a3Genealogy - Accurate, Accessible Answers - specializes in military, naturalization records, Native American and African American ancestry. The a3Gen blog is penned by Kathleen Brandt, an international genealogy consultant, speaker and writer. a3Gen clients span from Europe, Asia and Africa to the Americas.
If all you did was read the
plaque, you would think George C. Yount was "the true embodiment of all the finest
qualities of an advancing civilization" blending with the existing
primitive culture." But who is George C Yount. Was he really flawless in
his relationships with family and friends? What role did his family play?
George C. Yount
He is given credit for the establishment
of Napa County,
founded Yountville and Rutherford California with a 11,887 acre land grant for
Rancho Caymus in 1836. The California Historical Society Quarterly, 1923,
reported that Yount was "a
representative American pioneer, soldier, hunter, trapper, overlander, and
frontiersman, who became the first settler and agriculturist in NapaValley, and in his later days a venerable patriarch...
Did He Forget?
fabulous...that is until you research the Yount Family Papers, 1830-1945.
The history books, plaques and data don't mention that he "wilfully [sic] deserted and absented
himself" from his wife Eliza, and son Robert, and daughters Francis
and Elizabeth Yount. He
left wife, and children at home in Missouri
while crossing the country and establishing Napa.
Yount married Eliza Wilds in 1818 in Howard CO MO. After fathering the children
he left Missouri around 1826,
deserting his family. In 1830, Eliza was granted a divorce. Copies of the
papers are held at the Berkley Bancroft Library.
Inscription. George Calvert Yount (1794-1865) was the
first United States
citizen to be ceded a Spanish land grant in Napa
Valley (1836). Skilled hunter,
frontiersman, craftsman and farmer, he was the true embodiment of all the
finest qualities of an advancing civilization blending with the existing
primitive culture. Friend to all, this kindly host of Caymus Rancho,
encouraged sturdy American pioneers to establish ranches in this area, which
was well populated before the Gold Rush.
REGISTERED HISTORICAL LANDMARK No.693
Plaque placed by the
California State Park Commission in cooperation with George C. Yount Parlor
No.322, Native Daughters of the Golden West, Colonel Nelson Holderman Parlor
No.316, Native Sons of the Golden West, and the Yountville Cemetery
Association, October 18, 1959.
That's Not the End of the
As genealogists we often end the story too
early. Eliza remarried. George C. Yount
sent for his grown children. His
daughters (and son in law) joined him in California, but his son never
forgave him for deserting the family. Of
course by this time, many years had passed, but any historian of this family
would be remiss if they failed to tale this episode of the story. George too
George C. Yount and
his chronicles of the West comprising extracts from his "Memoirs" and
from the OrangeClark "Narrative." Edited by
Charles L. Camp. Published 1966 by Old West Pub. Co. in Denver.