-like. Black berets galore. Colorful hair, or dreads down past the shoulders, woven hats colored in rainbow hues. People with long beards and curling golden locks.

It's my town. And there's noplace like it... except perhaps in the thick of the redwoods, or in southern Oregon.


My kids were climbing the walls at that point (quite literally)

so the walk was nice. But I was too exahusted when we got home to do much blogging.

Today we took it easy. We went to the park again
and to a beautiful local cemetery

(Where I went grave-stalking because I am weird that way)
which is across the street from the old Indian Springs School. It operated in the mid-late 1800s and later moved down the road, combined with the Rough and Ready school and became Ready Springs School, where I attended elementary school.

On the way out to the park and cemetery, we got a flat tire, and were helped by two samaritans, the (self-styled) Captain and Cowboy. They admitted they were working off the aftereffects of a night of overindulgence and told me I was lucky they were, because it meant they had to take a day off work, and therefore had time to help me. I'm quite thankful for the Captain and the Cowboy and their overindulgence, though I cannot condone it.

See how nice they are? And they live on my road. They informed me that this incident was proof that our road hasn't gone completely to sh*.

And they were right. It hasn't.

After the park and cemetery outing we went to pick up my sisters at school and came right home, which I am glad about because my kids still haven't quite slept off their aftereffects from our previous days' travel.

This morning before we left I spent time at home, doing research on FamilySearch and making phone calls. I found out from a lady at the Sonora County Library and Museum (she's a researcher for the Tuolomne geneological society) that the library does indeed have a file on my family, the Silvers (Silveira-Pereira) with a lot of information.
I'm going over there tomorrow. It's a 3 hour drive, one way. With four kids.

Pray for me. (and my kids)

Anyway, I am really excited. These are graves (if I can find the cemetery where they are buried) that my mother has never seen. This place, Shaws' Flat, where they settled in the mid 1800s and where my great, great, great, great grandfather passed away in 1910, is a place where my mother has never been. The contact at the museum is a sort of miracle--I got it because I'd been doing google searches on the Silvers, and found an article written by the genealogical society, for a magazine they put out. In 2011. I contacted the woman who wrote the article, and she said that there was a lot of information on my family. ANd now, two years later, I'm going.

I also connected with a man on Ancestry. He is a distant cousin, descended from another branch of the family line who took a different americanization of the name "Silveira." Instead of "Silver," they go by DeSilva. Anyway.... he happens to live 20 minutes away from my parents, where I am staying right now. I emailed him today and let him know I have several family photos he may want. I asked if he would like to meet. I think he's worried about me being Mormon-- he granted access to the family tree and then it was revoked soon after. It's not an uncommon thing for people on these sites to be put off when they find they are corresponding with Mormons. They worry we're going to try to baptize all their ancestors. Which isn't the case, of course... we're not supposed to baptize for those who aren't our direct relatives without the permission of other direct relatives. We can lose our temple privileges over this. But you can't expect people to know that after all the sensationalism present in the popular media. And of course there are a few who break rules and ruin it for the rest of us.

It has been strange. I have felt compelled to go to Sonora to see the graves. It's been a little unsettling, how strong the feeling is. I was tempted, as i drove south yesterday, to keep going. The only thing that kept me from throwing caution to the wind was the fact I needed to be back in time to pick up my sisters from high school.

So I guess we'll see tomorrow.

I'll just leave you on this note (a sign I drove past in Nevada City, with an accumulation of random objects underneath it):

Shanti, my friends. Shanti Shanti.
(I hope I didn't just curse you)


Laura Blackham said...

Our road is the best road. Except for the Pepto Bismol Mansion.

Sarah Dunster said...

I love the pepto bismol mansion! It gives our road and air of alternate universe.

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

This was a fun walk down memory lane, especially the photos of Nevada City. And yeah, very few other places have quite the hippie population and vibe! (How did we turn out so normal/boring?) ;)