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

Monday, April 24, 2017

SMCGS Spring Seminar

Early Bird deadline is this Friday, April 28!

Please be sure to register for the SMCGS Spring Seminar by this Friday, April 28 in order to take advantage of advance pricing. Walk in Rates apply after April 28.

Not Your Usual Records with Amy Johnson Crow
Spring Seminar on Saturday, May 6, 2017, 9 am - 3 pm
Menlo Park LDS Church, 1105 Valparaiso Ave, Menlo Park
$45 Members, $50 Non-members, $55 Walk-Ins

Step off the beaten path with Amy and discover unexpected resources in these four one-hour sessions:
- Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker: Using Occupational Records
- After Mustering Out: Researching Civil War Vets
- Finding Ancestors before 1850
- Desperately Seeking Susan: Finding Females

Amy has a master's degree in Library Science, blogs regularly, and helps clients with research.

Book Sale
Thank you to all who have recently donated books from their collections. Some sample titles you will see at the Book Sale:
The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy edited by Szucs & Luebking
My Ancestor was an Apprentice by Raymond
Tracing Your Tank Ancestors by Tait & Fletcher
Army Records for Family Historians by Fowler

Silent Auction 
Here is a chance to try new software, or add to your current subscription while helping SMCGS raise funds to cover our expenses. We have for the auction:
Mini-consultations with Inge Harding-Barlow
Walk over to the Family History Library right next to the Seminar building.
Hours: 7:30 am - 1:00 pm
Note: The Family History Library will be open on May 6 until 4:00 pm.
Home-baked Cookies 
SMCGS bakers will be mixing up their usual hard-to-resist homemade cookies and bars.

Hope to see you there!

Warm regards,

Christine Green
Seminar Chair

Sharing Stories

Last call for stories!
Submissions close this Sunday, April 30
Please finish up and send us your stories!

Sharing Stories: 
A SMCGS event to encourage writing our stories 
for future generations

Join the fun and write a family history or local San Mateo County story.
Submit your story to SMCGS to be entered into a drawing for prizes, publication,
and/or reading aloud at a monthly meeting. Each entry receives a small gift.
For information on guidelines & formatting, and to submit a story, click here.
We look forward to receiving your stories!

At our monthly meeting on May 20, we will have drawings for prizes for all stories submitted, an extra drawing for those stories taking place in San Mateo County, and a small gift for all entries. We will round out the meeting with story readings and sharing a pot luck meal together.
We hope you get a story down on paper to share with your fellow genealogists, not to mention your own family!

Questions? Contact
Sharing Stories Readings and Lunch - May 20
More information on Sharing Stories can be found on our website at

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Barry's Bits

culled from the San Francisco Examiner by Barry Goyette 

Ah...The Problems of Wealth ....

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

San Mateo County Cemeteries: Japanese Cemetery

Lying directly across from Olivet Memorial Park is the small but very picturesque Japanese Cemetery. Established in 1900 by the Japanese Benevolent Society,  the burial grounds are open to Japanese people of all faiths.  The Japanese Benevolent Society of California was established in 1890 and over the years has met its mandate to assist those in need.  It has served as a unifying force for the Buddist, Shinto and Christian Japanese communities.
SF Chronicle Friday, July 10, 1936  pg 17

The cemetery was opened in June of 1901.   In 1906 the Meiji Emperor of Japan  gave a grant to the Benevolent Society "for the relief of sick, disabled or destitute persons of the Japanese race” in California and to provide “a suitable burial ground for deceased Japanese.” Bodies were moved from Laurel Hill Cemetery and Masonic Cemetery as the San Francisco movement to close cemeteries took effect.

More than 5000 burials have taken place since 1901.  Among the graceful and often majestic stones you will find a tower honoring the three crewmen from the Kanrin-Maru who on landing in 1860 brought the first Japanese embassy to the US, a monument to Ministers and Members of the Buddhist Churches of America, a War Memorial to unknown soldiers, and a monument to bodies moved from Laurel Hill Cemetery.

Japanese Cemetery
1301 Hillside Ave, Colma

Japanese Cemetery - FindAGrave - lists 155 burials
Japanese Benevolent Society-Jikeikai
Japanese Cemetery Annual Clean-up 
Praying for deceased souls in Colma Japanese Cemetery


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

SMCGS Databases: San Mateo Times Gazette Index 1859-1899

One of the early indexes published by SMCGS is the San Mateo Times Gazette Index 1859-1899 compiled by Mary Lou Grunigen.

There are two parts to this index, which was originally published in 1996 in book form.  The first part is an index to vital records (births, marriages, deaths, probates, etc.) for the first forty years of this early publication.

The second part is an every name index to the paper from 1859-1867.  Here you might find entries for tax lists, memberships to social institutions, crime reports and much more.

The printed publication, like all SMCGS publications has been digitized and is available for public search on the SMCGS website.

San Mateo County Times Gazette Index