San Mateo County Genealogical Society's Blog featuring society events, projects, meeting notes and other items of relevance to genealogists.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

San Mateo County Cemeteries : Tung Sen

Harper's Weekly 28 Jan 1882
Chinese Burial at Lone Mountain
In May 1883, San Francisco, an article in Harper's New Monthly Magazine (VLXVI - No. 396) gave the following description of the chinese burial grounds in San Francisco...."This burial-place is not grouped with the others in the general Golgotha at Lone Mountain, but adjoins that devoted to the city paupers, out among the melancholy sand-dunes by the ocean shore. It is parcelled off by white fences into inclosures (sic) for a large number of separate burial guilds, or tongs, as the Fook Yam Tong, the Tung Sen Tong, the Ye On Tong, etc."  

The article goes on to describe the ceremonial rites on the annual propitiation of the spirits of the dead.  It is an interesting insight into not only the that ceremony but also the desire to convey the bones of the dead back to their homes in China. 

Like all cemeteries in San Francisco, the chinese sections of Lone Mountain were closed to further burials and bodies were eventually re interred in cemeteries in Colma and Daly City.  Russ Brabec's Daly City's Cemeteries gives some of the background for the chinese cemeteries, including Tung Sen which purchased land in 1936.

The Tung [Together] Sen Association (Tung Sen Tang) was founded to provide mutual support within a community of emigres from the Loong Du villages which surround the city of Zhong Shan in the Guangdong province of China.  Language separated not only Chinese from settlers from other counties, but also those within the Chinese community.  The Loong Du segregated themselves in their search for identity and unity settling on just a few streets by the waterfront.  In early years the members of the tang gathered in a dry goods store on Jackson street, sharing news from home and information about jobs.  In 1908 the association contracted for a building on Stockton street.  Today they are listed at 1129 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94133 - (415) 397-2834

 In the early 21st century a "Benevolent" Association was formed, but searches for the webpages they had developed in an effort to share information on the Loong Du historical roots leads only to broken links.  The cemetery, however, is maintained by the Tung Sen Association, alternately called in some listings the Tung Sen Cemetery Association.  I did not call asking for records, but I would think that they would be maintained in the San Francisco office.

The cemetery is located in Daly City at the end of Longford Ave, off Hickey.

 Further research and reading....

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

San Mateo County Places : West Union pt 2

from the Collections of the San Mateo County History Museum

Although this blog covered West Union Township a few months ago the recent discovery of a fantastic map located in the archives of the San Mateo County History Museum dictates an update.  It seems that the map was drawn by Don and Phillip Kreiss in 1956, although there appear to be updates added in the 1980s.

I've included two photographs of the map here, the one above should give a good idea of where the schoolhouse stood.  The junction of Canada and Edgewood is a good point of reference.  The map shows the home of JV Swift among others and also some business, natural and man-made landmarks.

Unfortunately there is no mention of the cemetery on the map.  Most likely it was long gone before the Kreiss brothers explored the area. It also seems likely that it was

Quick phone camera pictures don't do this map justice!  What a treasure.  What other maps are hiding in the SMCHA archives?  I definitely need more time to explore.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Early Northern San Mateo County Settlers

Russell Brabec has finished a number of biographies on the early settlers of Northern San Mateo County.  You will find links to the pdf files below.  Look for another list of families later this spring.  

Mother Minerva 1927
Along with the early settlers you will find a biography of John Patrick (Jack) Lawson: Mayor of Bayshore.   Bayshore was a short lived city located near the border of San Francisco behind where the Cow Palace is located today.  Incorporated in 1932 to "...ensure a local government friendly to the racetrack and bookies. Dog racing was the town's purpose."  Dog racing was outlawed in 1939 under pressure from  horse racing interests and the city unincorporated. You can read more about Bayshore City in the San Mateo Daily Journal article, Bayshore City was built for the dogs, of 5 Mar 2007.

Don't miss the biography of Mother Minerva Hartman 1832-1937, a nurse in the Civil War, the Crimea, the Spanish American War.... and more.  A late settler in the area, Mother Minerva died in a fire at the age of 104 in Colma, where she had lived for about 30 years. 

Early Settlers of Northern San Mateo County