• 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Association, with support from the National Park Service, will continue to update the Paper Trail website as more historical documents are found.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?

Gates of the Bear River, WY. Photo courtesy of The Wagner Perspective.

Rivers played an important role in establishing the 1840s - 1860s Emigrant Road to Oregon and California. In general, the route left the Missouri River to follow the Platte, then the Sweetwater to the Bear, the Snake and then either North to the Columbia or South to the Humboldt. More...