I'd been researching relatives from several lines in my family who lived in San Francisco during the latter half of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th, right through the time of the earthquake in 1906. During an email conversation, he said he was going to visit his brother in Astoria, Oregon where he'd grown up. I knew I had a relative who was buried in the local cemetery there, (yeah relatives all over the place ....) would he be able photograph the plot for me please? (no this really isn't the story, it's just a tidbit) ... so he did ...
|The Diary - authored by the engineer on the Pacific Mail Steamship - SS City of Sydney|
2001 - I transcribed it ... now I'll tell you of the man to whom it belonged ... he was an engineer on the Pacific Mail Steam Ship, S.S. City of Sydney. He kept a log of the daily information of the running of the engines on the ship, the ship speed, the nautical miles covered, the weather, and his descriptions of all .... The ships transported the mail from the city of San Francisco to the ports of the Orient as he called it, Hong Kong, Singapore, Toyko, Yokahama. The writer's name was Frank, he told of his shipmates, and the fun they had in their ports of call and the boredom on some of their trips. They visited restaurants, cat houses, and shops for goodies to bring home to their friends and families. He writes of being in Hong Kong harbor during the Golden Jubilee anniversary of Queen Victoria. He writes of the ships, the flags, the colors, the fireworks, and the smell of the smoke in the air, all the fabulous details.
|Pacific Mail Steamship - carried the mail between the western PORTS of North & South America to the Orient|
Then when he was in the city he tells of getting to dock, walking to his hotel, visiting the clubs with friends, going to the dentist, (all of this in 1888), the opera house, seeing plays and courting his gal, Lizzie.
|Edward Raguet Vansant son 0f the diary author ....|
The cover of the diary says "VanSant" I knew from the notes the writer was Frank VanSant, I later learned he was Frank Woodruff VanSant, born 1864 in Ohio, died 1890 in San Francisco. I told Dennis, I belong to a genealogy group back in Pennsylvania, named the VanZandt Society, http://www.vanzandtsociety.com/the , commonality of the group are various lines all using the varied spellings of VanSant, Van Sant, Vanzant, Van Zandt. The group facilitates family historians abilities to tie their own family lines to the historical families originating in Holland and Germany, and emigrating to the New York and Pennsylvania area in the mid 17th century.
|Cover of the Van Sant Diary|
|Marianne - the ONLY descendent of the diary author, Frank Woodruff VanSant, her gr-grandfather.|