William was born in Clarksburg, West Virginia in 1817 and moved with his father John R. Titchenal to Fort Smith, Arkansas when it was the most western outpost in America, on the border of Indian Territory.
During the gold rush of the 1850s, William took his family with him to seek gold in northern California. Seventeen years later he moved south to purchase the first property sold in Santa Ana, California. My mother had saved an old Santa Ana news paper published in 1902 that told the story of Santa Ana and had a sketch of his house and street as it was in 1877, so I knew this much was true. My father was also born in Santa Ana in 1890 and had heard some of the story from his father.
All well and good, but where did we come from? Who were our early ancestors? What did they do, where did they live? Did they fight in the Revolutionary War?
My cousin, David L. Titchenal, with the help of his wife, Lillian, had written a paper for one of his college courses in the 1940s, A Brief History of the Titchenal Family This was circulated within our family and was a good start, but it left many unanswered questions and raised even more. David's history also indicated Moses was the father of John R. Titchenal. We now know Moses was John's grandfather, not his father.