Monday, January 3, 2011

Governor Jerry Brown's Other Great-Grandfather


In today's Inaugural Address, Governor Jerry Brown told us of his German-born great grandfather, August Schuckman.  He told of his grandfather's journey in the 1852 from Missouri, traveling by wagon across the plains to Colusa county.  He read from his great-grandfather's diary of the hardships he endured getting here.  A few years later, August traveled back to Germany, married his wife, and they sailed around the Horn and returned to California.

The story was illustrative of the struggle by those who made California.  And the story could have also been illustrated by another immigrant ancestor of the Governor.  Charles Brown, a gardener from County Kerry, Ireland, and the Governor's great, great-grandfather, sailed to Port Philip, Australia on the Gilmore in the fall of 1841.  He met on the ship, and later married, Ann Child, of Pembrokeshire, England, and they raised four children in the Colony.  In 1851, they sailed to San Francisco at the time of the Gold Rush.  In the next 40 years, the Brown family became professional photographers, carpenters, boilermakers, and a cigar store owner, and contributed significantly to the building trades and retail commerce throughout the city.