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Gold Under the Sycamore Tree

I decided I had enough information to try to write a story about William and Sarah Titchenal and their trip by covered wagon to California in 1852. The fifty page story, the "Gold Under The Sycamore Tree" was completed in 1986, and was the first version of the second section of this book .

In 1988 Harold Tichenor published his 735 page book, Tichenor Families in America. It is a very complete genealogy of all Tichenor "like" names. It contained so much new information, I decided to try to connect our family to American history and add to the story I wrote in 1986. This turned into a major project and the story turned into a 400 page saga.

I had concluded the story "Gold under the Sycamore Tree", about my great grandparents William and Sarah Titchenal with a poem which I named


"Better than Gold"

William and Sarah, how far did you travel?
How much did you plan?
As much as the mind can unravel
and beyond the horizon as far as you can.

Faith in themselves, that is what they had.
Hope for the future, that is what drove them.
Faith and hope is the Titchenal heritage,
it is better than gold.

In writing this new saga about all the Titchenal generations that came before William and Sarah, I realized that faith and hope not only drove William and Sarah, but must have been a major part of each Titchenal generation in America. Certainly Martin Tichenor and his future wife Mary Charles and their families all had faith and hope when they embarked upon the trip from England to America in the early 1600s and again in 1666 when they left New Haven to travel down the coast to New Jersey. Each succeeding generation had one or more sons that started out on his own and traveled into new unsettled territory with not much more than his heritage of faith and hope, in spite of many tragedies.

These families may not have realized the historical significance of their activity at the time, but they were very much a part of the western movement that started when Europeans looked for riches and a new passage to China and India. For the Titchenals and other Americans, the western movement did not end for more than two hundred years until the pacific coast was finally settled in the late 1800s, the Titchenals were very much a part of this movement.


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