Winans Families in Petaluma

James' children:
The others:
  James L.
  James E.

Petaluma is a small town in Sonoma county, California, about 40 miles north of San Francisco, with a history of European settlement dating back to Spanish times. American pioneers flocked to the area soon after the 1849 Gold Rush. Petaluma is in the midst of a rich agricultural area and was once known as the "Egg Capital of the World". As we read in his biography, the husband of one of the Winans women was principally responsible for starting Petaluma's poultry industry. Petaluma changed its house numbering system around 1906, so some of the places whose addresses you see in this page may now be at different addresses. The entire surrounding area is a part of California's "Wine Country". Among other cities in Sonoma county whose names you'll see in these pages are Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, Sonoma and Sebastopol.

While studying Alice Winans Egy Woolley's Winans Genealogy, I became fascinated by the number of Winans who migrated to this small town, mostly from Miami county, Ohio, but it wasn't until I was contacted by Fran Kimball, who had already gathered considerable data on these Winans settlers, that I began to put together their stories. Fran is responsible for most of the information on the families you'll see in this page. I've included Mrs. Egy's identifying numbers, with links to pages in her book, after many of the people's names. Fran sent me so many newspaper articles dealing with these Winans families that I found it necessary to start a separate "Petaluma clippings page", with links to appropriate articles which look like this:

Visit the Petaluma clippings page!

During the second half of the 19th century, several Winans families came to Petaluma. The first to arrive were the four children of James Winans (1-7-1-6-5-2) and his second wife, Martha Ashby. James was born 28 May 1810 in NJ and died 4 Sept 1878 in San Rafael, Marin county. Martha was born about 1820 in Ohio and died before 1856, probably in Indiana. After Martha's death, the widowed James brought their four children to California from New York via Panama, arriving in San Francisco on the Golden Gate1 in 1856, and settling in neighboring Marin county. James' third wife, Emeline F. Olds, was born 10 May 1809 in New York and died 25 Oct 1894. She is buried in Petaluma's Cypress Hills Cemetery. Although James seems to have remained in Marin the rest of his life, three of his children moved to Sonoma county during the 1860s:

During the next twenty years, several other Winans families moved into Petaluma. I'm not sure whether there was any connection between their arrivals and the earlier arrival there of all four of James Winans' children, or between each other's arrival, but could it be a coincidence that, when James Edwin Winans arrived in 1882, he purchased a fruit orchard next door to David M. Winans' property?

1 James and his family weren't my only relatives who arrived in San Francisco aboard the Golden Gate.
2 Abstract of title ... as is particulary described in the deed from F. L. Taylor to John T. Rugg, dated January 9, 1883.
3 Although Mrs. Egy's book gives Petaluma as the location of William and Effie's wedding, a marriage notice on page 12 of the San Francisco Chronicle for 17 Jun 1903 states: "WINANS-CATOR--In this city, June 16, by Rev. Arthur H. Briggs, William James Winans, of Petaluma, to Effie Mabel Cator of this city."
4 Some sources list Sarah's birthplace as Indiana, others as Ohio. Her family's 1850 census record says Ohio, while listing her siblings' birthplaces as Indiana. Both of husband's biographies say she was born in Ohio.
5 One of Samuel Nay's biographies says he and Sarah were married in 1855, the other says 1858. Although girls sometimes married at very early ages in those times, I will go with the 1858 date, since it agrees with Sarah's 1900 census record, and also since her first child wasn't born until 1860.
6 Abstract of title... described in the deed from George W. Badger and Mary E. Badger, his wife, to Samuel A. Nay...No 508.
 Abstract of title... lot number 573 of the City of Petaluma...No 525
 Abstract of title... lot no. 6 of the Nay Tract...No 414
7 Birth and death information is taken from the California death index.
8 Although Mattie Jackson's California death record says she was born 1 Aug 1865, this is at variance with all her census data which supports the 1863 date.
9 Godfrey Stough Descendants, compiled by Thomas Joseph McGinnis. Unless indicated otherwise, all information on Mallie Emmeline Bierbower and descendants is based on this source. The discovery of this site solved the mystery of Eula and Neska, whom Mrs. Egy lists as Hannah's children.
10 Pre-1905 California Death Index, Humboldt County California.
11 1839, per 1900 census.
12 According to the roster of soldiers of the 100th Indiana Infantry, James L. Winans mustered in and out as a Sergeant.
13 According to the 1900 and 1910 census records, Arletta had either two or three children who died in childhood.
This page was last updated 6 Jan 2011.