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18 September 2020

Recap: The California Nugget, Spring 2020 issue

The California Nugget, mailed to all CGS members
and now available in digital form at our website

Amid all the tumult of the last few monthsincluding but not limited to COVID-19, heat waves, power outages, and wildfireswe neglected to announce our Spring 2020 issue of The California Nugget, which was published and mailed out in early August.

Here is our Editors' Note from the latest issue:

To our members and readers, we hope you will enjoy this issue of the Spring 2020 Nugget, produced while we are all under quarantine. Perhaps it is appropriate that several members have shared anecdotes of their ancestors who lived through the 1918 flu pandemic. As they endured the challenges and disruption brought about by that global crisis, we can take heart from their examples.

Our articles in this issue illustrate how Americans of different eras took on the challenges and opportunities of their time and place. Melissa Kelley revisits the life of her distant cousin, Pearl Eubanks. Born into a troubled family and orphaned by age five, the young Pearl was the subject of a sex scandal, described as “incorrigible,” and sent to a reformatory school before embarking on the first of three marriages. However, she rose above her early misfortunes to carve out a happy and stable life.

In “The Rise and Fall of George Gray,” Robbie Johnson traces the successes and failures of George Gray, a humble farmer from Ontario who found fame and prestige in California in the last decades of the 19th century, but who was unable to navigate the politics of an increasingly urban society in his later years.

Lisa Gorrell offers a primer on using the FAN network (friends, associates, and neighbors) to expand our understanding and further trace the lives of ancestors.

It’s our hope that you will find some insights and inspiration in these pages.

The Editors

Table of Contents

Our Ancestors

  • The “Incorrigible,” Indomitable Pearl Eubanks by Melissa Kelley
  • From Canada to California: The Rise and Fall of George Gray by Robbie Johnson, CG
  • 1918 Flu Epidemic Stories by our members

21st-Century Genealogy

  • How the Probate File of Frederick Bishop Illustrates the Importance of FAN Research by Lisa S. Gorrell, CG
  • Online Resources Recently Added to the Library Catalog


We are pleased to announce that digital issues of the Nugget are now available to members on our website. Currently you can access the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 issues. If you are a member and have not yet received your print copy in the mail, please let us know at

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