Initial searches are FREE! You can go to the "Search" tab now to begin. These free searches will tell you if a name or document is in the database. It will give you the origin and year of the journey, how the person was mentioned, the name of the party, and the name and author of the document described.

Subscriptions, give you more complete information including a scan of the original survey. This lists the route taken, ages, and other notes about the document. But most importantly, you will have access to the location of known copies of the original document.

The 19th Century migration on the overland trails to the far West is illuminated by the writings of thousands of pioneers who took this long and dangerous journey..
Pioneers went to Oregon, California, Utah and Montana for land or for gold and they wrote of their experiences in diaries, letters, remembrances and newspaper articles. As the covered wagons rolled west on the Oregon Trail, the pioneers recorded their travels in documents that have survived in libraries and private collections.

The Oregon-California Trails Association, known as OCTA, is the guardian and promoter of the exciting story of the 19th Century westward American migration. Paper Trail is the website created by OCTA based on a searchable index of these remarkable journeys, with names, places and a survey of the text. This database includes a list of libraries where the original historic documents may be found.

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