History and Genealogy Research


(Copied from an old paper written by Mother, Susan M. Hammond.)

There were four brothers of the Rowlands, born just before the 1800's or soon after Lloyd, Amos, Thomas, Harris. The last was born in North Carolina and the others probably born in Virginia, being no doubt of English descent. The last three came west to Arkansas about 1833. The Wills came from Virginia to Alabama about the same time. Harris Rowland married Frances Wills in 1827. Amos and Thomas also married in Alabama two sisters of the name of SIMS. They all had large families. Harris and Frances had eight children, four sons and four daughters, all, except two, married and had large families. James Rowland, son of Harris and Frances, served in the War with Mexico in 1846, and married Susan M. Hammond in 1850, and in 1852 came to California and to Mariposa County. Mined and raised stock for 12 years, moved to Fresno County stocked farmed there for 7 years, and died near Centerville in 1871, leaving five sons and two daughters.

(These scraps of history were evidently written by Mother, Susan M. Hammond Rowland not very long before her death. They were written in an old notebook in a disconnected manner, but, I think, are authentic.)

Harris Rowland was born in North Carolina in 1805. English descent. Frances Wills Rowland was born in St. Clair County [Alabama] in 1806. (Mother always said that he was born in Tuscaloosa.) Susan Mary Rowland, born in Lawrence County, Arkansas in 1835. Married in 1850. John B. Hammond was born in North Carolina in 1791. Frances Grisham was born in South Carolina in 1798. Grisham were English, father and grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War. They were Virginians and knew [General George] Washington. They were married in 1819 and emigrated West in the early 20's.

James H. Rowland and wife [Susan Mary Hammond] emigrated in 1852, lived two years in Carsons Mines, their first child was born there, Alice Frances in 1854. Went to Cathey's [Valley, California] that year, lived there eleven years. Lloyd Hammond, Charles Grisham, James Wills and Mary Lee [Molly] born there 1856, 1858, 1860, 1863. Alice Frances died there.

Moved to Fresno County [California] in 1865. Eleanor was born in February, 1866. Father Hammond died in 1866. We lived one year in Caldwell's house, and two winters on the Island. Flooded out and lived on the bluff a few months; in 1868 removed to Statham place. Thomas Birdine was born there. James H. Rowland died there October 1, 1871. William Andrew born there in 1872. Lived there until 1873, then returned to Cathey's Valley.

Charles G. Rowland married Nancy Gann November 1, 1880. Arch G. was born December 1, 1881. Molly (Mary Lee) got her certificate to teach and taught her first school at Mt. Buckingham in 1880.

James W. married Frances Harless in 1881. Molly taught at Hornitos, Indian Gulch, and Cathey's Valley and married W. D. Egenhoff in August, 1883. They taught in Hornitos.

Lee Irving [Rowland] was born in 1883, and Herbert James was born in January 1884.

(This is a sketch of Mother's early life, the only thing of the kind that she left. It is very incomplete, but gives a few items.)

In the early Spring in 1845 Uncle Renfree Grisham's family visited us. Cousin David McDaniel taught the school that year. Julia and Alice (Grisham) went to school with us William, Martha, Eliza and myself. Eliza died that year in Octo-ber. Uncle and family returned to the old home in Georgia in the Spring of 1846, and Uncle and Baby Susy died soon after. In April we moved five miles to Father's farm in Randolph County [Arkansas]. In November we moved to the central part of the state near Little Rock, Pulaski County. [Arkansas] Father was running a mail and stage line. I went to school in La Touche District three months, stayed with Allen Martin's. In May, 1847, Father bought a place in Saline County and we moved there. Amanda and I went to Seminary in Little Rock. Brother Andrew died on July 27th. Martha was married to James Martin August 18, 1847. I went to school to Mary Moore in Collegeville in 1848. Sister Martha died in November. Sister Amanda taught the school in Collegeville. She was married in July 1850, brother William in August, myself in October. We lived with father and Mother for eight months, then went into the woods and lived on a place for eight months, then took the excitement for California and left Arkansas March 16, 1852. Arrived in California in the gold mines of Mariposa October 23, 1852, after eight months traveling through Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

JOHN Grisham (my mother's maternal grandfather) Of English parentage, with his son served in War of Revolution, from Virginia. John Grisham Junior emigrated to South Carolina after the war. There he married Martha Holbert. They had four sons and four daughters. Frances, the third daugh-ter, married John Boyd Hammond in 1819. He was of Scotch descent but had grown up in the Carolinas. One son William was born in South Carolina in 1822. They start-ed West in '23; a second son (Andrew) born in Missouri in 1824, a daughter (Martha) born in 1826; removed from Missouri to Arkansas in 1828. A second daughter (Eliza) was born in Arkansas in 1829; a third daughter (Ama-nda) was born in 1832, and the fourth daughter (Susan Mary) in 1835.

William Hammond, born in 1822, married Juliet Elizabeth Peay in 1850. He was a successful physician at Hot Springs, Arkansas. Died in 1859, leaving three chil-dren, Frances, Alice, and William.


Benjamin Wills came from Virginia to Alabama in the early days. His wife was Lurana Nixon. They had eight sons and three daughters, one of whom, Frances, married Harris Rowland. Benjamin's wife died sometime in the '20's, and about 1830 he married the widow Donahue, who was Harris Rowland's sister. A Donahue son and daugh-ter were added to his family. [Actually there were two sons Calvin and William and two daughters Olivia and Betsy Ann. Betsy Ann may have died before the marriage or soon after.]

(I suppose this is a list of the sons and daughters of this large family.)

Jesse, Jared, John, George, Nelson, Thomas, Benjamin, James and Asbury, Mrs. F.[rances] Rowland, Mrs. S.[usana] Vandergrift, Mrs. Polly Rowan and Mrs. Jane Cloud.

In 1885 William and Molly [Egenhoff] went to Alabama. A little son, William David, was born June 17th. in Tuscaloosa. William died in July 1885.

Molly [and little William David] returned to Cathey's [Valley]. Taught school in 1888 (or was it '87?) Molly elected School Sup't. Moved to Mariposa in '89 and lived there six years. Molly went to Ven-tura in 1895. We went with her and Eleanor [Rowland] and I went to San Francisco to stay with William [Egenhoff] in 1901. Molly came up and moved us to Oakland in 1902. Will [William Rowland] went to Korea in 1904 and returned in 1908.

(Peregrinations as Mother listed them.)

Left Arkansas in March, 1852, arrived in the Mines October 27th. Stopped in Carson Creek, Arkansas Flat, moved up Carson December 30th., moved to McBride Gulch in April, 1853; to Cathey's Valley in '54, Fresno County in '65, Kings River in '66, flooded out in '68. Returned to Catheys in '73, moved to ranch in '74, to Clark Ranch in '83. Moved to Mariposa in '89, to Bogan place in '91, to Catheys in '95, to Ventura in '95, (Percy place) on the Avenue. Moved to Ventura in '96, '97. Moved to Santa Paula in May '98. '99, 1900. San Francisco in 1902, Oakland 1902. Magnolia 1903, Linden 1904, Edwards 1905, 37th. Street 1905. Mother and Eleanor came to Will's [William's] place in August 1906. (Bear Creek near Merced). We moved into Merced in 1908. 1909, to Selma in 1910.

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