gmhTODAY 15 gmhToday July Aug 2017 - Page 62

Tracing the Family Tree: Three Local Residents Explore Their Genealogy Written By Jordan Rosenfeld Many of the toils and travails of our ancestors remain a mystery. You might know your grandparents’ history, or have a general sense of the larger origins of your people, but deeper truths, lineages and even individuals are often lost to time. Three local genealogy buffs, two from Morgan Hill and one from Gilroy, have taken their curiosity to new depths. They’ve delved into the farthest reaches of their ancestry, turning up connections to historical figures, family scandals, and the early roots of this lovely local region, and shared their stories with us. Perrin Larton: What’s in a Name? Perrin Larton, a longtime Morgan Hill resident who works in the field of stem cell research, is the only bearer of a first name that is historically a family last name and middle name. “My great-great-great grandfather had seven children and his last name was Perrin. The daughters all named one of their children Perrin as a middle name,” she said. Curiosity about her name led her to explore her genealogy. Her interest was further stoked by her close connection growing up with her great-great uncle, Albert Perrin Craig. 62 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN Craig owned prune and walnut acreage in Morgan Hill’s Paradise Valley. He told her stories of his life, including how he had to take a horse and buggy to work in San Jose, and his memories of the 1906 earthquake. “He was already out in his orchard and heard a noise, so he started running toward the house and all of a sudden, he said, ‘The ground reached up and tripped me.’ He fell face forward and as he looked up he saw the roots of his trees come up and go back down,” she recounted. JULY/AUGUST 2017