A Tale of Two Tibbits

The List of Assemblymembers lists a J. H. Tibbits who represented Shasta, Modoc, and Lassen counties in 1911, and a separate James H. Tibbits who represented Amador County in 1895.

In the “Great Register of Amador County for 1894,” we learn on line 2686 (on page 36) that James H. Tibbits was a 36 years old in 1894 and born in California (as well as a miner, 5′ 11″ with a dark complexion, black hair and black eyes). This puts his approximate date of birth at 1858. However, the 1892 “Great Register of Amador County” also puts his age at 36, with the same description, which would set his birthyear around 1856.

The other Tibbits, J. H. Tibbits, who served in the legislature in 1911, completed a Biographical Index Card for the California State Library, and we learn that his full name was James Halar Tibbits and that he was born at Amador Co. on October 27, 1854. As of 1911, he was living in Redding.

At this point, it looks like the two James H. Tibbits could be related (because of their close birthyears and strong connections to Amador County). However, they could also be two separate people.

Ongoing Research and Corrections

As mentioned in a previous post, our list of California state legislators dates back more than a century to. The information collected is generally all that we know about most legislators; Name, Party, Counties Represented, and Session (year) served. Since February, I’ve been working on filling in gaps, making corrections, and tracking down additional information about our early legislators (you can see here how I’m doing).

One recent interesting correction I found recently was the misspelling of the name of Assemblyman Frank Eugene Hunewill. Hunewill served in the 1891 Session, representing Alpine, Inyo and Mono counties. In the Assembly Journal of that session, his name was spelled “F. E. Hunewill”. This is confirmed by the election registration lists for 1891 which shows only three people with the surname of Hunewell or Hunewill in California; L. R. Hunewell of Los Angeles County, and Frank Eugene Hunewill and Napeleon Bonaparte Hunewill of Mono County.

In the 1899 California Blue Book, which included the comprehensive list of legislators by Winfield J. Davis, included F. E. Hunewill, but the name was misspelled “Hunewell” by the time the 1924 Blue Book was printed.

For more information about Assemblyman Hunewill, including information about his family, check his page on Geni.com

Total Legislator Count Drops by One

The total count for California state legislators has dropped by one (to 4,442 since 1849) through the correction of a 130-year-old error. It appears that when Winfield J. Davis compiled his list of California state legislators for the 1889 Government Roster of the State of California, he accidentally included Assemblyman R. H. Myers of the 1901 twice.

In the list of legislators, there is both a “R. H. Meyers” and an “R. H. Myers,” both listed as having represented Kings and Tulare counties in the 1901 session. The Assembly Journal for 1901 indicates that only one Assemblymember represented those counties in that session; R. H. Myers.