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

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Mortuaries - San Mateo & San Francisco

The following list was compiled in the 1980-1990s. It is hopefully the start of a more comprehensive listing of mortuaries in San Mateo County and where their records might be.  If you can help please contact   The ads were gathered from the Examiner pages while working on our obituary project.  They are mainly for San Francisco mortuaries.
  • Carlmont Funeral Chapel - Belmont 
    • Rod McCoy (pre 1906)
    • Duggan's Carlmont Chapel 
    • Layng & Tinney - Belmont (SMCGS & RWC History Room have some records)
  • Chapel of the Highlands - Millbrae records start Oct 1952
  • Coehlo Bergler Dessem & Dufault - San Carlos 1947  
    • White Oaks Chapel
  • Crippen & Flynn Chapel - Redwood City 1950
    • Flynn & Crippen
    • Woodside Chapel
  • Crosby N Gray & Co - Burlingame 1940 
    • Stedt & Co - to 1927 bought by Frank Wycoff
    • Frank Wycoff 1927-1940 bought by Gray 
    • Gray combined with Crosby in 1943
    • N Gray-Crosby & Co
  • Duggan's Serra Mortuary - Daly City 1963
  • Dutra-Randleman Coastside - Half Moon Bay 1960
  • Johnson Menlo Colonial - Menlo Park 1947
  • Jones Mortuary - East Palo Alto 1974
  • Laswell W  & Co - Daly City 1915
  • Nauman & Lincoln Mortuary - SSF
  • Neptune Society of San Mateo
  • Noftsger South San Francisco1953 
    • Chapel By the Sea - Pacifica
    • Garden Chapel Inc - SSF 63
    • Larsons Garden Chapel 
  • Patterson & O'Connell's Chapel - San Mateo 1942
    • O'Connell's Chapel
  • Redwood Chapel
  • San Bruno Funeral Home - San Bruno 1974
    • Jack Bowlds 1963-1974 
    • Ray Ruskosky 1956-1963
    • Neri 1941-1956 
  • Snyder & Sullivan - San Mateo 1909

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

SMCGS Sharing Stories 2017

The Courtship and Marriage of Angela Saso and George Otis Row

Barbara Ebel

My mom and dad met at a coffee shop in San Francisco during the war, in October of 1942.  Angie, as she was known by almost all, was a native San Franciscan, the daughter of Sicilian immigrants.  Mom was on a break from her job at Postal Telegraph.  She was with her friend and co-worker, Connie Lombadero.  Daddy was eyeing Mom, and Connie told her she had to be nice because he’s in the military and there’s a war going on, and we have to support our servicemen.  Daddy was undergoing treatment at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital in Oakland for a fungus he’d picked up in Hawaii while diving for bodies after Pearl Harbor.   

My Mom’s nickname at work was “Sassy” because her last name was Saso, and she was kind of feisty.  Dad told Mom he was a “chief” in the Navy.  Mom said, “Chief of What?  Baghdad?”  My father had joined the Navy at 17 in 1928. There wasn’t much work for a farm boy from the little town in the northwest corner of Missouri, call Ravenwood.  His older brother Ranian had joined the Army Air Corp which became the Air Force.  He earned the rank of Master Sargeant.

After Daddy asked, Mom told him her phone and then wrote it down then tore up the note.  Daddy had memorized the number and called her.  They went on a few dates.  The most spectacular was the date at the Bal Tabarin a nightclub which later became Bimbo’s 365 Club.  They saw one of the regulars, Sophie Tucker, perform.  Ms. Tucker (the last of the red hot mama’s she called herself) was pleased to announce their engagement to the crowd.  (Anything for a serviceman.)  Mom was embarrassed and wished Daddy hadn’t asked Ms. Tucker to make that announcement. 

Because it was a “mixed marriage” (Mom was Catholic; Daddy was Protestant) and the church was way stricter then, my parents were married by a Justice of the Peace in grandma’s downstairs room nine days after meeting in the coffee shop.  Mom wore a blue dress.  Daddy was 31 and Mom was 32, but she told him she was born in 1911, so she’d seem only a couple of months older.  Her birthday was in February; his was in April.  I guess it was okay to be a couple of months older, but a year?  No way.

Mom wasn’t going to let this one get away. She’d been engaged previously for five years to a Dick Minahan.  One of her sisters saw Dick with another woman, and that ended that.  She kept the ring.  I have it today.

Angie and George were married ten years (although Mom said it seemed like five because he was away so much of the time) and had three daughters.  When she had my younger sister, Georgia, and third girl, Mom said I’m sorry to my father (for having another girl).  My father said, “That’s okay Honey.  I’m partial to girls.”

My father was stationed in Yoshida, Japan at the time he had his fatal heart attack.  We learned of his death via a Western Union telegram that was placed under the door mat on the front porch.  A friend from down the street was picking me up to walk to school and told my mom there was something under the mat.  I remember crying and saying I didn’t want Daddy to die.  I was five and a half years old and in kindergarten.  It took a month for his body to arrive so there could be a funeral.  I remember he was in a glass topped casket, and the smell of gardenias.  I hate that flower to this day.  He was buried in a military funeral at Golden Gate National Cemetery.  We didn’t go to the funeral itself.  I guess the flowers were at the wake.  My cousin, Caroljean, watched us at our house, and the family came back to the house after the funeral. 

My mom raised the three of us by herself.  We turned out all right.  There’s not a thief or a murderer among us.

Barbara Ebel is currently Secretary of SMCGS.  She was born in San Francisco and moved to Redwood City in 1948 where she has lived since.  Barbara first started working on her husbands genealogy in the 1980s while her sister worked on their family.  Employment put a halt for twenty years, but a class with Gayle Simon got her going again.  Other interests include hand quilting (she won a blue ribbon at the county fair for an antique Grandmother's Flower Garden), crocheting and knitting and baseball.  She has been a SF Giants fan since they moved west; Willie Mays is her all time favorite player. 

© 2017 Barbara Ebel - Please contact SMCGS for use of any portion of this story.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Genealogy Educational Opportunities

Introduction to Online Genealogy Sources
Saturday, August 19th, 2017 1:00PM 

Burlingame Public Library Central Library, Tech Lab
480 Primrose Rd, Burlingame, CA 94010

One-time workshop at Burlingame Library featuring a power-point lecture followed by a hands on workshop.  
Limited to 12 students.
Sign up by phoning Burlingame Public Library at (650) 558-7400 ext 2

The following is a listing of classes being held in San Mateo
North Santa Clara and San Francisco Counties this fall.  Be sure to scroll to the bottom for information on the SMCGS Fall Seminar
Federal Records and Mapping the West with the Sayres.

Advanced Genealogy with Maggie Melaney
(Trinity Monday Genealogy Club)
Mondays, 9:30 - 11:30
Trinity Church 330 Ravenswood Ave, Menlo Park, CA 94025
Open to experienced genealogists actively working on research, documentation, and publication.  Must be able to work as a group to help all class members explore and celebrate their family histories.
Please contact Maggie for information on joining.


Life Story Writing with Craig Siulinski- College of San Mateo Continuing Education: Saturdays, 9/9 – 11/18 (no class on 11/11) 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Class Fee:  $125 + $15 materials fee payable to instructor

Palo Alto Adult School: - Fall Quarter Registration opens 11 August 2017

Jump Start Your Genealogy: Fundamentals
Instructor: Christine Bell Green, PLCGS
9 weeks • September 14 – November 9 2017
Thursday • 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Palo Alto HS Rm. 204 • $75*

Discovering your roots is exciting; it teaches you about yourself as well as your family. This class is designed to give family historians/genealogists a strong foundation. We learn to effectively use common genealogical record types and important family history websites. Helping each other by sharing our journeys is an important part of the class.  Field trip is included.

Optional text: Greenwood, Val D. The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy: 3rd Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc., 2005

Genealogy: Intermediate
Instructor: Christine Bell Green PLCGS
9 weeks • September 13 – November 8 2017
Wednesday • 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Greendell Rm. P3 • $75*
Prerequisite: Beginning Genealogy or 1 year Genealogy research experience.

Do you have brick walls in your family history or ancestors you know little about? Learn to research using a broad cross-section of genealogical records and extract all the information from them, use the Internet effectively and become skilled at inferential genealogy. We maximize our efficiency by organizing our research better and sharing helpful tips. We write stories that will interest our families.  Field trip is included.

Optional text: Greenwood, Val D. The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy: 3rd Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc., 2005


Atherton Library Drop-In  - First Monday of the month, 1:30- 3:00PM With Maggie Melaney
Open drop in for anyone needing help with online or local resources.  We especially welcome people starting out or just curious about their family roots.
2 Dinkelspiel Station Ln, Atherton, CA 94027
Sign up for a spot by phoning the library at (650) 328-2422.


The San Mateo County Genealogical Society invites you to our Fall Seminar

Federal Records plus Mapping the West
Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA & Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

After October 27, registration goes up to the walk-in rate of $55

Saturday, November 4, 2017, 9 am - 3 pm
Menlo Park LDS Church, 1105 Valparaiso Ave, Menlo Park
$45 Members, $50 Non-members

Pam & Rick Sayre are among the best instructors in genealogy. Federal records, including maps and land records, are their specialty. Join us for these sessions:
- Mapping the West: Lewis & Clark to railroad surveys
- Rivers & Canals: Finding federal records
- Capital Treasure: Case studies featuring federal records

Also at the seminar:
Book Sale
Silent Auction  
Home-baked Cookies  

For more information & to register:

Christine Green, Seminar Chair


Special Interest groups offer an opportunity to work together to further your knowledge of records in specific areas. SMCGS currently has the following groups scheduled --  check Calendar for current meeting information

British/Irish Interest Groups with Maggie Melaney
Fourth Tuesday of the month 10AM/11AM at Redwood City Downtown Library
Resuming in August.  See calendar for details.

DNA Interest Group with Chris Green meets on the 3rd Thursday of each month from 2:15-3:45 in the CaƱada College Library.  The purpose of this group is to ask questions and get help interpreting your DNA results and deciding on next steps.

German Interest Group  meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 9:30 at the Family History Center at the Menlo Park LDS Church. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

SMCGS Databases: Naturalization Records

The Naturalization Indexes were published by SMCGS around 2000.  PDF versions which include the written explanation of the records have been posted on the society website.  They index all known naturalization records held at the county level, including Declaration of Intention to become a Citizen, Petitions and Certificates.

The Camp Fremont Index includes many soldiers from other places who were naturalized before they were discharged from the Army after WWI.

In order to vote, it was necessary to provide information on naturalization if you were foreign born. The county created a card file of those who had done so, the information included might provide not only a place of naturalization, but also a date, the name of the person who was naturalized (in the case of a wife or child), a marriage date and the voting district the person was living in at the time they provided the information.  (Note: this card file was not copied by FamilySearch but all information on the cards was extracted here.)

FamilySearch has digitized the Naturalization Records for San Mateo County through 1946, including the card file mentioned above.  Later records can be ordered through the County Recorders Office, or obtained from the federal government.

This new Finding Aid will hopefully direct you to the volume that you need to find the records after using the indexes above.