In 1890, Fords, Howard and Hulbert of New York published a personal narrative of a Bedford, Massachusetts Argonaut and later Placerville rancher, Charles Warren Haskins, The Argonauts of California, Being the Reminiscences of Scenes and Incidents That Occurred in California in Early Mining Days; by a Pioneer. In the last 141 pages of his book, Haskins included a compiled list of the "Names of Pioneers Who Came by Land and Sea to California in 1849." This unique list is very useful for genealogists and researchers. However it is very difficult to use because it is not in one, but a number of alphabetical lists, such as the members and ex-members of various argonaut pioneer associations, forty-niners through-out the United States who are not members of argonaut associations, memberships of mining companies and ship passenger lists. Unfortunately, Haskins did not provide documentation to identify the sources of his voluminous lists of names. Nevertheless, this secondary source remains as the most comprehensive single list of forty-niners. As a result of the destructive fire following the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, very few primary sources remain to substantiate or supplement Haskins' list.
Several years ago a card index to Haskins' list was compiled by Libera Martina Spinazze under the auspices of the Society of California Pioneers. It was filed in one alphabetical order. The work slips for this project were given to the California State Library in Sacramento, where a second card index was prepared by the staff of the California Section. The California State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution compiled Spinazze's index as a typewritten manuscript in 1958. They deposited copies of this index in the Society's national library in Washington, D.C., the Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley, the California Historical Society Library, the California State Library, and the Los Angeles Public Library. These indexes have saved researchers untold hours of searching.
Genealogists and historians should be grateful to Mr. Haskins for his sense of history that furnished us such a comprehensive collection of names, and to Miss Spinazze for easing the burden of research. Both works are excellent contributions to California.
In my paper on California genealogical research, "Sources of California; From Padron to Voter Registration", presented at the World Conference on Records in Salt Lake City in 1969, I recommended that the Spinazze index be printed, and it is gratifying to now have in print one of the most useful research sources for our state's history and genealogy.
1. This index is a compilation of the 1890 work of Charles Warren Haskins.
2. The information is a secondary source, at best.
3. Haskins did NOT document his work.
4. Haskins may have compiled his lists from original documents that existed in San Francisco prior to the earthquake and fire of 1906.
5. The index contains approximately 27,000 names with accompanying information such as the page on which it appears in Haskins' "The Argonauts of California, Being the Reminiscences of Scenes and Incidents That Occurred in California in Early Mining Days; by a Pioneer."
6. The names on Haskins' list are NOT available by SEARCH on this website.
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