27 typewritten pages of transcriptions of letters from Robert R. Givens and Eleazar T. Givens and 9 copies of some of the
original letters to family at home in Caseyville, KY. Covers the period from 4.20.1849 to 8.29.1859. Describes the overland
journey from St Charles, MO to California; gold mining in Mariposa County; and life on the Texas Ranch which was located on
the road from Stockton to the Mariposa mines.
Robert R. Givens was a member of the Society of California Pioneers - our membership records note his arrival in California
on October 26, 1849, and his joining the Society on January 6, 1873. He was born in Caseyville, Kentucky, and from an entry
on his brother, Eleazar T. Givens, page 831-32 of a book (the copies only have the title listed as Historical and Biographical
Record), it appears he started out for California from Caseyville, with his brother Elezar on April 5, 1849. Robert and Elezar
remained in Salt Lake City for some six weeks, then joined another party under the leadership of James Waters, of San Bernardino.
They took the southern route and in October arrived at the Rubidoux ranch, along the Santa Ana river, and spent the winter
working on the ranch. Robert Givens married Maratha Melvina Parker (b.1837-?), and had four children: Mary A.(1856-1871),
James Benjamin (b.1859-?), Rosannah Virginia (b.1857-?) and Thomas Dudley (b.1861-?). (Source: Ancestry.com). Eleazar T. Givens
has a page of biographical information int he above mentioned book, Historical and Biographical Record, pg. 831-32. The full
title of the book cannot be found - there is a book on Southern California with the title Historical and biographical record
of southern California (Guinn, James Miller, 1902), but Givens appeared to have settled not in southern California, but in
northern. E.T. Givens, also born in Union County, Kentucky, on October 17, 1828, the son of Thomas and Catherine (Richards)
Givens, and grew up on their farm. He left Caseyville, Ky. with his brother Robert, as noted above, and arrrived in Rubidoux
Ranch near the Santa Ana River. He mined in Coarse Gold Gulch (Fresno Co.), then went to Mariposa Co., and mined the Whitlock
and Agua Frio mines. He was mauled by a bear, and returned to Kentucky. His parents came to California in 1852, via the Isthmus
of Panama, and Eleazar married Martha Pratt in 1853 in Morganfield, Ky. They journed to California together, and in 1854 spent
the winter on a ranch in Mariposa Co. They lived there until 1904, and had seven children - four dying in early childhood.
His wife died in 1876 in Oakland, and in 1870, Eleazar married Adelaide M. Brooks - and they had 5 sons and 2 daughters. Eleazar
retired and lived in Oakland at the end of his life. (Source: Guinn, James Miller. Historical and Biographical Record:...?,
Chicago: Chapman, 1902).