Pioneers Discussion – December 2009

Has your own genealogical research turned up ancestors in the Old West? Who did you find, and how did you find them?

2 Responses

  1. Bonny McDaniel

    I have several interesting genealogical/historical stories about my ancestors. I have researched for 35 years and teach genealogy to groups in CA and AZ.
    My gr gr grandfather, Stephen Gaster, was featured in some western magazines in years past and I have researched his lineage and history and found many answers to the questions these articles and the Fresno County History books asked about why he embezzled over $6000 of county funds and disappeared in 1867, leaving a wife and five children. I have some photos that pertain to his story although none of Stephen himself.
    Also, my gr grandfather on my father’s side, Robert Schofield, came to Nevada County, CA in the early 1850s and operated a couple of freight wagons until he opened a sewing machine and piano shop in Marysville, CA. His brother, James, was tried for murder in Grass Valley in the 1860s and that is an interesting story as I read the trial transcripts. The Schofields were immigrants from Rochdale, Eng. and I have photos of most of the family.
    Stephen Gaster’s wife, Eunice Henderson, is also a story in herself (besides the strife she went through after Stephen left her with five children to raise) as she was the daughter of early Mormons that died in Nauvoo, IL and was raised by Jacob Hamblin (early Mormon Indian agent) and his wife, Rachel Judd Henderson Hamblin until an uncle (possibly CA ranger, William T. Henderson) brought her and two brothers to CA.
    My interest in genealogy is not just following the heritage but compiling the stories with as much detail as possible as that brings the ancestors alive. I am a published author and would love to present these stores, separately, to Wild West if you could give me some guidelines especially as to length.
    Thank you, Bonny McDaniel

  2. Dave Lauterborn


    Thank you for sharing, quite candidly, some of your family history. We encourage you and other interested writers to contact us through our general e-mail address

    My own family tree includes a Cody branch, though my mother, the genealogist of the family, has yet to find a link to the well-known Cody of the Plains. The possibility is intriguing though.

    Keep those stories coming!

    Dave Lauterborn
    Managing Editor
    Wild West


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