Society of California Pioneers

Society of California Pioneers

The Society of California Pioneers and its members are listed in the Annals of San Francisco of 1855. The key stipulation seems to be that they arrived in California prior to December 31, 1849. Since this was a membership organization, it lists only a portion of the pioneers that came to California prior to 1850. Membership fees in 1854 were $10 to join plus a $1/month subscription fee.

The Society was based in San Francisco and most of the members resided there, as opposed to other important pioneer cities such as Sacramento. Monterey, Santa Barbara, Sonoma and San Diego.

The purpose of the Society was, according to its constitution, "to cultivate the social virtues of its members, to collect and preserve information connected with the early settlement and conquest of the country, and to perpetuate the memory of those who sagacity, enterprise, and love of independence induced them to settle in the wilderness, and become the germ of a new State."

The Society continues to be a membership organization, and "Membership is open to descendants of pioneers who arrived in California prior to January 1, 1850." [ [ The Society of California Pioneers ] ]


The Society continues to exist and has its headquarters in San Francisco as it always has been. Presently the Society is located at 300 Fourth Street, San Francisco, CA, in downtown, south of Market Street. The headquarters contains a museum and library.

The collections include paintings, prints, drawings, etchings, lithographs, posters, playbills, theater announcements, music sheets, photographs, silverware, clothing and personal effects, medical devices, musical instruments, tools and artifacts dating from the Gold Rush era to 1945. The painting collection includes works by Thomas Hill, William Keith, Jules Tavernier, and William Hahn, among others. The photography collection includes the work of Carleton Watkins, Lawrence & Houseworth, and Turrill & Miller.

The museum displays changing exhibits drawn from the Society's collections that focus on California art, history, and culture. Admission is free, although a donation to the Society is appreciated.

Bear Flags

Several Bear Flags were donated to the Society during the last half of the 1900s, including a flag which almost certainly was the Bear Flag which was lowered at Sonoma on July 9, 1846, when the U.S. Flag was first raised at that location. This same Bear Flag very well may be the original Bear Flag which was made at the beginning of the Bear Flag Revolt of June/July 1846. The donation records of the Society show that two Bear Flags were donated to the Society by California U. S. Senator Weller on September 8, 1855. [ [ 1848-1855 Naval Correspondence re: Montgomery Bear Flag ] ] For many years, the Society would carry the Bear Flag during Admission Day parades and also on Anniversaries of the Bear Flag Revolt. Unfortunately all of the Bear flags held by the Society were destroyed in April 1906 as a result of the earthquake and fires which destroyed the Society's Pioneer Hall. Luckily a few photographs of the flags which had been taken survived so that we know what the flags actually looked like. Also a duplicate of the Bear Flag was made in 1896, the 50th Anniversary of the Bear Flag Revolt, and this flag continues to be displayed at the Sonoma Barracks, in Sonoma, California.

The Early Pioneers (51 members)


M. G. Vallejo /Sonoma/July 1808

Juan Bautista Alvarado /San Pablo/September 1809

Jose Jesus Martinez /Martinez/October 1814

Pedro Carlos Carrillo /Santa Barbara/March 1817

William Edward Petty Hartnell */Monterey/May 1822

William A. Richardson /Saucelito/August 1822

Joohn B. Rogers Cooper /Monterey/May 1823

[ Robert Elwell] /Santa Barbara/August 1824

Captain John Wilson /San Luis Obispo/April 1826

George W. Vincent */San Francisco/July 1825

Timothy Murphy */San Rafael/September 1828

Francisco Guerrero */San Francisco/December 1828

Alfred Robinson /Santa Barbara/February 1828


[ William H. Davis] /San Francisco/August 1831

Francis Ziba Branch /San Luis Obispo/February 1831

George Yount /Napa/February 1831

Jacob P. Leese /Monterey/June 1833

Jose de Jesus Noe /San Francisco/October 1834

John Marsh /Contra Costa/Jan. 1836

Thomas O. Larkin /San Francisco/March 1836

[ Capt. John Paty] /San Francisco/June 1837

John A. Sutter /Hock Farm/July 1839

[ William Davis Merry Howard] /San Francisco/Jan. 1839


Isaac Livick /San Francisco/ October 1840

Capt. Elliot Libbey /San Rafael/December 1840

[ Theodore Cordua] /Sacramento/March 1841

John Bidwell /Butte County/November 1841

G. C. Cook */San Jose/November 1841

Josiah Belden /San Jose/November 1841

Francis H. Huber /San Francisco/November 1841

[ Henry L. Ford] /Sacramento/September 1842

[ David W. Alexander] /Los Angeles/December 1842

Henry F. Teschemacher /San Francisco/July 1842

Thomas A. Warbass /San Francisco/July 1842

R. L. Kilburn /Napa/March 1842

John A. Hoar /Monterey/October 1843

Jasper O'Farrell /Bodega/November 1843

Nathan Coombs /Napa/July 1843

Moses Schallenberger /San Jose/March 1844

Daniel Murphy /San Jose/December 1844

John M. Murphy /San Jose/December 1844

Martin Murphy /Santa Clara/December 1844

[ John Sullivan] /San Francisco/December 1844

[ Jacob R. Snyder] /San Francisco/September 1845

William Findlay /San Jose/July 1845

[ Judge William Blackburn] /Santa Cruz /September 1845

Daniel Leahy /San Francisco/October 1845

[ Francis Hoen] /San Francisco/ September 1845

Henry C. Smith /Alameda/December 1845

William B. Bassham /San Jose/October 1845

[ Captain William F. Swasey] /San Francisco/September 1845


The Mexican-American War Years (64 members)


Samuel Brannan /San Francisco/July 1846

R. M. Sherman /San Francisco/March 1846

E. C. Kemble /San Francisco/July 1846

Edwin Bryant /San Francisco/August 1846

Henry Gerke /San Francisco/July 1846

B. S. Lippincott /San Francisco/October 1846

Samuel Kyburg /San Francisco/October 1846

A. J. Grayson /San Jose/October 1846

Ned Grayson/San Jose/October 1846

C. C. Southward /Trinidad/February 1846

E. A. King /San Francisco/November 1846

D. A. McDermut /San Francisco/October 1846

William H. Russell /San Francisco/August 1846

Joseph Aram /San Jose/September 1846

J. C. Davis /Putah Creek/February 1846

John M. Homer /Alameda/July 1846

H. S. Turner /San Francisco/December 1846

B. R. Buckelew /San Francisco/October 1846


J. Caldwell Low /San Francisco/March 1847

Edward Gilbert */San Francisco/ March 1847

J. C. L. Wadsworth /San Francisco/April 1847

L. W. Sloat /San Francisco/August 1847

A.G. Abell /San Francisco/August 1847

L. B. Clements /Santa Cruz/June 1847

J. Mead Huxley /San Francisco/March 1847

J. L. Folsom, U.S. A./San Francisco/March 1847

G. Frank Lemon /San Francisco/March 1847

H. W. Halleck /San Francisco/Jan. 1847

H. M. Naglee /San Francisco March 1847

R. J. Tobin /San Francisco/September 1847

R. A. Parker /Crescent City/March 1847

H. A. Schoolcraft */Sacramento/April 1847

Jas. L. Ord /Monterey/Jan. 1847

John B. Frisbie /San Francisco/March 1847

Thos. J. Roach */Trinidad/April 1847

S. W. Haight /San Francisco/March 1847

R.H. Sinton /San Francisco/November 1847

Alfred J. Ellis /San Francisco/April 1847

M. L. Callender /San Francisco/April 1847

Alfred A. Green /San Francisco/April 1847

Geo. Stoneman, U.S.A./San Francisco/Jan. 1847

Henry D. Cook /San Francisco/July 1847

John S. Beener /San Francisco/September 1847

W. T. Sherman, U.S.A./San Francisco/Jan. 1847

H. W. Theall /Sonora/March 1847

Charles Stevens /San Francisco/April 1847

Charles L. Ross /San Francisco/April 1847

Horace Hawes /San Francisco/April 1847

Hiram Grimes /San Francisco/February 1847

James Adams /San Francisco/March 1847

John Q. Adams /San Francisco/March 1847

William Joy /San Francisco/April 1847


William M. Stewart /San Francisco/October 1848

Bethuel Phelps /San Francisco/August 1848

Charles B. Johnson /Los Angeles/April 1848

Alfred DeWitt /San Francisco/September 1848

I. C. Woods /San Francisco/November/1848

Herman Wohler /San Francisco/February 1848

James King of William /San Francisco/November 1848

Chas. A. Angelo /San Francisco/December 1848

Edward Martin /San Francisco/November 1848

George W. Ryder /San Francisco/October 1848

J. Wemys Austin /San Francisco/August 1848

P. B. Cornwall /Sacramento/July 1848


The Gold Rush (268 members)

1849 Jan-Mar (18)

John Erskine Jr. /San Francisco/Jan. 1849

E. V. Joice /San Francisco/Jan. 1849

Aaron Pollard /San Francisco/Jan. 1849

David T. Bagley /San Francisco/February 1849

Joseph G. Cadiz /San Francisco/February 1849

E. O. Crosby /San Francisco/February 1849

George R. Davidson /San Francisco/February 1849

James Grant /San Francisco/February 1849

Charles Gulliver /San Francisco/February 1849

John McDougal /San Francisco/February 1849

Gabriel B. Post /San Francisco/February 1849

Levi Stowell /San Francisco/February 1849

E. L. Sullivan /San Francisco/February 1849

Jesse Sutton /San Francisco/February 1849

William Van Voorhies /San Francisco/February 1849

William H. Grattan /San Francisco/March 1849

W. A. Mix /Red Bluffs/March 1849

Richard Ross /San Francisco/March 1849

1849 Apr-May (23)

John Benson /San Francisco/April 1849

Edward Conner /San Francisco/April 1849

R. P. Hammond /San Francisco's/April 1849

Kelsey Hazen /San Francisco/April 1849

Frank Johnson /Sacramento/April 1849

John T. Little /San Francisco/April 1849

A. J. Morrell /San Francisco/April 1849

William L. Newell /San Francisco's/April 1849

R. Erskine Newland /San Francisco/April 1849

E. F. Northam /San Francisco/April 1849

A. W. Peabody /San Francisco's/April 1849

A. C. Peachy /San Francisco/April 1849

A. G. Randall /San Francisco/April 1849

J. Prall Stephens /San Francisco/April 1849

O. P. Sutton /San Francisco/April 1849

B. F. Voorheos /San Francisco/April 1849

Albert Williams /San Francisco/April 1849

Charles Hosmer /San Francisco/May 1849

W. Cornell Jewett /San Francisco/May 1849

Frank Soule /San Francisco/May 1849

William Neely Thomson /San Francisco/May 1849

Frank Turk /San Francisco/May 1849

James Vantine /San Francisco/May 1849

1849 June (43)

William Baker Jr. /San Francisco/June 1849

H. G. Blankman /Monterey/June 1849

F. A. Bonnard /San Francisco/June 1849

R. E. Brewster /San Francisco/June 1849

P. A. Brinsmade /San Francisco's/June 1849

David C. Broderick /San Francisco/June 1849

William M. Burgoyne /San Francisco/June 1849

John A. Clark /San Francisco/June 1849

John Q. Cole /San Francisco/June 1849

Robert G. Crozier /San Francisco/June 1849

E. Morris Earl /San Francisco/June 1849

William M. Eddy */San Francisco/June 1849

Chas. S. Eigenbrodt /San Francisco/June 1849

Samuel C. Eveleth /San Francisco/June 1849

William D. Fair /San Francisco/June 1849

E. Gallagher /San Francisco/June 1849

Chas. H. Gilman /San Francisco/June 1849

Geo. W. Green /San Francisco/June 1849

John S. Hagar /San Francisco/June 1849

Stephen R. Harris /San Francisco's/June 1849

B. Frank Hillard /San Francisco/June 1849

Geo. A. Hudson /San Francisco's/June 1849

George Kerr */Stockton/June 1849

Asa T. Lawton /San Francisco/June 1849

J. E. Lawrence /San Francisco/June 1849

Chas. W. Lawton /San Francisco/June 1849

E. W. Leonard /San Francisco/June 1849

Hiram Leonard, U.S.A./San Francisco's/June 1849

Louis R. Lull /San Francisco/June 1849

William McKibben /San Francisco/June 1849

Peter A. Morse /San Francisco's/June 1849

O. C. Osborne /San Francisco/June 1849

James Pearson /San Francisco/June 1849

John V. Plume /San Francisco/June 1849

Julius K. Rose /San Francisco/June 1849

John Satterlee /San Francisco/June 1849

William J. Shaw /San Francisco/June 1849

Hervey Sparks /San Francisco/June 1849

T. G. Spear /San Francisco/June 1849

R. Julius Stevens /San Francisco June 1849

William H. Tiffany /San Francisco/June 1849

John Vandewater /San Francisco/June 1849

Julius Wetzler /Sacramento/June 1849

1849 July (31)

G. W. Bryant /San Francisco's/July 1849

Albert H. Clark /Los Angeles/July 1849

John M. Coughlin /San Francisco/July 1849

John C. Derby /San Francisco/July 1849

Squire P. Dewey /San Francisco/July 1849

Jas. R. Duff /San Francisco/July 1849

David Dwyer /San Francisco/July 1849

E. A. Edgerton /San Francisco/July 1849

John M. Farwell /San Francisco/July 1849

W. B. Farwell /San Francisco/July 1849

James Fitton /San Francisco/July 1849

Chas. H. Gough /San Francisco/July 1849

James G. Gould /San Francisco/July 1849

Isaac M. Hall /San Francisco/July 1849

E. D. Hammond /San Francisco's/July/1849

William C. Hoff /San Francisco's/July 1849

Caleb Hyatt /San Francisco/July 1849

Richard M. Jessup /San Francisco/July 1849

David Jobson /San Francisco/July 1849

William E. Keyes /San Francisco/July 1849

Seth R. Kneeland /San Francisco/July 1849

A. Larrain /San Francisco/July 1849

Henry Meiggs /San Francisco/July 1849

Daniel Norcross /San Francisco/July 1849

James G. Pearson /San Francisco/July 1849

C. T. Ryland /San Jose/July 1849

Jacob Shew /San Francisco/July 1849

John Short /San Francisco/July 1849

Jas. B. Townsend /San Francisco/July 1849

William W. Warner /San Francisco/July 1849

Joseph R. West /San Francisco/July 1849

1849 August (50)

F. B. Austin /San Francisco/August 1849

Abram Bartol /San Francisco/August 1849

Calhoun Benham /San Francisco/August 1849

J. D. Bluxome /San Francisco/August 1849

Theodore Boschulte /San Francisco/August 1849

C. J. Brenham /San Francisco/August 1849

De Witt C. Brown /San Francisco/August 1849

J. J. A. Bruce /San Francisco/August 1849

J. J. Bryant /San Francisco/August 1849

Wake Bryarly /San Francisco/August 1849

Alexander Campbell /San Francisco/August 1849

Chas. D. Carter /San Francisco/August 1849

William H. Chamberlain, Miss./San Jose/August 1849

Richard Cheenery /San Francisco/August 1849

Reuben Clark /San Francisco/August 1849

Smyth Clark /San Francisco/September 1849

William Clark /San Francisco/August 1849

B. B. Coit /San Francisco/August 1849

John W. Conner /San Francisco/August 1849

C. H. Crane /San Francisco/August 1849

E. W. Crowell /San Francisco/August 1849

William H. Crowell /San Francisco/August 1849

Arthur M. Ebbetts /San Francisco/August 1849

Horatio S. Gates /San Francisco/August 1849

William L. Higgins /San Francisco/August 1849

James Holohan /San Francisco/August 1849

A. J. Hooper /San Francisco/August 1849

E. J. C. Kewen /San Francisco/August 1849

C. W. Lander /San Francisco/August 1849

F. W. Macondray /San Francisco/August 1849

William Newell /San Francisco/August 1849

William B. Olds /San Francisco/August 1849

John J. Pensam /San Francisco/August 1849

D. W. Perlay /San Francisco/August 1849

Joseph W. Philips /San Francisco/August 1849

L. Pickering /San Francisco/August 1849

J. D. Pierson /San Francisco/August 1849

D. T. Raymond /San Francisco/August 1849

Philip A. Roach /San Francisco/August 1849

Daniel S. Roberts /San Francisco/August 1849

William Sherman /San Francisco/August 1849

Horatio N. Squire /San Francisco/August 1849

David B. Stover /San Francisco/August 1849

Frank Tilford /San Francisco/August 1849

John W. Tucker /San Francisco/August 1849

David S. Turner /San Francisco/August 1849

Henry Vandervier /San Francisco/August 1849

Chas. J. Warner /San Francisco's/August 1849

William R. Wheaton /San Francisco/August 1849

M. S. Whiting /San Francisco/August 1849

1849 September (40)

John P. Buckley /San Francisco/September 1849

William E. Bushnell /San Francisco/September 1849

Jas. O. Callaghan /San Francisco/September 1849

D. W. Connelly /San Francisco/September 1849

J. N. Cordoza /San Francisco/September 1849

Joseph Daniels /San Francisco/September 1849

R. K. Dodge /San Francisco/September 1849

William L. Duncan /San Francisco/September 1849

F. C. Ewer /San Francisco/September 1849

G. K. Fitch /San Francisco/September 1849

Richard V. Groat /San Francisco/September 1849

C. W. Gunnell /San Francisco/September 1849

Chas. F. Hamilton /San Francisco/September 1849

Cullen A. Johnson /San Francisco/September 1849

W. F. Kelsey /San Francisco/September 1849

Thos. E. Lindenberger /San Francisco/September 1849

Atkins Massey /San Francisco/September 1849

John Middleton /San Francisco/September 1849

H. C. Murray /San Francisco/September 1849

Geo. A. Parker /Sacramento/September 1849

A. B. Perkins /San Francisco/September 1849

William L. Ryckman /San Francisco/September 1849

Abia A. Sclover /San Francisco/September 1849

S. Asbury Shephard /San Francisco/September 1849

Chas. S. Simpson /San Francisco/September 1849

George M. Smith /San Francisco/September 1849

John H. Spooner /San Francisco/September 1849

James B. Starr /Sacramento/September 1849

John H. Still /San Francisco/September 1849

William Taylor /San Francisco/September 1849

Isaac N. Thorne /San Francisco/September 1849

J. W. Tice /San Francisco/September 1849

James Tobin /San Francisco/September 1849

Ferdinand Vassault /San Francisco/September 1849

William V. Wells /San Francisco/September 1849

Chas. H. West /San Francisco/September 1849

Thos. J. White /San Francisco/September 1849

William G. Wood /San Francisco/September 1849

A. S. Wright /San Francisco/September 1849

1849 October (23)

[ John Judson Ames] /San Diego/October 1849

[ Joseph Fairfield Atwill] /San Francisco/October 1849

Judge H. S. Brown /San Francisco/October 1849

Selim Franklin /San Francisco/October 1849

[ Sterling A. Hopkins] /San Francisco/October 1849

E. F. Hussey /San Francisco/October 1849

H. P. Jones /San Francisco/October 1849

[ John Horace Kent] /San Francisco/October 1849

E. McGowan /San Francisco/October 1849

S. H. Meeker /Sacramento/October 1849

[ Charles Minturn] /San Francisco/October 1849

Elisha Nichols /San Francisco/October 1849

C. T. Parker /San Francisco/October 1849

Theodore Payne /San Francisco/October 1849

George S. Porter /San Francisco/October 1849

Geo. H. Preston /San Francisco/October 1849

Charles C. Roe /San Francisco's/October 1849

[ Gerritt W. Ryckman] /San Francisco/October 1849

[ George Simpton] /San Francisco/October 1849

James W. Stillman /San Francisco/October 1849

George F. Sweeney /San Francisco/October 1849

Philo White /San Francisco/October 1849

J. W. Young /San Francisco/October 1849

1849 Nov/Dec (33)

Washington Bartlett /San Francisco's/November 1849

T. K. Battelle /San Francisco's/November 1849

Charles R. Bond /San Francisco/November 1849

William H. J. Brooks /San Francisco/November 1849

Chas. E. Buckingham /San Francisco/November 1849

G. W. Coffee /San Francisco/November 1849

Joseph Galloway /San Francisco/November 1849

John H. Gibon /San Francisco/November 1849

Henry M. Gray /San Francisco/November 1849

A. M. Heslep /San Francisco/November 1849

John McCrackan /San Francisco/November 1849

F. McGilvery /San Francisco/November 1849

A. B. Paul /San Francisco/November 1849

Lewis Peck /San Francisco/November 1849

Joseph Shannon /San Francisco/November 1849

J. E. Wainwright /San Francisco/November 1849

Henry A. Breed /San Francisco/December 1849

James Dows /San Francisco/December 1849

John O. Earl /San Francisco/December 1849

James Evrard /San Francisco/December 1849

Wilson Flint /San Francisco/December 1849

E. J. Folsom /San Francisco/December 1849

David Gillespie /San Francisco/December 1849

Henry M. Hale /San Francisco/December 1849

Thomas D. Johns /San Francisco/December 1849

John A. Monroe /San Francisco/December 1849

John Nugent /San Francisco/December 1849

Samuel Purdy /San Francisco's/December 1849

S. Rosenthal /San Francisco/December 1849

Daniel L. Ross /San Francisco/December 1849

P. W. Shepheard /San Francisco/December 1849

Henry J. Wells /San Francisco/December 1849

Gregory Yale /San Francisco/December 1849

1849 Additional (unspecified month of arrival) (8)

J. M. Tewksbury /San Francisco/1849

F. H. West /San Francisco/1849

W. J. Whitney /San Francisco/1849

G. T. Upham /San Francisco/1849

L. A. Birdsall /San Francisco/1849

G. Burdell /San Francisco/1849

W. Hoskins /San Francisco/1849

L. D. Jones /San Francisco/1849

Those marked thus * are deceased by 1851

ee also

* [] - Sausalito, CA - based Maritime Heritage Organization
* [ SF Genealogy List of Society of California Pioneers] - Members & Officers from 1853 - 1875


*The Annals of San Francisco by Frank Soule, John H. Ghion, M.D. & James Nisbet. 1855, D. Appleton & Co. San Francisco, pg. 822-824.
*The Annals of San Francisco for 1866

External links

* [ Society of California Pioneers] - official site

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