George Hamrick's Overland Journal

Hamrick's of California 1850

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"A Journal of our Travels across the
Mountains to California"

The Overland Trail Journal of
An American Emigrant and His Family

"Following is an account, copied word for word from notes made in pencil in his notebook, by my grandfather, George R. Hamerick, of travel by wagon train from Missouri to California in 1863. George M. Taylor"

Accidental shootings! Broken ox wagons! Indians on the trail ! Bad water! Crippling wagon wheels! Mountain fever! Abandoned children! Lost cattle! Baby's Born! Beautiful scenery! Triumph at the End of the trail !
All this and more in George's Journal from the Trail !

Scroll down for each month of George's journal and links which attempt to interpret the information, also included in attached notes are links to other Internet websites which have maps and more information about the places the Hamrick's travelled along the way.

Notes from the flickering glow of the monitor~
The material contained quotes is taken precisely from the typewritten manuscript given to me, Jill O'Neall Ching, by my cousin Peg Loftus, who is a direct descendant of George R. Hamrick, author of the diary.

George's brother Jesse Hamrick (See notation about letter July the 5th) was awaiting the arrival of George, his wife Celesta and baby, their brother John Hamrick and their parents, the elderly Nimrod and Mariah Hamrick, rode in a 'coach' in this wagon train, which was in an accident with a stage coach on a steep mountain.

Jesse Hamrick and his large family, had traveled overland and settled in Jackson Valley, which became part of Amador County, California. Jesse arrived in California in 1850, and he is my great great grandfather. 

His brother, George, the author of the trail diary travels 13 years later and Jesse meets George in Murphies,  (See August the 29th) and I assume they then traveled to Jackson Valley, in Amador County, where Jesse had a farm, right on the Jackson Creek.

Along the overland trail, the Hamrick's followed the historic Ben Holladay route for a good portion of their journey, the older Hamrick's drove a buggy, probably for comfort of their elderly parents and also drove an ox wagon, to carry their needed supplies in 1863. (See July the 17th)

Follow all the monthly links listed below for the exact daily entries in George's journal, there are also links to the extractions I have made from the journal regarding the many and major tragic events occuring during the journey, the places travelled which are listed in chronological order and all the names contained in George's journal are indexed separately.

Click on the map locations at: Over-Land Trail Website many of the actual historic locations which Hamrick and his family visited during their "long and perilous journey" and which he noted in his remarkable journal.

The family followed the trail that traversed most of the main rivers of the Western Frontier, and stopped at many of the original Pony Express stations which were being utilized as Mail Stage Stations, which George often noted as "Express Stations". At one point in the journey a mail stage has a collision on a narrow mountain with their wagon and buggy!
The main rivers that the Hamrick's followed were well travelled in 1863 and included the Big Blue River in Nebraska, the Platte Rivers in Nebraska and Wyoming, the Sweetwater and Green Rivers in Wyoming, the Great Salt Lake in Utah and the Thousand Springs Valley and Humboldt Rivers in Nevada. None of these places were even States yet!
It is easy to locate the approximate trail by following along where the rivers run thru first the plains, then the mountains and the desert in your atlas.
Jill O'Neall Ching

It has been a pleasure to study and maintain this trail diary online and I have had many wonderful emails of appreciation regarding this wonderful family treasure.

George's Overland Trail Journal:

April of 1863 & May of 1863

June of 1863

July of 1863

August of 1863

Index of all Documented Names in this Overland Journal

Places Travelled, Described and Documented
in this Journal, Including Present Day Locations
April/May ~ June ~ July ~ August

Major Events and Occurences Documented in
Hamrick Overland Journal
April, May and June ~ July and August


This is a free site, you may use the information for your personal research, but you may not copy for monetary gain.