• Chimney Rock was an important emigrant landmark in western Nebraska

    California

    National Historic Trail CA,CO,ID,KS,MO,NE,NV,OR,UT,WY

People - Pioneer Emigrant Names

Photo image of an 1850 Emigrant's Guide.

The Emigrant's Guide to The Golden Land of California - 1850.

Library of Congress

Emigrant Names Search

Recently the Oregon-California Trails Association, a primary partner with the National Park Service long distance historic trails office, developed a website to provide researchers, interested family descendants, and other emigrant trail enthusiasts with a tool for searching pioneer emigrant names.

The website, called "Paper Trail," is a database with information from thousands of trail-related documents of the mid-19th century western migration. Whether people traveled west for gold, land, religious freedom or new opportunity, they wrote diaries, letters, articles and recollections about the journey. From over 3500 original documents, Paper Trail organizes information into an easy-to-search database, featuring names, dates, routes, travel parties, locations and interesting features. The information from each document is searchable by emigrant name or by author. The name search is free; further searches require a modest subscription payment.

The Oregon-California Trails Association, with support from the National Park Service, will continue to update the Paper Trail website as more historical documents are found.

Did You Know?

Visitors at Alcove Spring along the Blue River in Northeastern Kansas.

Emigrants often camped for days at Alcove Spring in Northeastern Kansas as they waited for Spring floods to subside. The location was very peacful and had good water and grass for livestock. The ill-fated Donner & Reed wagon train had their first casualty here in 1846 when Sarah Keys died. More...