Did Your Ancestors Help Settle The American West? Come Join Our Westward Ho! Project [closed]

+11 votes

The Westward Ho! Project is a "top level" project that highlights the profiles of the men and women who settled the American West, traditionally defined by land lying west of the Mississippi River. Members typically work on their own family profiles as time allows, so there is no pressure or time constraints. You don't even have to be related to someone who settled in the west. Anyone who is interested is welcome!

We currently have 8 sub-projects that each have their own mission;

Cowboys and Cowgirls 


Immigrant Pioneers

Lewis and Clark Expedition

Pony Express

Trails and Wagon Trains

The Way West

Wild Wild West

If you would like to join, please answer this question below and we will award you the project badge! 


in Requests for Project Volunteers by Alison Andrus G2G6 Mach 4 (45.8k points)
closed by Julie Ricketts
I would love to join the Wild Wild West project. My ancestors are the McCarty family (Billy the Kid). Thanks bunches!

the above two profiles are Louis Belmont "rolling thunder" Newell who was a cousin to my great grandfather, and his wife Louisa Stumpf. She was a contemporary to Annie Oakley and was Mohawk. Louis was Penobscot but said he was Kiowa when he ran the Kiowa Indian Medicine Show out of New York

Hi, Meridith!

This project is currently without a leader, but I'll go ahead and add the badge for you.

You may want to add the westward_ho tag to your followed tags so that you'll see in your weekly email when activity picks back up again.

Aw thank you!
I would like to join the project, when a leader is identified. I'm especially interested in the Homesteaders sub-category.

Hi, Ann --

I can award you the badge, and Alison is still working with the Homesteaders. I'm sure she'd be happy to have another active member. :-)

Thank you so much. I'm excited to participate with Alison.
I had hoped to find someone to help with how you look the Homesteads up - I know I did it years ago but can not find my  copies I printed out - little to work with - my mom's dad's  family went from Illinois to North Dakota to homestead - so I have one on my Grandfathers Profile - but need to get the rest to help fill in the story of their lives - they also had homesteads in Montana where they had a sheep ranch - growing wheat in North Dakota they went back and forth - perhaps on the railroad


|caption=North Dakota land
I have already been researching the Pioneers in/around the Douglas/Elbert COLORADO  Counties when I had an idea of  adding Franktown Cemetery to the  "Pioneer Trail"  and found your group..  The westward trail,  back in the day was thru the tiny town of Franktown.  In 2010 the census said there were 395 people living here... So it is still  a prairie town. May I also join the group and I will add our Pioneers.  [[Gardner-5656 | James Frank Gardner]] TOP SGT of the  Colorado 3rd Cavalry..Founder, Senator, Rep,  Postmaster,
I would like to join the Westward Ho project.  Family James Andrew Walker, homesteader Colorado Territory, 1870.

I just awarded a bunch of badges to members who posted comments here after this thread was closed. Please post here if I overlooked your request.

This project is still in need of a Leader. In the meantime, if you are interested in Westward Ho! activities, please contact project coordinator Bart Triesch. For the Homesteaders and Pony Express sub-projects, contact coordinator Alison Andrus.

18 Answers

+7 votes
Guess I'll give you your first answer and request the badge.
by J. Crook G2G6 Pilot (193k points)
That's great! Welcome to the project.
+4 votes

I am interested to join the Westward Ho! Project, Immigrant Pioneers & Homesteads Sub-projects.

I have family who were immigrant pioneer Germans from Russia who settled central western Kansas in the 1870's, purchasing their prairie farm land from the railroad.

I sent you an email with some newspaper homestead land ads and a railroad map that I can post to the Homesteads page if you wish.

I have read much about Hays City, Kansas when it was a frontier town and Wild West hangout for many historical celebrities, so I can also make some contributions to the Wild West Sub-group too. My family settled and farmed locally.

My first project badge!

by Russ Gunther G2G6 Mach 7 (77.2k points)
edited by Russ Gunther
Hi Russ, welcome to the Westward Ho! Project. My great-grandfather who homesteaded in Iowa, Nebraska and North Dakota, was a scout and buffalo hunter and traveled throughout Kansas, Missouri, Colorado and Oklahoma. He knew Texas Jack, Wild Bill and California Joe and was present when Wild Bill shot Dave Tutt in the famous duel. I have no doubt that he probably spent some time in Hays City, too. ;-)
+5 votes

Yes! I am interested in Trails and Wagon Trains, as well as Homesteaders. My Pitmans were on the train that took the Meek Cutoff... and survived. The book The Terrible Trail was written about the experience. (The movie on the subject had little to do with facts.) My Savage family came a couple of years later, without incident.  They were homesteaders.

by Eloise Smith G2G6 (9.5k points)
Welcome to the project, Eloise, and for sharing your very interesting history!  ;-)
+5 votes
Yes.  I'm finding family who were Homesteaders.
by Jo McCaleb G2G6 Mach 1 (19.6k points)
I'm happy to have you join us, Jo! Welcome.
+5 votes
I'm working on the Colorado Cemeteries Project and am running across lots of people who were part of the westward expansion. Now that I know of this project, I've gone back and added your template to those I know of who should have it. I'd love to be an official project participant, since I'm already focusing on the West. Thank you!
by anonymous G2G6 Mach 3 (32k points)
Welcome to the project, Amy!
+5 votes
Greetings! I'm primarily interested in California pioneers. I was born and raised in the gold rush region and have a number of pioneers in my family history. Several of my ancestors were members of the Portola Expedition and were part of the founding of the state.
by Chad Smith G2G Crew (760 points)

We're happy to have you join us, Chad! You may also be interested in California Project!

+6 votes
I am descended from some of the first families to come to Oregon; I not only want to join the project, but to create a subproject for the 1843 train.  I tried, and have been listed as Prospective for some time now, but am not sure how to proceed.  Any help would be appreciated!


by Roger Shipman G2G6 Mach 1 (14.7k points)

Hi Roger, welcome to the Westward Ho! Project. Your page for The Great Emigration of 1843 was added to the Trails and Wagon Trains project page under the Oregon Trail. Thank you so much for this valuable contribution! 

+5 votes
I would like to participate in the Westward Ho project, too.
by Deanne McKinney G2G1 (1.7k points)
Welcome to the Westward Ho! Project, Deanne!
+5 votes
I am interested in the Immigrant and Pioneer project. My family helped settle Williamson County and another part settled Austin and Washington County area.

Jon P Czarowitz

by Jon Czarowitz G2G6 Mach 3 (39.5k points)
Welcome to the Immigrant Pioneer Project, Jon!
+3 votes
I would like to join the sub-projects Lewis and Clark

Expedition and Trails and Wagon Trains. I am related to Charles Floyd of the expedition. My husband also has several Oregon Trail ancestors.Thank you!
by Cassie Wicks G2G Crew (730 points)
+4 votes

I am interested in the sub-projects Lewis and Clark Expedition and Trails and Wagon Trains.  

I am a cousin of Charles Floyd of the Corps. of Volunteers.

My husband's family has numerous Oregon Trail ancestors.  

Thank you! :)
by Cassie Wicks G2G Crew (730 points)
Hi Cassie, welcome to the project!
+4 votes

I would like to participate in the Westward Ho project.My family mostly stayed in Minnesota during that time. Only got to califorina about 1913.

by Jennifer Robins G2G6 Mach 4 (47.6k points)
edited by Jennifer Robins
Hi Jennifer, welcome to the project!
+4 votes
Count me in. I'd love to work in this area.
by Justin Swanström G2G4 (4.4k points)
Welcome, Justin!
+2 votes
I would love to join the project. I have ancestors that helped found Riverside Ca and his father that helped fund the Lewis and Clark expedition.
by Alex Elliott G2G6 Mach 4 (44.3k points)
We're happy to have you join us, Alex!
+2 votes
My maternal and paternal ancestors came to Texas by wagon train. I have researched my people for over thirty years and published several related documents. My interest in this time in history continues to grow and I would very much like t o join this project.
by Mary Ellen Alvis G2G5 (5.5k points)
Welcome to the project, Mary Ellen! Thank you for joining us!
+2 votes
I would like very much to join and contribute to this project in the Trails and Wagon Trains subcategory. Many of my ancestors came West by wagon train and I have researched the families and this era in history for many years...Stll find it fascinating.
by Mary Ellen Alvis G2G5 (5.5k points)
+2 votes
I am interested in joining the "Westward Ho!" project.  Especially the following sub-projects:
Immigrant Pioneers
by Craig Dunstan G2G1 (1k points)
+2 votes
I would like to join the Westward Ho Project. I have discovered a lot of my ancestors were homesteaders and migrated across the US. My grandparents homesteaded in Nelchina, Alaska and much of the property is still in the family. Have other townships started by family members. Very interested in the history.
by T. Beaudoin G2G4 (4.7k points)

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