On June 7, 1803, two hundred and ten years ago today, Lyman Stearns (1803-1879), my 4th great grandfather, was born in Claremont, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire the son of Samuel Stearns (1754-1840) and Thankful Raymond (1756-1817).
By 1838, Lyman had left New Hampshire and relocated to Howard Co., Missouri where he married Rebecca B. Hines (1816-1875) in that year. Together, Lyman and Rebecca had six children, one of which was Theodore Frelinghuysen Stearns (1844-1930), my 3rd great grandfather. By 1842, Lyman moved his family to Linn Co., Missouri where he ran a boarding house. By the 1850’s, the California Gold Rush was well under way; and by 1852, Lyman, his wife Rebecca, and their six children had left Linn Co., Missouri for Placer Co., California. It is unclear if Lyman made any attempt to become a gold miner. However, he did own and operate a Quartz Mine in Tuolumne Co., California, which he sold in 1860. By all accounts, it appears that Lyman may have suffered the familiar fate of most miners during the Gold Rush. After selling his mine, he became a farmer in Sonoma Co., California and then a Peddler (or merchant) in Oakland, Alameda Co., California. He died in Oakland in 1879 and was buried next to his wife in an unmarked grave.