6 Ancestors of Solano County — Family History Starts with Them


What do you think about when you recollect your relatives? It’s probably your parents or your children. But you’re part of a family history that stretches over hundreds of generations, all with stories of their own. Below are just six historical people who lived in Solano County.

Luke Alvord – The Carpenter

  • Born in New York in 1812

In February of 1850, Luke brought a ticket for a ship to California. He spent the next three weeks stuck in Panama waiting for it to arrive.

Luke must have liked it there. Four years later, he brought his wife Henrietta and their daughters Cass and Helen over from Syracuse.

On his return, he roamed California working as a miner. Eventually, in 1867, Luke and Henrietta settled in Vallejo. There, this representative of our ancestors worked as a carpenter on the first ever grain elevator in California.

Walter Anderson – The Canadian Doctor

  • Born in Nova Scotia in 1840

Walter moved to Canada alone at the age of 14.  Seven years later, he moved to Boston, where he studied medicine at Harvard. He graduated in 1864.

The newly qualified doctor spent some time travelling the States before he came to Vallejo, where he practiced the rest of his life.

The decision to stay might just have been connected with Mary Jane, whom he married in 1879. Their descendants reside in Vallejo to this day – who knows, but you might be a part of the same family tree!

Albert Legro – The Californian Dentist

  • Born in Suisun in 1875.

Albert is the first person on our list to be raised in Solano. He studied at Santa Rosa in 1891 before his acceptance to the University of California.

He must have decided that UC wasn’t for him because he moved to study dentistry in Michigan in 1893. On graduation, he remained to practice in Athens before moving to Detroit in 1906.

Albert was never married. Perhaps he found passion in his work – he was president of the committee that pushed for uniform dental examinations across the whole country. Or maybe he was too occupied with his hobby of horseback riding.

Edward Quinn – The Political Plumber

  • From Benicia, east of Vallejo.

Family history society records don’t show much about Edward’s early life. All we know is that he was a trustee of his hometown from 1888-1890.

Twelve years later in 1902, we find him in Honolulu marrying a young Danish woman from Copenhagen called Elsie Marie Beck.

Edward was an active politician, representing Hawaii as a Republican Senator from  1909 to 1917. He also overturned the law stopping sports from being played on a Sunday!

John F. Soper – The Boating Banker

  • Born in Vallejo in 1872.

scg2John must have moved to Hawaii very early, as he went to school in Honolulu. Unlike Edward he didn’t stay long in one place, instead choosing to travel between Honolulu and San Francisco as a banker.

Eventually, in 1897, he settled as manager of the Hawaii News Company. Although never married, he found plenty to occupy him as a city’s Boat Club member.

Herbert Bushnell – The Scotch Merchant

  • Born in 1869 to Scottish-Irish parents

Herbert went to school in San Jose. Like John and Edward, Herbert left shortly afterwards. This time, it wasn’t to Hawaii, but instead to study in Pennsylvania.

A Freemason and passionate golfer, he eventually stopped to raise his children in Memphis with his wife, Mary Miles.


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