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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Mrs. Josephine Bailhache

In maidenhood Mrs. Bailhache was known as Josephine Fitch, the daughter of Henry Delano and Josepha (Carrillo) Fitch, her birth occurring in San Diego in 1837. (This history of the Carrillo and Fitch families is given at length in the sketch of Charles Fitch, Mrs. Bailhache’s brother, and to that the reader is referred for interesting and historical data concerning two of the most prominent families in this part of California.)

Miss Fitch was about eleven years of age at the time of the death of her father, and it was soon after this event that the mother removed with her family to the Sotoyome ranch. This was a grant of land bequeathed to her by her husband, Henry Delano Fitch.

At the age of nineteen years, in 1856, Miss Fitch was united in marriage with John N. Bailhache, who was born in Ohio in 1828. At the age of three years he was taken by his parents to Alton, Ill., where he lived until attaining his majority. Coincident with this was the finding of gold in California, and as he was of age and free to choose his own course in life, he came to California that year, 1849, to seek his fortune. He landed at Sacramento at the end of an uneventful trip, and instead of going into the mines as did the majority of the immigrants of that year and the years immediately following, he went into the grocery business with Lloyd Tevis and Stanford at Sacramento.

Fifteen children were born of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Bailhache, and of the number seven are now living. The eldest of these is George E., who was born in Sonoma county in 1858, and is now a practicing dentist in San Francisco. Ruth, born in 1860, became the wife of M. A. Blumenberg, who is editor of the Musical Courier, a publication of New York City; while they have a home in that eastern city, much of their time is passed in Paris, France; Fred, Jackson T., Nicholas and Solon are next in order of birth, and Juanita, the youngest of the family, is the wife of Oda Waldrop. Since the year 1856 the home of the family has been in Healdsburg, where Mr. Bailhache passed away in 1902.

Mrs. Bailhache’s father, Henry Delano Fitch, was the son of Boriah Fitch, a native of England, and who came to American in 1725 as an officer in the British navy. He landed at Nantucket, but later moved to New Haven, Conn., where Henry Delano was born in 1798. The family home was later moved to Charleston, Mass., and there he continued his education, later attending Harvard University at Cambridge. He became master of his own ship and sailed the seas for thirty years. He came to California for the first time in 1822 and made location in San Diego in 1928, after his marriage with Josepha Carrillo. He followed the sea until 1848, when he sold out, and was making preparation to move to Healdsburg in 1849, when his death occurred, January 14, 1849. His wife was the daughter of Don Joaquin Carrillo, a native of Spain, who settled near Cape San Lucas, Lower California. He acquired a grant of Sotoyome in 1842, and later received the patent to it.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011