Fortunately one printout of that original index survived. Fran Pillsbury scanned it and work began anew. Irene Gough, Leon Glahn and Donna Farmar checked every entry against the files in those eleven drawers. Others joined in as the list was proofread two more times. Finally in 2005 the index was deemed complete and the society published it in book form.
The files, themselves, date mainly from the mid 1920's to about 1970. Additionally, through the years, various families removed their loved ones from Union Cemetery, favoring the perpetual care of the cemeteries in Colma. The files of removals by Layng andTinney provide information on deaths back as early as 1877.
You can find obituaries, death records, receipts, letters and more within the files.
There are over seven thousand files housed in the SMCGS library. They are filed alphabetically by surname and then given name. In the case of two identical names the earlier death is filed first. Some records are contained in file folders and others in envelopes. It is important to remember if you use these records that they are anywhere from 45 to 90 years old and, therefore, they are somewhat fragile. If you visit the SMCGS Library during staffed hours, a volunteer can retrieve a file for you to view. If you would like to order a record you will find information on the SMCGS Research Page.
Today the index, like all indexes created by SMCGS is available for free on our website.
Redwood Library History Room.