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We live as long as
we are remembered.
The Benitz Family Website Page last modified:
Short Cuts

Direct to any page (fastest):

William & Josesphine
 family members, via:

List of Recent Changes:

John E. Benitz

John was an avid photographer and left us many albums of his photos: of all family members, estancias (particularly “Los Algarrobos”), trips, & summers in Cruz Grande.

No idea
William Benitz
At C

We recently found the above passenger list that shows: Johann Bennitz and Wilhelm Bennitz, natives of Baden, ages 21 and 18 respectively, were passengers on the ship Utica, that sailed from Le Havre, France, arriving in New York City, U.S.A., on December 2, 1833.  The names, ages, and country of birth match those of Wilhelm (William) and his older brother Johann (John).  It is too much of a coincidence to believe it is not them.

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Our Veterans of War

Lest We Forget:

Family members who served in WW-I & WW-II.  Click the poppy:

Lt. Frank A. Benitz
k.i.a. night of 5-6 August, 1918

A night fighter pilot in 33 Home Defense Squadron, died when crash-landing near Atwick, Yorkshire, returning from a night patrol over the North Sea in search of German Zeppelins.

Sq.Ldr. Percy M. Watt
killed on active service
13 November, 1939

He joined the RAF in 1925, and was serving with a bomber squadron when killed in an air accident flying a Handley Page Hampden.

F/Lt. James S. Watt, DSO, DFC
k.i.a. night of 22-23 June, 1943

He was flying a Short Stirling bomber (7 Squadron) when it was hit from below by heavy artillery.  His crew bailed out, but he stayed, crashing into the woods near Tilburg, Holland.

F/O F. Malcolm Benitz, DFC

Malcolm was a POW in Italy in 1943.  He got away and walked through Italy to the Allied front lines.  Here’s his story.

Reunion 2015

Fort Ross - 2015:

On a beautiful July day, the Kashaya welcomed us back to the home of our ancestors.

See the reunion photos!

Fort Ross – 1866:

Click on the image below to see photos of the fort and the family.

No bull!

Old Dusty

La California


We have transcribed 1888, 1890, 1891, and 1899.  Available as PDF files are 1888 through 1902.

Click on the 1891 button to access any of the diaries:



See the very earliest photos of the estancia, when the trees were still small.  Johnnie kept a puma, given him by Alfred.



Louis Benitz

Gold Rush miner:

 Wilhelm’s cousin, details about his family.

Louis & Fly.
Oregon-California Trail
May-Oct., 1845

She trailed:

Sutter’s Fort

Our ancestor, Josephine Kolmer, was 15 years old when she crossed the U.S.  She was amongst the first 400 of 200,000 migrants to follow the trail to California (1841-1860).

Click on Sutter’s Fort above to follow her and her parents adventures on the trail.


A busy man:

His acquisition of Fort Ross

And other ranchos: New Breisgau & Hermann.

His grizzly bear encounter

Who shot him?

Wilhelm – Guillermo – William

William’s cattle brand
Fort Ross (1844-1867)
Photos 1855-1940

They snapped:


Family photos are scattered across all the pages.  Click on the above family portrait to open a list of collections.  In each collection, click on an album (or page) to display its contents.

Sister Josephine’s
Poesie Book

Poems from brothers & friends!
Cards & love notes from her husband!
Valentines from all!
Read it here!

Diaries 1870-1910

They scribbled:

Josephine Kolmer-Bz

Argentine History

Early Years:

René is a volunteer member of the team that creates e-books for Project Gutenberg, all free online & down-loadable in various formats:

Argentine Ornithology, Volume I, by W. H. Hudson and P. L. Sclater, 1888


Argentine Ornithology, Volume II, by W. H. Hudson and P. L. Sclater, 1889

At Home with the Patagonians, by George Chaworth Musters, 1871


A Five Years' Residence in Buenos Ayres, by George Thomas Love, 1827

The Argentine as a Market, by N. L. Watson, 1908


The immigration offices and statistics from 1857 to 1903, publ. 1904

The Conquest of the River Plate (1535-1555), issued by the Hakluyt Society


Out on the Pampas, by G. A. Henty, 1871 (fiction)

© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)   ??