My research today helped me learn more about an elusive relative: James Harlow Jersey. He’s my 5th grandfather. NO ‘leaves’ on Ancestry. All of his siblings and in-laws have ‘leaves’…why not him? Is he a black sheep? A recluse? A figment of the internet’s imagination? Ugh.
Well, today I finally ran across an article about his father which stated that J.H. was a teacher…yay, good news!…who left for Pike’s Peak in 1858…
So I searched for Pike’s Peak 1858 and it turns out lots of men ran to the hills looking for gold. They were called the ’59ers. It sounds like reports of gold were pretty exaggerated so most of the men came back home broker than before. According to his father’s bio, J.H. left in 1858 and they heard from him a year later, then never again after that. But this mystery is not over because several other trees on Ancestry list his death as 1910. Did he make it rich then decide not to come home to his wife and daughters? Did he eventually come home only to find his wife remarried in 1862? When he wrote home in 1858 did he tell her he wasn’t coming home and to move on? So many questions!
His wife Julia Ann was a mystery of her own.
A few links for my further reading: