The long-term project to index SMC Coroner's Records has been completed. The majority of the 40.000+ files were indexed by Russ Brabec. The index goes through the year 1984. An earlier post on this blog, SMCGS Databases Online: Coroner's Records, discusses the index and the digital images that are available on FamilySearch.
Coroner's records can be full of interesting information. Take the case of James Malaney, who was found outside some 60 yards from his cabin by John Anderson. John originally saw him and thought he was sleeping but on passing him again 2 1/2 hours later checked him and realized he was dead.
It turns out that James had received some money. As was his custom, according to witnesses, he went on a drinking binge. The binge had lasted between 8 and 10 days.
A jury was sworn, heard the evidence and on 14 Mar 1881 found that James Malaney, age about 58, nativity unknown but thought thought to have resided in Wisconsin previously, had died of exposure and exhaustion.
Some files are much longer than this five page file. You will find natural deaths, train accidents, drownings, murders, suicides and much more.
Index to San Mateo County Coroner's Records 1856-1984