My Name is Marilyn Dingman Demas and in/about 1992 I began doing historical research in and about Sacramento, California. Originally from New York, I did a lot of genealogical research on my father’s family, the Dingmans, and their roles in the American Revolutionary War. I am so New York that when people ask me what my nationality is I answer, “I am from New York” and usually no one pursues that further. I have some problems with anemia and my husband joked with my doctor that I am not anemic, “She has the water of the Hudson river flowing in her veins from back when the Hudson was still pure. That is her lifeblood.” I believe that! I am that New York!!! It is not surprising then that when I had the opportunity to do research out here that without even being conscious of it my first research projects out here involved people who were originally from New York and who came to California in the Gold Rush; the 49’ers.
Actually, as a docent from the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum my first project involved researching an educator, Agnes Stevenson Jaycox, whom it turned out was originally from Orange County New York where my husband, children and I lived for the first thirteen years of our family life together. When I began my research into Agnes Jaycox’ life all I knew about her was that she was a school teacher and that she died July 3, 1876 in a drowning accident off Cypress Point near Pacific Grove. This research almost became serendipitous though as I saw so many people and places I recognized that connected to my own Dingman family in New York. I was further blown away then when I found out that Agnes Jaycox’ life also touched Sarah Mildred Jones who is the impetus for my beginning this website. Indeed, I am still amazed as I see the connections between so many of the early pioneers of Sacramento. In many cases their connections preceded their move to California. I would like to tell you about the lives and connections of many of the people I met through research and at the same time I will hopefully document the tremendous Legacy left to Sacramento by Black and white Pioneers who working together made Sacramento one of the most ethnically and racially diverse beautiful cities in America.