The Winch­ester: Leg­end of the West

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - THE GUIDE - by Laura Trevelyan

This is an orig­i­nal kind of fam­ily his­tory which, in­stead of in­di­vid­u­als alone, is cen­tred on an ob­ject which was im­por­tant to the writer’s fore­bears – in this case a ri­fle.

The writer, BBC jour­nal­ist Laura Trevelyan, is the 3x great grand­daugh­ter of Oliver Winch­ester, born in 1810. He rose from be­ing a pen­ni­less farm boy to be one of the most suc­cess­ful weapons man­u­fac­tur­ers in the 19th cen­tury.

His Winch­ester Re­peat­ing Arms Com­pany pro­duced one of the first com­mer­cial guns to fire con­tin­u­ously, with­out hav­ing to be reloaded. It be­came the pri­mary in­stru­ment in the ex­pan­sion West of the United States

On Oliver’s death, con­trol of the co om­pany trans­ferred to his son, but he out­lasted d his fa­ther by y less than a ye ear. The fortu une then passed to o the son’s widow, Sarah Winch­ester,ter a very wealthy woman who con­stantly ex­panded her vast house, which was said to be haunted by the ghosts of the Na­tive Amer­i­cans slaugh­tered by the set­tlers us­ingg their Winch­esters. Char­ac­ters here in­clude the iinevitable prof­li­gate grand­son who sspent his in­her­ited mil­lions; the aunt wwho con­verted her ele­phant gun to fire tenn­nis balls; and the sickly son, raised by a doom­i­neer­ing fa­ther, who over­saw the mis­m­man­age­ment and de­cline of the comp­pany. No Winch­esters now manu­u­fac­ture guns. Thiis book was writ­ten with full ac­cess to com­pa­ny­compan de­tails, per­sonal diaries and let­ters, to give a so­cial his­tory of the fam­ily and the firm rather than a tech­ni­cal his­tory of the ri­fle.

Un­cover the lives and records of Ir­ish po­lice kin Sarah WInch­ester's ex­trav­a­gant house in Cal­i­for­nia

Heiress Sarah Winch­ester as a young woman

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