Relatives said William went west with brother, Hiram, during the Gold Rush (1848-1855) and both stayed in CA but he may have gone earlier when his parents died and siblings were distributed to relatives.
1850 Twp 1, Tuolumna Co, CA. Was it this Wm Van Gundy, 23, living there as a miner? He was the youngest of a family of men, all with different last names so was probably a mine shack.
1860 Santa Barbara Co, CA. At census time Wm, 32, was a farmer with a large estate valued at $8000/8000. (Had he found gold?) He was head of the house and living with him were brother Hiram, 30, and John S Hanks, 26, day laborer. Two doors down was David Zuck from Ohio. A relative?
He served in the Civil War:
DURING the War of the Rebellion, Santa Clara County evinced her willingness to stand by the Union, both with money and men. Of the former, many thousands of dollars were contributed and placed at the disposal of the Sanitary Commission. Of the latter, more volunteers were tendered than required, and many crossed the mountains in order to enlist under the old flag. Those who enlisted here were either retained in the State or sent to Arizona and New Mexico. There was no draft ever ordered in California to secure her proportion of troops, while there was always a reserve, in the volunteer companies organized under the State laws, more than sufficient for any emergency that might arise. California was far from the center of government, with a long line of exposed sea-coast, and, in case of foreign complications, subject to attack. For these reasons it was necessary that her people should remain at home to protect their own territory. This was done to a great extent, although each regiment, as it was organized, understood that it was to be sent East to take position at the front. Many men from Santa Clara County, not being able to enlist at home, went to San Francisco and other cities where the quota was not filled, in order to be enrolled. These were credited to other counties. Of those who enlisted from Santa Clara County we have record of the following:
Company E, Gilroy Guards.—John H. Adams, Captain; William O. Barker, First Lieutenant ; W. N. Furlong, Senior Second Lieutenant; William Van Gundy, Junior Second Lieutenant. Forty men, armed with rifle muskets.
1870 Where was William that year at census time?
6/17/1880 Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo Co, CA. The census recorded William at age 54, a farmer, wife Anna, 44, with children David A, 5, and Anna B, 7, as well as step-son Andrew Womack, 22. Brother Hiram was in the same county.
6/19/1900 San Jose, Santa Clara Co, CA. At census time it was a quiet household with only William, 72, and Nancy A, 64. They had been married 30 years and she had birthed 4 children but only 1 still survivied.
11/1904 Morgan Hill, Santa Clara Co, CA. He dictated the family tree there to son, Theodore, who later forwarded it to the Van Gundy Family Association.
Some say he died 1912 but Nancy was a widow in 1910.