This is the Oregon Trail journal—now the Oregon Trail blog—of Elizabeth J. Goltra. She was born Elizabeth Julia Ellison in Illinois on August 3, 1833. In 1851 she married Nelson Goltra. Less than a year later they had the first of the five children they would have together. (Elizabeth would have several more children with her second husband whom she married after Nelson died in an explosion at a sawmill in 1859.) Less than a year after the birth of that first child, the family of three set out for Oregon from Missouri. Her journal was written as a guide to future emigrants.

This version of the journal derives from a typescript made by her grandson Kenneth Farrington Bell in 1929. The original is held by the University of Oregon. The journal was published in 1970 by the Lane County Historical Society as the Journal Kept by Mrs. E.J. Goltra of Her Travels Across the Plains in the Year 1853.

Elizabeth Ellison was my great-great grandmother.

Robert K. Nelson

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