Trotts Family Collection

Guide to the Trotts Family Collection (1840s – 1940s)

Overview +


Collection Number



This collection was assembled by Ruth (Adams) Trotts and Patricia (Trotts) Jones.  It was donated to the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History on May 19th, 2008 by Terri Ann Lefholz.


Number of Containers: 4 Boxes
Linear Feet: 3 Linear Feet


Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, Archives
705 Front Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060


This collection consists primarily of materials related to the Trotts family, who settled in Felton in 1890.  It also contains materials related to the Adams and Jenne families, who were early residents on Bonny Doon and Santa Cruz, and who were connected to the Trotts family and to each other through the marriages and offspring of Emma Jenne and Everett Adams, and Ruth Adams and Victor Trotts.  Included in the collection are photographs, correspondence, family documents, memorabilia, and family bibles containing genealogical information.  The collection reflects various family members’ interests, livelihoods, and other involvements in such things as real estate transactions, the Congregational Church, I.O.O.F., the lumber and lime kiln industries, education, farming, hunting, military service, and baseball.


The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, Santa Cruz, CA

Preferred Citation

Trotts Family Collection, The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, Santa Cruz, CA

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the head of Archives at MAH.  Researchers may be responsible for obtaining copyright permission to use material not produced by museum personnel.

Process By

G. Gardner

Date Completed


Scope +

The Trotts Family Collection consists of a variety of materials relating to family life, interests, pursuits, and livelihoods from the mid 19th Century to 1980.  The collection also contains materials from the Adams and Jenne families of Bonny Doon, as the three families were related through marriage and children.  The bulk of the materials was generated from 1910-1920, and includes photographs, correspondence, family records, bibles, genealogical information, ephemera, and news clippings.  Materials reflect the various family member’s involvement in the farming, lime kiln and lumber industries, education, organization affiliations, real estate transactions, military service, and the church.

History +

William Harry Trotts (Trutz, Trots, Truc)(1848-1926), a native of Tabor, Bohemia, and his wife Mary Catherine (Mamie) Bernstein (1868-1943) were early residents of Felton, where they purchased Rancho Zayante land from F.A. Hihn in 1890.  William was a farmer, and a cooper at the Felton Kilns on Cooper Street, working for the H.T. Holmes Lime Company.  They had five children: George Tabor (1899-1960), Helen Maude (1888-1958), William Victor (1897-1964), Harry Milton (1890-1922), and May Belle (1892-1986).  Their son William Victor, known as “Victor” or “Vic” graduated from Santa Cruz High School in 1915, and from UC Davis in 1917 with a degree in agriculture, and spent five months in Camp Kearney as a sergeant in the US Army.  He and his brother George spent some time in the spring of 1919 travelling in Arizona, laying pipe in the Morenci mines and exploring other job opportunities in the post-war economy.  Victor was an avid hunter and baseball player, playing as a young man with the Henry Cowell baseball team, the Lime Burners, in the early 1900s Santa Cruz City League.  In 1924 he married Santa cruz High School classmate Ruth Marie Adams (1898-1986) and worked with George Ley, who founded the Santa Cruz Lumber Company and was married to Victor’s sister, May Belle.

Ruth Marie (Adams) Trotts (1898-1986) was the granddaughter of Rev. Phelps R. Adams (1844-1932), ordained Congregational minister, Civil War Veteran, and California State Assemblyman for Santa Cruz County, who moved with his wife Agnes Hommon (1846-1933) and children to 80 acres in Bonny Doon from Galesburg, Knox County, Illinois in 1887.  By 1905 Rev Adams had established a Congregational Church in the Bonny Doon school house, the second school to be built on land donated to the community by Ormond D. Jenne.  Rev. Adams occasionally exchanged pulpits with Rev. Taylor at the First Presbyterian Church in Felton.  The Adams’ children were Arthur, Blanche, Everett, and Grace.  Blanche and Grace attended the first Bonny Doon school house built on land donated by Ormond Jenne, known as Ocean View School.

In 1891 Everett W. Adams (1869-1938) married Emma Jenne (1872-1920), daughter of Ormond Dutton Jenne (1826-1901) and Emily (Sawyer) Jenne (1828-1893), whose family had moved to Bonny Doon from Massachusetts in 1882 when she was ten years old.  The Jenne family built a home at the intersection of Pine Flat Road and Smith Grade, and Emma attended Bonny Doon School.  She and Everett had four children: Amy (1895-1976), Glenn (1896- n.d.), Ruth, and Phelps Ray (1904-1921), who were born in Bonny Doon and raised in Santa Cruz in the house at 404 High Street that the family built in 1902 on land gifted to Emma by her father when she married.  In 1901, before becoming an employee of the Santa Cruz US Post Office, Everett attended Chestnutwood’s Business College in downtown Santa Cruz and boarded at the old adobe on the corner of Goss and Branchiforte, known as either the Winchester ot the Lorenzana Adobe.  He was a dedicated member of the I.O.O.F., and a passionate sportsman.  Around 1918 he purchased 120 acres for hunting and raising cattle in the Last Chance area near Swanton from Minor Caldwell.

Victor and Ruth Trotts moved from Felton to Santa Cruz around 1940, where they lived in Ruth’s family home at 404 High Street.  Their children were Marilyn Emma (Trotts) Hoedemaker (1926-1933), Patricia Beth (Trotts) Jones (1928-2003), and William Everett Trotts (1930- n.d.).

Genealogy +

Showing genealogical connections between the Trotts, Adams, and Jenne families.

Trotts Family: William H. Trotts (1848-1926) marries Mary Catherine (Mamie) Bernstein (1868-1943)


George Tabor(1899-1960)
Helen Maude (1888-1958) marries Fred Quistorf
William Victor (1897-1964) marries Ruth Adams 1924 (1898-1986)
Harry Milton (1890-1922)
May Belle (1892-1986) marries George Ley

Adams Family:  Rev. P.R. Adams (1844-1932) marries Agnes Hommon (1846-1933)


Everett W. (1846-1938) marries Emma Jenne 1891 (1872-1920)

Jenne Family:  Ormond D. Jenne (1826-1901) marries Emily Sawyer 1891 (1828-1893)


Ada J. (1860-1871, deceased in chikdhood)
Ida Marie (1860-n.d.) twin to Ada, Marries George M. Kelly 1881


Leon Kelly (1883-n.d.)
Herbert M. Kelly (1885-n.d.)
Ada Alice Kelly (1888-1980)
Ormond J. Kelly (1891-1892)

Emma (1872-1920) marries Everett W. Adams 1891 (1846-1938)


Amy (1895-1976)
Glen Allen (1896- n.d.)
Ruth Maria (1898-1986) marries W. Victor Trotts 1924


Marilyn Emma (1926-1993)
Patricia Beth (1928-2003)
William Everett (1930- )


References +

Ellis, Faye.  1986.  Telephone interview with Ruth Adams Trotts, March 29, 1986.  From the Faye Ellis Collection, Santa Cruz Public Libraries:
Santa Cruz, CA.

Ellis, Faye.  1984.  Interview with May (Trotts) Ley in her home, May 15, 1984.  From the Faye Ellis Collection, Santa Cruz Public Libraries:
Santa Cruz, CA.

Koch, M.  1979.  She takes the long view.  Santa Cruz Sentinel, Sunday Feb 4, 1979.  Interview with Ruth (Adams) Trotts.

The Ladies of the Bonny Doon Club.  2004.  Memories of the mountain: Family life in Bonny Doon.  1800-2000.  Authorhouse:
Bloomington, IN.  Chapter titled: “The Adams Family Story” by Nancy Andreason, based on an interview with Ruth Adam Trotts in 1985, transcribed by Bob Piwarzyk.

Perry, F.; Piwarzyk, R.; Luther, M.; Orlando, A.; Molho, A.; Perry, S.  2007.  Lime kiln legacies: The history of the lime kiln industry 
in Santa Cruz County.  Santa Cruz, CA: The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History.

Piwarzyk, R.  1996.  The Laguna Limekilns.  Lime Light: Bonny Doon, CA.

Trotts, Ruth (Adams).  [The story of Emma Jenne Adams and Everett William Adams, as told by their daughter].  Unpublished manuscript, 1984.

Arrangement +

The collection is organized into five (5) series as follows:



SERIES II.  CORRESPONDENCE, 1908-1980 (BULK 1908-1920)







Contents +


Three (3) Folders and One (1) Volume

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains photographs of the Tross, Adams, and Jenne families.  It includes portraits of family members, and individual and group snapshots of family, friends, and colleagues.  The photos were taken primarily in Bonny Doon, Felton, and Santa Cruz.  Although some photo reproductions are included, most are black and white prints in good to excellent condition.

This series is divided into three (3) subseries:

Subseries I.A.  Trotts Family Photographs, ca. 1846, 1905-1960s
Subseries I.B.  Adams Family Photographs, 1905-1914
Subseries I.C.  Jenne Family Photographs, mid to late 1800s

SUBSERIES I.A.  Trotts Family Photographs, 1846-1960s (bulk 1905-1926)

One (1) Folder

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This subseries contains Trotts family portraits, and snapshots of family, friends, and colleagues, taken primarily in Felton and Santa Cruz.  Of special note are a photograph of William and mamie Trotts on the front porch of the Felton farmhouse they built, which is now 5869 Hillside Drive, and a photo of Vic Trotts as a player with the Henry Cowell baseball team, the Lime Burners, in 1913.  All team members are identified.  Thus subseries contains 36 photographs and two oversized photographs housed separately: the 404 High Street house, at Storey and Davis (Escalona Drive) Streets, ca. 1910 (now replaced by apartments) and the Lime Burners baseball team.

Box ID#: Folder ID#
2:1  Trotts Family Photographs, 1846-1960s (bulk 1905-1926)
3:X  Oversize Photos: 404 High Street house and the Lime Burners

SUBSERIES I.B.  Adams Family Photographs, 1905-1914

One (1) Folder

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This subseries contains Adams family portraits and snapshots of family and friends, taken primarily in Bonny Doon and Santa Cruz.  Of particular note are a photo of Phelps Ray Adams on horseback with his dog on his lap at Last Chance, Waddell Beach, and a photo of Ruth (Adams) Trotts on an abalone excursion at the beach in 1914.  This subseries contains nine (9) photos and an oversized photo of Everett Adams and the I.O.O.F Drill Team, housed separately.

Box ID#: Folder ID#
2:2  Adams Family Photographs, 1905-1914
3:X  Oversize Photo: Everett Adams and the I.O.O.F Drill Team

SUBSERIES I.C.  Jenne Family Photographs, mid to late 1800s

One (1) Folder and One (1) Volume

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This subseries contains a photograph album with 34 nineteenth- century Jenne family portraits, all unidentified.  Some are by Santa Cruz photographers, such as McKean and Ort, Webb, and Godfrey.  This series also includes a broken glass plate photo of Ida and Ada Jenne, as toddlers, ca. 1860s.

Note: Bound in the back of the Jenne family bible are an additional seven (7) family portraits, including photos of Emma (Jenne) Adams Ormund D. Jenne, and Emily Maria (Sawyer) Jenne.

Box ID#: Folder ID#
3:X Photo of twins, Ida and Ada Jenne, ca. 1860s
X:X  Photo album

SERIES II.  CORRESPONDENCE 1908-1980 (bulk 1908-1920)

Five (5) Folders

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains the collected correspondence received by several family members.  The bulk of the correspondence was received by Mrs. Williams Trotts (Mary Catherine (Bernstein), better known as “Mamie”) some of which was also addressed to her husband, William.  Also included are letters received by Rev. Phelps R. Adams and Ruth (Adams) Trotts.

This series is divided into three (3) subseries:

Subseries II.A.  Letter to Rev. Phelps R. Adams
Subseries II.B.  Letters to Ruth (Adams) Trotts
Subseries II.C.  Correspondence to Mamie and/or William Trotts

SUBSERIES II.A.  Letter to Rev. Phelps R. Adams, 1930

One (1) Folder

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This is a single letter written to rev. Phelps R. Adams at his home on Caledonia Street in Santa Cruz by his brother James W. Adams in Los Angeles as both were approaching death.  The letter acknowledges that they will not meet again until they meet in “the knigdom.”

Box ID#: Folder ID#
2:1  Letter to Rev. Phelps R. Adams, 1930

SUBSERIES II.B.  Letters to Ruth (Adams) Trotts 1973, 1980

One (1) Folder

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This subseries consists of two letters.  The first (1973) is a letter to Ruth from M. Adams in Davenport which contains an excerpt from the Adams genealogy book, tracing their lineage back to the end of the 13th Century, and making the connection to the John Adams, and John Quincy Adams family.  The second letter (1980) is from Miriam Karlson of Lafayette, CA and shares information about the death and memorial service of her mother, Ada Alice Kelly.  Other family news is also included.

Box ID#: Folder ID#
2:5  Letters to Ruth (Adams) Trotts 1973, 1980

SUBSERIES II.C.  Correspondence to Mamie and/or William Trotts 1907-1930

Three (3) Folders

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

Of particular interest is a series of seven (7) letters written by George and Victor Trotts to their parents in 1919 and 1920 as they explored their post WWI job options and travels in the western states.  Also of interest is a chatty and charming 1907 letter from William, who was spending time at the Fair in Hanford, Kings County, CA, to Mamie back at home in Felton, and two summer vacation letters from grandchildren, Maybelle and Lois Quistorf, who wrote in 1930 from the Manzanita Lodge in Doyles Springs, Springville, CA.  The subseries also includes cards, announcements, and telegrams.  Also, noteworthy is a 1919 congratulatory letter to Mamie from Mrs. W.H. Vlock, Woman Director of Food Conservation for Santa Cruz County during the war.

Box ID#: Folder ID#
2:6  Family letters to Mamie and/or William Trotts, 1907-1930
2:7  Family cards and telegrams to Mamie and/or William Trotts, 1907-1930
2:8  Other Correspondence to Mamie and/or William Trotts, 1907-1930
2:X Christmas cards, birth notices, and wedding invitations. Also a map of Hong Kong and vicinity in 1897.


One (1) Folder

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains records of real estate transactions in Santa Cruz, Felton, Bonny Doon, and the Swanton area which several family members participated in.  Included are copies and original documents, such as a Declaration of Homestead by Alma Hale Caldwell, notarized in 1913, an ownership trail for what later became the 404 High Street residence of the Adams/Trotts family, the Adams’ Bonny Doon property, and a copy of the land grant letter from F.A. Hihn to William Trotts for Rancho Zayante land in San Lorenzo Township, dated 1890.

Box ID#: Folder ID#
2:9  Real Estate Records, 1886-1932


Three (3) Folders and three (3) Volumes

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains copies and originals of family documents, including genealogical information, and newspaper clippings.  Also included are two family bibles, and an Illinois historical encyclopedia.

This series is divided into five (5) subseries:

Subseries IV.A.  Certificates and Family Documents, 1864-1940
Subseries IV.B.  Genealogies
Subseries IV.C.  News Clippings, 1881-1986
Subseries IV.D.  Family Bibles
Subseries IV.E.  Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County

SUBSERIES IV.A.  Certificates and Family Documents, 1864-1940

Three (3) Folders

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This subseries contains originals and copies of certificates, awards, and other documentation relating to school, military, pension, naturalization, memberships, activities, etc. of Trotts and Adams family members.  Of particular interest are the account book of the Felton Water Company, 1912-1918, and the Final Account, Report, and Petition of Distribution for the estate of Everett W. Adams, 1940.  Also of note are copies of student and visitor records from Ocean View School in Bonny Doon, 1935, when Blanche Adams was in the 9th grade, and O.D. Jenne, Miss Grace Adams, and the Rev. P.R. Adams were among the visitors.

Box ID#: Folder ID#
2:10  Certificates and Family Documents: Adams 1864-1940
2:11  Certificates and Family Documents: Wm. and Mamie Trotts 1884-1934
2:12  Certificates and Family Documents: Ruth (Adams), Victor, and George Tabor Trotts 1915-1977

SUBSERIES IV.B.  Genealogy

One (1) Folder

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This subseries contains pedigree charts and genealogical information related to Jenne, Trotts, Adams, and Sawyer families.  (Ruth Adams Trotts’ maternal grandmother was Emily Maria Sawyer).  Some of this information was copied from the Sawyer, Kelly, and Jenne family bibles.

Box ID#: Folder ID#
2:13  Genealogies

SUBSERIES IV.C.  Newspaper Clippings, 1881-1986

One (1) Folder

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This subseries contains news clippings related to the family, family interests, or to Santa Cruz history.  Of particular note is an interview with Ruth (Adams) Trotts by Bill Kirkham in the Valley Press, 1986, in which she discusses, among other things, some history about “the little white church on the hill” in Felton.

Box ID#: Folder ID#
2:14  News Clippings, 1881-1986

SUBSERIES IV.D.  Family Bibles

Two (2) Volumes

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This subseries contains two family bibles:  The Illustrated Polyglot Family Bible.  1872.  H.S. Goodspeed and Co.: New York.  “O.D. and E.M. Jenne” is engraved on the cover. The bible has bound in genealogical information: marriages, births,, and deaths ca. 1798-ca. 1983, related to Jenne, Kelly, and Adams family members (pg 117).  Also bound in the back of the bible are seven (7) family portraits, with subjects identified, in dilapidated cardboard frames.  The binding and some of the pages are in poor condition.  The Holy Bible.  1846.  Luther Roby: New Hampshire.  Handwritten on the inside cover is the inscription “Alice A. (Kelly) Conrad to Ruth Adams Trotts, June 12, 1976.”  Bound in the bible is genealogical information on the Sawyer, Jenne, Kelly, and Trotts families (page 97 of the Apocrypha, approximately 2/3 of the way through the book).

Box ID#: Folder ID#
X:X  <i>The Illustrated Polyglot Family Bible</i> or “Jenne Family Bible”
1:X  <i>The Holy Bible</i> or “Sawyer Family Bible” 1846

SUBSERIES IV.E.  Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County

One (1) Volume

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County.  1899.  Munsell Publishing Co.: Chicago.  This book contains biographical information on the Adams family.

Box ID#: Folder ID#
X:X  Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County.  1899


One (1) Box

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains ephemera and memorabilia related to family history and the Santa Cruz area, including an autograph album belonging to Everett Adams with autographs of Mr. Chestnutwood and students of Chestnutwood Business College, and a 1915 Santa Cruz High School Trident year book, when Victor Trotts and Glen and Ruth Adams were students (housed separately).

Box ID#: Folder ID#