Posted Sep 02, 2020 | By Janis Flippen

Ancestry Tourism in Oxnard: Traditions, Culture + History

While you might not need a reason to embark on a luxe holiday or adventure destination, ancestry tourism is about connecting with your roots.

Discover where you came from.

Connect with your past.

Learn about the stories that tell your family’s history.

Before you can plan your ancestry trip, you have to know where you came from. Technology and DNA kits make it easy for us to get one step closer to experiencing our family’s origins. People searching for adventure can pursue ancestral trails in search of clues, people, and places that define who they are.

Ancestry Tourism: Retracing History

One of the best ways to understand family history is to go on an ancestry trip. Visit cultural and historic destinations to relive the stories of your past.

Want to retrace your roots in Oxnard? Here are some tips to help you get started planning your ancestry tourism journey.

  • Look for street addresses, vital records, old mail, family addresses, and newspaper articles.
  • Study records about your family to find out where they worked, what churches and schools they went to, or where they were buried to trace your family’s lines.
  • Browse through photos, military records, diplomas, report cards, and letters.
  • Make a list of parents’ and grandparents’ maiden names and look for maps from your ancestor’s period.
  • Connect with the older generation in your family and ask questions about their upbringing and the stories that shaped them.
  • Dig in! Putting together a family tree is like a treasure hunt. You never know what you may find.
  • Use social media to connect with anyone who shares your last name.

Ancestry travelers curious about connecting with their Oxnard family ties can visit these locations for more clues about their genetic history.

Museum of Ventura County

Head straight to the source. The Museum of Ventura County contains an extensive research library with historical references, monographs, and biographies. Here you’ll find city and county directories, census records, and information that could help your origin story unfold. Stop by for a visit and browse through the county newspapers to find historical maps and interviews with Ventura County experts. Dive into the research by combing through telephone books dating back to the invention of the telephone.

The Museum of Ventura County is a top resource for anyone hoping to reveal more about the first families who called Ventura County home.

The Ventura County Genealogical Society

As Maya Angelou famously said, “you can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.” To learn more about your roots in Ventura County, visit The Ventura County Genealogical Society. Search through local records and ask the volunteers for help with your genealogical research.

The Camarillo California Family History Center

Here, you’ll find an online database to get access to your past history. The Camarillo California Family History Center also has microfilm readers to view films that you can order from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Get to know what your family did for fun, long before cell phones and modern technology. Explore the different types of food grown in Ventura County at the time and the various spices used.

Feeling inspired? Create a meal based around your family recipes to share with future generations.

History of Oxnard: Famous Families

The McGrath Family: One of Ventura County’s oldest and most influential families

Ever been to McGrath State Beach? Over a century ago, the McGrath family settled in Ventura County. Hundreds of descendants of the original McGrath family continue to live and work here. At one point, the family owned all the beachfront property from Ventura to Port Hueneme, including the Channel Islands Harbor, Mandalay Beach Resort, and nearby homes. The McGraths’ farming legacy dates back to February 1876. The McGrath Family Farm in Camarillo is a sustainable farm that grows organic fruits and vegetables.

The Borchard Family: Responsible for the first commercial crop on the Oxnard plain in the 1800s

Christian Borchard and his son, John Edward “Ed” Borchard, planted the first 30 acres of wheat and 30 acres of barley in Oxnard. These early farmers worked hard and gave back to the community. The family was on the building committee for the original Santa Clara Chapel. They were also instrumental in the development of the Santa Clara Church on E Street. Ed Borchard planted a variety of sugar beets and partnered with Albert F. Maulhardt to develop the sugar factory in 1898.

The Maulhardt Family: Grew crops in the Oxnard Plain in the late 1860s

The Maulhardt family has deep roots in Oxnard. This family of farmers, along with the Borchard’s, developed the sugar beet factory and teamed up with Henry Oxnard and his brothers. Named after Henry, the City of Oxnard was developed to accommodate the growing population of factory workers and their families.


Whether you want to connect with your roots, learn more about your culture, or embrace a different way of travel, ancestry tourism can be an unpredictable journey into the unknown. Learn about Oxnard’s history and past. It may help you uncover a new meaningful layer about your family history and help shape your future.

About the Author:

Janis Flippen

Janis Flippen has an extensive career in public relations, specializing in tourism. Agency experience includes Bob Thomas & Associates and Carl Terzian Associates in Century City. She has represented Oxnard, Ventura, Ojai, Santa Clarita and Lompoc.

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