Family treasures have always been important to me. I have a beautiful oil painting that my grandmothers sister Aunt May Bush painted that hangs in a prominate spot in my living room. I have lots of hand painted china that she also did and then I have my grandmothers silver and many of her cut glass pieces. Most of these pieces I have previously featured here on my blog and they came to me through my mother. One item that I have not featured previously is one my sister holds, it’s the Francis treasure. This family heirloom is now 105 years old.

Francis Cup photo by mmelo
Francis Cup
photo by mmelo

This is what is referred to as the Francis Cup. George Washington Francis my 2x great paternal grandfather married Clementine Jane Shipp on 2 Sept 1860 and in 1910 they celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary.  At the time George W. (80) and Clementine (65) Francis were living with their daughter Kate (26) and her husband Frank (32) Weatherman  and their two children George W.(5) and Eva May (2) Weatherman.

1910 US Census Visalia County Road
1910 US Census
Visalia County Road

They must have had a large party to celebrate and this was what the Gilmore Francis Family gave them to commemorate the occasion. It is engraved with:

Pres. by

G.C. Francis & Family


Father & Mother


George and Clementine had 8 children. In 1910 they had four of their children still living and had 10 great grandchildren. Clementine was about 15 when she married George, who was twice her age. I had often heard my grandmother talk about her family coming to California by wagon train. George and Clementine met and were married in California. George had been Born in Ohio and,

With ox teams, wagons, and a party of emigrants, George W. Francis crossed the plains to California in 1853, and after a journey of five months and thirteen days he arrived at Hangtown, where he began mining. A few years later, in 1856, he went to the mines of Mariposa county. ¹

By 1859 he settled a cattle ranch near Visalia California.  He was a stockman most of his adult life.

Tulare County Land Map
Tulare County Land Map – 1892

This map shows several parcels that are owned by G.W. Francis in 1892. I searched the Tulare county assessor maps and found the three parcels are in the Woodlake area. Two of the parcels are in the Elderwood area and the third is in the area of Ivanhoe. This area is east of Visalia, California.

When the compulsory fence law was passed George moved his cattle to San Luis Obispo county while maintaining his residence near Visalia. George W. Francis died 11 February 1914 and his wife Clementine died 14 years later on 30 June 1928.


1. History of the state of California and biographical record of the San Joaquin Valley, California. An historical story of the state’s marvelous growth from its earliest settlement to the present time.
Prof. James Miller Guinn , A. M.
The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago 1905.

4 thoughts on “52 Ancestors – Heirloom ~ George Washington Francis

  1. As always, really good.. You always add something I did not know or maybe it is remember. I did not know they moved to San Luis because of the fence law. Good job!

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