Hi Carole. I am in Acampo, CA at my mom's right now.She has a page written by Gertrude Johnson, Martha Pennar's daughter, with some Pennar history. She wrote "Grandma Pennar was born in New York state and was named Elmira after the city.She came to the Carlos area with her folks in 1868, at the age of sixteen."It doesn't say why though. An interesting tidbit, is that when she was five she had her hand cut off at the wrist, hanging only by a piece of flesh.Her grandmother wrapped it and it grew back together.