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FLINT Brothers

Misunderstandings in San Luis Obispo County Histories about How the Flints Were Related

San Luis Obispo County historians seem very confused about how the vaeious Flints who lived in their county were related to one another. I don’t know who was the first to set down misinformation about the Flints, but the mistakes have been copied by several authors.

All accounts that I have seen of the history of the military base Camp Roberts, which is on the site of Rancho Nacimiento, attribute the original purchase and development of the ranch to one “George” Flint. In actuality, it was George’s father Robert George Flint Jr, who usually signed his name “Robert G Flint”or “R G Flint”, that initially developed the ranch. Robert died in 1885 and his estate was settled in 1887, when George was 12 or 13. George did not take over the ranch until 1894 when he was about 19, but he operated it for less than a year and a half before selling it.

The earliest publication that I have seen in which Flint confusion manifests itself is Leo Stanley’s San Miguel at the Turn of the Century.1 The misinformation is repeated in other publications.2 He attributes his information to his sister, Emma (Stanley) Cook. They say George Flint had two sons and two daughters—Charlotte, Bob, Pete, and Fanny. “Bob” was actually Robert George Flint III, named after his uncle, the owner of Rancho Nacimiento. That Robert G Flint was a junior, named after his father, Robert G Flint Sr, who never came to California. Charlotte, Bob, Pete and Fanny were not children of George Flint, but rather his cousins. George, the last Flint to own Rancho Nacimiento, had no children. Charlotte, Bob, Pete and Fanny were born and raised near London, Ontario, Canada, and were four of the eight children of Pirney Flint, Robert G Jr’s younger brother. As far as I know, the only other of their siblings to reach California was sister Mary, my grandmother, who came for a visit in 1908.

It has been incorrectly stated that Fanny was the daughter of R G (“Bob”) Flint, whereas she was actually his younger sister.3 This error has been repeated.4

Robert G Flint Jr owned Ranchos San Juan and Nacimiento, which were mostly in San Luis Obispo County, but Nacimiento overflowed into Monterey County. His five children were presumably all born at Rancho San Juan. Robert’s wife, Eliza (Elson) Flint died in 1877 at the age of 36. The children ranged in age from a few months to about eight years. Robert took the children back to Ontario, where they were raised by relatives, most of them in the household of Samuel and Amelia Gibson. Amelia is believed to have been a half sister of Robert’s wife Eliza.

Three of Robert’s five children moved back to California and lived there most probably for the rest of their lives. They were sons Rob, who inherited Rancho San Juan, and George, who inherited Rancho Nacimiento. Their youngest sister, Eliza Elson (“Lyle”) Flint, also came to California and lived out her days there, sometimes living with her cousin Peter, and sometimes with Peter’s sister, her cousin Fanny.

Another error in publications about San Luis Obispo County is that Pirney Flint was Robert G Flint Jr’s father,5 while in fact he was Robert’s brother, younger by nine years. He was indeed the father of Robert G Flint III.

It has also confused several writers that there were two Robert G Flints in San Luis Obispo County. At least two sources say they were cousins,6 but they were really uncle and nephew.

After failing to strike it rich in the Mother Lode country, Pirney Flint returned to the London, Ontario, Canada, area and spent the rest of his life raising apples and seven of his eight children. (One daughter died at 17 in 1883, preceding her father, who died in 1891.) His brother Robert Jr remained in San Luis Obispo County, living at his Rancho San Juan and participating in repeated cattle drives from Baja California, until his death in 1885. Another Robert is mentioned in the following:

“Robert’s death occasioned two historical obituaries, and correct the assumption in the San Miguel book that his father was George Flint of Nacimiento ranch; George was his uncle, and is listed in the Pacific Coast Business Directory 1871-73 as R G Flint, sheep & cattle raiser, San Marcos, 36 miles north of San Luis Obispo. Robert G is mentioned several times in Thompson & West’s History of San Luis Obispo Co, 1883; in the dry season of 1863-4 he was at San Juan Capistrano, in the valley of the San Juan river, a tributary to the Estrella river, in R16E T28S MDB&M, eastern San Luis Obispo co. His wife, Eliza, died @ 38 at San Juan Capistrano, SLO co, 25 July 1877, reported in the Tribune. Nephew Robert came to California at age 21, in the 1880’s (census data is not consistent), to work for his uncle on the Nacimiento ranch, and became manager for 13 years. . . .”7

Some of the above paragraph is correct, but other parts seem confused. There were three Robert Flints in San Luis Obispo County at various times. The one mentioned at the beginning and end of the paragraph was Robert George (“Bob”) Flint III, manager of Rancho Nacimiento. His uncle, Robert George Flint Jr, was the owner of both Rancho San Juan and Rancho Nacimiento. At Robert Jr’s death in 1885, his two sons, Robert (“Rob”) Flint and George Buford Flint inherited Ranchos San Juan and Nacimiento, respectively. Robert G III did have an uncle George Beaufort Flint, brother of Robert G Jr and Pirney, but that George had died in Canada at age 31 in 1849, long before R G III was born.

Summary:

F        Robert George Flint Sr (c1784–1859)

He was born at Hempnall, Norfolk, England, and died at Byron, Middlesex Co, Canada West (today’s Ontario). He was a soldier, fisherman, stonemason and bricklayer, and farmer. He immigrated to Canada in 1830. He is buried in Brick Street Cemetery, London, ON.

At Lowestoft, Suffolk, England, in 1816 he married Hannah Pirney (1788–1865). She was born in Lowestoft and died at Byron, Middlesex Co, Canada West. She joined her husband in Canada in 1833. She is buried with her husband and son George in Brick Street Cemetery.

Fa                Robert George Flint Jr (1816–1885)

He was born at Lowestoft, Suffolk, England, and died in San Luis Obispo Co, CA. He was a stonemason, storekeeper, brick maker, and rancher. He immigrated to Canada with his father. He is buried in Brick Street Cemetery, London, ON.

In 1869 at Byron, Middlesex Co, ON8, he married Eliza Elson (c1842–1877). She was born in London Twp, Middlesex Co, Canada West, and died at Rancho San Juan, San Luis Obispo Co, CA. She is buried with her husband in Brick Street Cemetery.

Faa                        Hannah Mary (“Minnie”) Flint (1869–1954)

She was born at Rancho San Juan, San Luis Obispo Co, CA and died in London, Middlesex Co, ON

In 1895 at London, ON, she married Frederick Arthur (“Fred”) Andrewes (1871–1949). Minnie and Fred had six children. Husband and wife are buried in Mt Pleasant Cemetery, London, ON.

Fab                        Robert (“Rob”) Flint (b c1872)

He was born in San Luis Obispo Co, CA. He never married and it is not known when or where he died. He was living in San Francisco in 1930.

Fac                        George Buford Flint (c1873–1935)

He was born in San Luis Obispo Co, CA, and died in Sacramento, CA.

In 1895 in San Francisco he married Olive E Holmes (1876–1971). She was born in San Luis Obispo, CA, and died in Sacramento, CA. George and Olive had no children.

Fad                        Elizabeth (“Bessie”) Flint (1875–c1927)

She was born in San Luis Obispo Co, and died at Yonkers, NY.

In 1898 in London, ON, she married Charles W Ruppe (c1858–c1936). He was a carpenter, builder, and realtor. They had two daughters.

Fae                        Eliza Elson (“Lyle”) Flint (1877–1942)

She was born in San Luis Obispo Co, CA. Sometime between 1894 and 1908 she moved from Canada to CA. She never married and is buried in the IOOF or San Luis Cemetery, San Luis Obispo, CA.

Fb                George Beaufort Flint (1818–1849)

He was born at Lowestoft, Suffolk, England, and died at Hall’s Mills, Middlesex Co, Canada West. He was a stonemason and immigrated with his father in 1830. He did not marry and is buried with his parents in Brick Street Cemetery, London, ON.

Fc                Mary Butcher Flint (1821–1898)

She was born at Lowestoft, Suffolk, England, and died at Byron, Middlesex Co, ON. She immigrated with her mother to Upper Canada in 1833.

In 1847 she married William Blinn (1823–1890). He was born in Lower Canada (today’s Québec) and died at Byron, Middlesex Co, ON. He was a miller. The Blinns had three children. Mary and William are buried in Brick Street Cemetery, London, ON.

Fd                Pirney Flint (1824–1891)

He was born at Hempnall, Norfolk, England, and died at Byron, Middlesex Co, Canada West.

In 1859 in London Twp, Middlesex Co, Canada West, he married Ann Elson (c1838–1874). She was born in London Twp and died at Byron, Middlesex Co, ON. Pirney and Ann and their daughter Eliza are buried in Brick Street Cemetery, London, ON.

Fda                        Charlotte Hannah Flint (1860–1929)

She was born at Byron, Middlesex Co, Canada West and died at San Miguel, San Luis Obispo Co, CA. She never married. She is buried in San Luis Cemetery, San Luis Obispo, CA.

Fdb                        Robert George (“Bob”) Flint III (1862–1933)

He was born at Byron, Middlesex Co, Canada West and died in San Luis Obispo, CA. Bob moved to California in 1883 to work on his namesake uncle’s Rancho Nacimiento. After the ranch was sold he participated in a number of businesses in the San Luis Obispo area. He is buried in San Luis Cemetery, San Luis Obispo, CA.

In San Miguel, CA, about 1892 he married Anna Davis (1862–1933). She was born at San Antonio, Monterey Co, CA, and died in San Luis Obispo, CA. Bob and Anna had one daughter. Anna is buried near her husband in San Luis Cemetery.

Fdc                        Mary Bertha Flint (1864–1915)

She was born at Byron, Middlesex Co, Canada West, and died in London, ON. In Mar and Apr 1908 she visited her sister Fanny Flint, her brother Peter Flint and her cousin Lyle Flint in Redlands and Santa Monica, CA. Mary is buried in Woodland Cemetery, London, ON.

At Byron, ON, in 1898 she married Thomas Arthur (“Art”) Baker (1872–1964). He was born in Harwich Twp, Kent Co, ON, and died in London, ON. He operated a berry farm, was a partner in a feed store, and was a gardener. Mary and Arthur had four children. Arthur is buried in Woodland Cemetery, London, ON.

Fdd                        Eliza Flint (c1866–1883)

She was born and died at Byron, Middlesex Co, ON. She is buried with her parents in Brick Street Cemetery.

Fde                        Ann (“Annie”) Flint (1867–1941)

She was born at Byron, Middlesex Co, ON, and died in St Thomas, Elgin Co, ON.

In 1902 she married Arthur Cordy Baker (1864–1937), a farmer. They had two daughters.

Fdf                        Peter (“Pete”) Flint (1870–1943)

He was born at Byron, Middlesex Co, ON, and died in Los Angeles Co, CA. He worked as a ranch hand, was a partner in a butcher shop, an engineer in a flour mill, and had his own restaurant, all in the San Miguel, CA, area. He never married. He is buried in San Luis Cemetery, San Luis Obispo, CA.

Fdg                        Frances (“Fanny”) Flint (1872–1948)

She was born at Byron, Middlesex Co, ON, and died in Los Angeles Co, CA. She is buried in San Luis Cemetery, San Luis Obispo Co, CA.

In or before 1912 she married John Karl Granacher (c1884–1957). He was born at Laufenburg, Kanton Aargau, Switzerland, and died in Los Angeles Co, CA. He was a paint merchant, farmer, orchardist, gardener and inventor. Fanny and John had no children.

Fdh                        Edna Ann Gibson Flint (1874–1949)

She was born at Byron, Middlesex Co, Canada West and died in London, ON, Canada. She never married. She is buried in Woodland Cemetery, London, ON.

Fe                Patience Flint (1826–1830)

She was baptized and buried at Hempnall, Norfolk, England.

Notes

1 Stanley (1976), p 40–41.

2 Such as "DAVIS" (1998), p 26; Davis (2002), p 12–13, also citing Emma (Stanley) Cook; CCMH (2005), p 13; this source also says the ranch was originally purchased by George, rather than the correct owner, Robert G Flint Jr, George's father; no children of either are mentioned.

3 Stanley (1976), p 41.

4 "DAVIS" (1998), p 26.

5 Ohles (1997), p 254.

6 Ibid, p 124, citing Don McMillan and p 254, citing Lura Rawson.

7 "DAVIS" (1998), p 26.

8 The Province of Ontario was established at the confederation of the Dominion of Canada in 1867.

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