Elk Grove Family Histories
In this Section we capture a family member presenting the history of their family in the Greater Elk Grove area, including when they settled here, where and how they came, details about their lives, occupations and their involvement in community activities.
Nelmes, Chalmers & Upton Families by Tom Mahon
One day around the dining room table. Tom Mahon, Linda's younger brother, discusses their pioneer roots.
In 2019, the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation recorded the story of the Ozawa Family Story as told by Letrice Ozawa. Mrs. Ozawa begins the story with her birth in Hawaii, of growing up and attending an English Boarding-type school in Honolulu, and of the difficulties during World War II. While not in internment camps, as were the Japanese living on the west coast of the United States, they were under severe restrictions, including curfews.
In 2016, Mel Pierson tells the story of the Patterson family branch of his family tree. The account begins with the famine in Ireland and continues with the family’s migration to America and eventually the Perkins and Walsh Station areas of Sacramento County.
In September 2019, the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation recorded Mel Pierson as he presented the history of the Pierson Family. Mel takes us through the family’s saga, beginning with migration from Europe to escape religious persecution, to being the first President of Yale University, through the Revolutionary War and movement west, first to Ohio, then to California. Throughout, Mel shares many interesting stories of his ancestors and their accomplishments in the greater Elk Grove area, as well as many personal memories and reflections about his family.
In 2019, the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation had a conversation with 95-year-old Kiyo Sato in which she related her family story. In our discussion, she related how her grandfather came to California in the early 20th century seeking to take advantage of the opportunities presented here so he could benefit his family in Japan. With him he brought his youngest son, Kiyo’s father, who was advised by his mother that staying in California was the best way for him to have a meaningful life. Kiyo shares many poignant moments of the family’s story, including how they attained land ownership then were forced into internment during World War II and of Kiyo’s service as a nurse during the Korean War.
In November 2016, the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation spent time with Jerry and Jeanie Strong at their home on Bond Road in Elk Grove, recording their family stories and many fond memories they both held.
In 2019, the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation had conversations with several families who live in and around Elk Grove who fled from all parts of Southeast Asia from the 1970s through the early 2000s. While the stories shared are just a very few of the hundreds, if not thousands, of similar Elk Grove area stories, they are representative of the conditions and consequences of the era which began in 1950. This is one of those stories.
Van Styne Family
In 2018, the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation recorded Margaret Van Styne Duarte as she related her Van Styne family story to the general membership of the Elk Grove Historical Society.