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

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

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

SMC Databases Online: School Records 1

Redwood City School 
Courtesy San Mateo County History Museum 
Funding (or lack thereof) of schools and teachers is not a new problem.  In 1907 the following petition was filed.....
To the Honorable Board of Supervisors of the County of San Mateo.
The Undersigned respectfully represent that they are citizens and taxpayers of and within San Mateo County; that the salaries paid the teachers in the grammar schools of San Mateo County are less than the average salaries paid in corresponding  counties in the State of California; that as your Board is well aware, the expenses of living have increased twenty-five per cent. And over, and there has been a corresponding increase in wages paid laborers and other employed persons; that the salaries of teachers in the grammar grades have not increased except in rare instances and that the salaries paid such teachers are disproportionately low when compared to other occupations.
Your Board is in a position to grant a measure of relief by increasing the County School tax XXXXX which tax at the present time is below the average school tax in the State of California.
WHEREFORE your petitioners respectfully pray that your Board increase the rate of school taxes to be levied by your Board on the third Monday in September, next, five (5) six (6) cents above the rate levied last year, for the purpose of providing funds for bringing the salaries of teachers up to the average paid in this State.
Respectfully submitted, -
Dated August 29, 1907

Included in the records found in Drawer 31 in the SMC Record Repositories are signatures from 391 individuals living in San Mateo, Burlingame, Pigeon Point, Pescadero, Redwood City, Jefferson, and San Bruno districts.  List of Signers

In 1920 the trustees of the school districts signed the following petition

To the County Superintendent of Schools, San Mateo County, Cal.,
Dear Sir, -
In order that our schools may have sufficient funds to pay fair salaries and to provide for proper maintenance, we the trustees of the following School Districts respectfully request that you ask a sufficient tax rate to cover all expenses. The tax rate for the past year was inadequate.

SMC Families: Agustin Guerrero

Agustin (Hipolito) Guerrero (Francisco-1) 

Agustin the son of Francisco Guerrero and Josephine DeHaro was born on 13 Aug 1842 in Yerba Buena.

Before 1870 he married Margaret Miller (1) who was also born in 1842.(2)  Living with them in Township 5 that year are Mary and Susan Miller.


In 1880 the family is listed in Twp #4, Spanishtown, San Mateo, CA. (3)
Agustin died on 7 Jan 1882 at the age of 39(4) and was buried in Pilarcitos Cemetery in Half Moon Bay,(5) 

Agustin and Margaret  had the following children:
  • Augustine Dolores Guerrero was born 1876 in San Mateo County.  She married first, John Lennon, who had been previously married to Margaret McMahon, on 6 Dec 1893(6) in San Mateo County.  He died on Christmas Eve 1899 in Colma (7) and she married second William J Kennedy before 1910.(7) Augustine died on 7 Feb 1949 in  San Francisco.  Augustine and John Lennon had three children
    • Victor Lennon
    • Margueretta Josephine Lennon
    • Dolores Maude Lennon m. Mullen
      • James J. Mullen
      • Robert J. Mullen
                Augustine and William Kennedy had two children,
    • Maude J Kennedy died before 1949.  Maude is listed as Kennedy in her mother's obituary so it is assumed she was not married.
    • William I Kennedy (Jumbo) was born after 1910 and died in 1957.  

  • Victoriano William Guerrero was born on 22 Dec 1877 in Half Moon Bay.  He married Rhoda Blanche Schultz on 24 November 1906.  Victor died on 9 Aug 1945 in Atherton.(8)
Marriage Record Victor Guerrero and Blanche Schultz (1)
  • Josephine Maud Guerrero, born 19 Oct 1880(9), San Mateo Co. CA; married T(homas) J(erome) Kelly, 30 Jun 1897(10), San Mateo Co. CA.
(1) Marriage of Victor Guerrero and Blanche Schultz
(2) Augustine Guerrero Household, 1870 U.S. census, population schedules. NARA microfilm publication M593-87 p391A  Township 5, San Mateo,California
(3)  Tenth Census of the United States, 1880.  NARA Microfilm Publication T9 Roll 80 ED 240 p 448C San Mateo - Twp #4  Spanishtown, San Mateo CA 
(4) Grunigan Mary Lou, San Mateo Times Gazette Index of Vital Records1859-1899. SMCGS Guerrero, Augustine d. 7 Jan 1882 34 years
(5) Find A Grave
(6) San Francisco Morning Call. 11 Dec 1893; San Mateo Times Gazette Index of Vital Records1859-1899.Guerrero, Gussie D mm. John Lennon 12/6/1893 in Dec 16 issue
(7)  San Mateo County, San Mateo County Death Record Book - Earliest to 1917 (San Mateo County - Located at Tower Road Record Repository), John Lennon 33 Ireland 12/24/1899 near Holy Cross Cemetery M White Saloon Keeper shock and Hemorrhage EE Cunningham JP Holy Cross, Colma 12/26/1899. 
(8) County of San Mateo, San Mateo County Death Register (Located at 25 Tower Road, San Mateo.), Volume 31 Certificate #775 dated 8/13/1945 registrant Charles C Gans MD by Helen M O'Neill - Residence 295 Selby Lane, Atherton, SM- SS# 561-07-5119 - died of liver cancer.
(9) San Mateo Times Gazette Index of Vital Records1859-1899. Guerrero, girl b. 19 Oct 1880 to A. Guerrero in Oct 23 issue

(10)San Mateo Times Gazette Index of Vital Records1859-1899.  Guerrero Maude J m. TJ Kelly 30 Jun 1897 in Jul 3 issue.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

San Mateo County Cemeteries: God's Acre on the Hill

Tripp's Store

Emeline Tripp died in 1886 and was buried in "God's Acre" Cemetery across from the family store in Woodside alongside an unnamed daughter who died as an infant.  Her remains were moved to Union Cemetery in Redwood City.  In 1941 a cousin, Emma Locke who lived in Massachusetts, had her moved again to Cypress Lawn in Colma.  There she lies with her husband Abby.  Whether the unnamed daughter was moved is unknown. Emeline Tripp -FindAGrave 


"Both Agnes and William Bourn were buried in the cemetery (in 1936) on the knoll overlooking the House and valley, with Maud and their infant son, whose grave had been moved to the site. In 1981 their granddaughter Elizabeth Rose was buried in the family plot. The Bourn family still owns the five-acre burial plot. A copy of a Celtic cross at Muckross Abbey stands on the knoll with the words “Fight, Live and Live” carved on its base. The first “live” was undoubtedly a mistake."   Filoli : The Bournes
celtic cross from the cemetary at Filoli

Earlier their daughter Maud (m. Vincent), who had died on 12 Feb 1929 in New York City, enroute to visit her ailing father was the first to be buried.  The gravesite chosen had a view of the lake.  Today the view is obstructed by oaks and madrones.

The Last Bonanza Kings: The Bourns of San Francisco by Ferol Egan  quotes a letter written by Will in October of 1929 to Judge Olney, " We have consecrated a bit of ground, called God's Acre on the Hill. It is our family burial ground. Would it not be wise to deed God's Acre to St. Matthews Church as I think the time will come when no one will care for it and all is now done with that in mind. If it could be made tax free I do not see how it is humanly possible to better protect it."
William Bowers Bourne - 1

Agnes, William, Maud and Elizabeth Rose do not lie alone in the lands of Filoli,  In 1935 H Squires first sampled remains found on the estate. In the 1970s forty-six Ohlone burials dating approximately 895-1400 AD were identified.  California Archeology

Mythic Implications of Faunal Assemblages from Three Ohlone sites. Barbara Lee Jones 2010
Ohlone Dig at Filoli 1977  Includes pictures
Matson and Roth Family History  LM Roth

1 It is held that the use of copyrighted images of individuals that are no longer living, are inherently unrepeatable, and where no new free-use image is available is permitted under US copyright law governing the fair use of copyrighted properties, and Wikipedia fair use policies. Its use is solely for the purpose of illustration and in no way limits the copyright holders rights.