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William & Josesphine
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Old Dusty

William Benitz

William arrived in New York on December 2, 1833; before being shipwrecked on the coast of Mexico - Texas.

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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F/O F. Malcolm Benitz

My father was a POW in Italy in 1943.  He escaped and walked through Italy to the Allied front lines.  Here’s his story.

Veterans of War

Lest We Forget:

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

Family Reunion

Fort Ross – 2015:

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

See the photos!

Fort Ross – 1866:

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


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)

Louis Benitz

Gold Rush miner:

 Wilhelm’s cousin, details about his family.

Louis & Fly.
On the
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.

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!

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.



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)   ??