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

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Looking Across The County Line

Barry E. Hinman


As genealogists we know the importance of familiarizing ourselves with the geography of the area we are interested in. Where is that county in the state? What are the neighboring counties? Where exactly is our town of interest situated and is it near a county line?

We also know that we need to have at least a general knowledge of the history of the area, so that, for example, we know when records of various types begin.

All of this information we can gather from The Handy Book for Genealogists or usgenweb. But what we usually can’t find in such sources as those is the institutional history of the area, which can have a great impact on our ancestors’ daily lives and the decisions they made.

To apply this specifically to San Mateo County and Redwood City, here are two examples. Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City opened its doors for the first time on 25 Oct 1950. Prior to that time, there was in the county only Mills Hospital in Burlingame. Seven miles south, however, just across the creek dividing San Mateo County from Santa Clara County to the south, was Palo Alto General Hospital. Obviously it was much closer to Redwood City than Mills, and it was there that large numbers of Redwood City families went when they had occasion. For that reason, the births of many children who lived in Redwood City are not found in San Mateo County records but in Santa Clara County records.

The old Palo Alto General Hospital building still exists on the Stanford campus, easily visible from El Camino Real, lying just to the south of the front parking lot of the Stanford Shopping Center. Today it is called the Hoover Pavilion located at 211 Quarry Road.

Hoover Pavilion - Hoover Medical Campus
As with birth, so with death. Many Redwood City residents will have died not in San Mateo County but in Santa Clara County prior to 1950. To this day many will be buried in that county as well. Union Cemetery in Redwood City was closed to most burials except those of paupers in 1918, and Holy Cross Cemetery in Menlo Park was for Catholics only. Once again, for those living in southern San Mateo County, the nearest institution was south, across the county line, in Santa Clara County—Alta Mesa Memorial Park at 695 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto. It was much closer than the cemeteries of Colma, and, of course, the climate was much better.

So if you have not found births or deaths or burials of residents of Redwood City or southern San Mateo County look south across the county line.

Santa Clara County Birth Certificates
Santa Clara County Death Certificates

California State Birth Index 1905-1995
California State Death Index  1905-1939 1940-1997

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

SMCGS Databases Online: The Clipping File



The SMCGS Clipping file is a small, but growing, collection of articles about San Mateo County residents. 

Researchers are encouraged to submit articles about early San Mateo County ancestors to aid others researching the same families.  If desired contact information for the submitter will be supplied to anyone requesting copies.



Index to the SMCGS Clipping File




Copies of clippings from this collection can be obtained by contacting the Research team at SMCGS.


 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Barry's Bits and Upcoming Events

San Francisco Examiner

                       Upcoming Events                         

Barry Hinman and Mary Lou Grunigen volunteer at the San Mateo County Genealogical Society library located at Canada College in Redwood City. They welcome members of the Society and visitors who would like a tour of the library and an introduction to its holdings. They are also available, of course, to consult about genealogical problems or research strategies. They are there from 1:00-4:00 on the second Tuesday of every month if the Canada library is open to the public on that day.  

Thu, Oct 11, 2018 – Workshop: Getting the Most Out of FamilySearch
Christine Bell Green PLCGS 

2:30 am–4:00 pm; CaƱada College Library Computer Lab, 4200 Farm Hill Blvd, San Mateo

FamilySearch is a powerful (and free) genealogical program that is constantly growing and changing. This hands-on workshop allows users to experience the records, the catalog, the Wiki – and learn which records can be accessed at home and/or at a Family History Center.
Cost $5 SMCGS members, $10 non-members


Christine Bell Green is a professional genealogist and teacher at Palo Alto and Mountain View/Los Altos Adult Schools. She is a past-president of SMCGS.

_____________________________________________________________
October Meeting:  


A Year in Salem: The Witchcraft Crisis of 1692
Gay Scott

 Join us for a Halloween meeting looking into what happened in the Salem witch trials. Gay will delve into witchcraft roots from Mesopotamia to Europe and England leading up to the witchcraft crisis of 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts. Gay's 7x great grandmother was accused of being a witch in Salem in 1692.

Gay Scott has a love of history and is a member of the Mt. Diablo Chapter DAR, the Anne Hutchinson Chapter Colonial Dames of the 17th Century, San Francisco Chapter Magna Charta Dames and Barons and now the Associated Daughters of Early American Witches. She is married with two children and three grandchildren. She told her two grandsons that now they could be members of the Sons of Witches but they didn't seem too interested.


Saturday, October 20 
10 am - cookies and coffee
10:30-12 noon  
Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo Entrance in back.

__________________________________________________________________


November Meeting: Prohibition  -- Ray Cosyn




Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Mystery Woman in my Great, Great Grandparents Grave

by Jean Ann Carroll



Several months ago, I paid a visit to Holy Cross Cemetery with the goal finding my maternal great grandparents grave, Mathew & Julia Maloney. 

I haven’t been to the cemetery for a long time; it’s too close and easy to do research. I had the location and set off looking.  No such luck. There are no markers, signs, area maps or other visuals to find a grave.  Then, I headed off to the office. I have found staff less than helpful on a variety of occasions so my expectations were low.   A nice woman looked up the location (even though I had it and gave it to her).  She looked up the name and printed out the information.

Here is the amazing part:    She gave the paper to a man standing at the counter and said he would escort me to the gravesite!  I was astounded.  He asked me to follow him in my car.  We parked; got out and he pointed to a gravestone and said, “There it is.”   I said, “No, it’s not; that says Mahoney; not Maloney.   Ohh..

He gets out a walkie talkie and asks the woman the location of where we were standing.  She gave him the location; we walked back a row and he pointed to a patch of unhealthy grass and weeds and said, “That’s it.”  There is no tombstone or grave marker.  The area is quite large.  I began to take photos of the surrounding tombstones for orientation.  The one very large raised concrete block with a center of unhealthy grass right next to the Maloney plot had one name on it:         CARROLL

I said, “Holy Sh@t!!”   He walked away from me and said something.  (Didn’t hear him.) I asked what.   He said something on the order of chastising me for language unsuitable for a cemetery.

I explained.  He said, go back to the office and ask for the names of the people who are buried in these two graves.  I did and received a copy of the two plots:  Maloney & Carroll.

The graphic showed the names and burial dates of those in each of the graves within the plot:

 GRAVE 1:  Mathew Maloney 1-5-1893; Margaret Glynn (sister to Julia)  7-12-1920
 GRAVE 2: James W. Maloney (son)  10-22-1894
 GRAVE 3:  Mary West 5-30-1906    Julia Maloney   8-9-1910    John Maloney 7-30-1927   

And, the question is:  Who is Mary West???
I made a “contribution” to Holy Cross to cover my good luck; then started researching the new mystery
person.

Turns out Mary West is Mary Maloney West, sister to Mathew, native of County Westmeath.  She was married to Charles West who has his own interesting story; or more precisely, demise.

San Francisco Call - October 25, 1897




Then, on to find what happened to Mary West.  I was able to track her with 1900 census and city directories.

She lived in various boarding houses in in San Francisco.  And, then there was the obituary of May 30, 1906 containing facts and an another emigma!


No mention of a funeral or mass or burial.  The plot information says she was buried on May 30th.  Died in April; buried late the next month?  What’s going on here?

My conclusion is she was badly injured in the San Francisco earthquake of April 18, found and taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital where she died on April 24th.  Then, possibly put in “cold storage” along with hundreds of other unidentified bodies until relatives could negotiate with city authorities in the awful confusion the resulted from the quake.  It’s the best I can do until I summon up the patience, courage, and energy to go to San Francisco and negotiate the dysfunctional office of public records to get a death certificate.

Jean Ann Carroll; September 7, 2018

P.S.   Not related to Carrolls in adjacent grave.















Wednesday, September 19, 2018

SMC Newspapers: Redwood City Democrat/Star/Standard

The Times-Gazette, a republican newspaper,  had little local opposition until October 18, 1886 when the Redwood City Democrat was started by Nathan C. Cornell.


1893 - Remington Brothers Newspaper Manual - Pittsburg PA

After several changes of ownership, W. L. Davis purchased the Democrat in 1898, in partnership with James Vincent Swift, who had learned the newspaper business from the ground up on the Times-Gazette. The 1903 N.W Ayers and Sons American Newspaper Directory reported that Davis was the publisher and he shared editorial duties with Swift.  Shortly thereafter, according to Swifts biography, the partnership dissolved and Swift became the sole proprietor.

One notable issue of the Democrat was that of  July 4, 1910 which was produced solely by women. Posts on the Redwood City Voice. in 2015 and again as part of the Historical Blog series 2017 tell more.

When Mr. Swift, became the local postmaster in 1915, his son, Arthur V. Swift moved from the mechanical department, joining  James D. Hedge as publisher. In 1916 Hedge and Ed McGettigan added a daily paper to the mix.  That paper, The Star,  lasted only a year. 

In 1919 the Democrat was renamed the Redwood City Standard and Redwood City Democrat and in 1921 the name was shortened to the Redwood City Standard.

Publication continued until 1931 when the Redwood City Standard merged with the Tribune.

While some libraries such as UC Berkeley have limited issues, you will find many if not all issues of the papers at the repositories below.  Sources,  say the paper was started in 1886, however, no known collection begins before 1889.



Rowells American Newspaper Directory 1887 New York



  • Redwood City Democrat (weekly) microfilm 1889:3:7-1919:1:30   RCL(s),  CA Lib(s), SMCHA (p) originals RCL (p)
  • The Star (Daily)  Vol. 1, no. 19 (July 7, 1916) SMCHA Original (p)
  • Redwood City standard and Redwood City Democrat (weekly) Vol. 44, no. 20 (Feb. 6, 1919)-v. 46, no. 3 (Oct. 6, 1921) Microfilm RCL, CA Lib (s), SMCHA (p) Originals RCL
  • Redwood City Standard (weekly) Vol. 46, no. 4 (Oct. 13, 1921)-v. 45, no. 43 (Oct. 27, 1931) Microfilm RCL, CA Lib, Originals RCL
  • See the Tribune

_____________________________________________________
(w) weekly (d) daily (n) daily except Sunday and holidays
(p) partial run  (s) scattered missing issues
CA Lib - California State Library
UCR - University of California Riverside - Newspaper Master Files
RCL - Redwood City Public Library
SM Lib - San Mateo City Library
SMCHA - San Mateo County Historical Association Archives 

Source
Newspapers of SMC Don Piercy June 1941 SM 329 (SMCHA)

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Barry's Bits and Upcoming Events

San Francisco Examiner - Jan 1928

                       Upcoming Events                         



September Meeting:   



Researching Your Civil War Ancestors

     Date:        Saturday, September 22, 2018


         10:00 am Cookies & coffee
         10:30 am - 12 noon 
         
Location: Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo
         Entrance in back.




Speaker: Mary Boyle

From 1861 to 1865, this country was torn apart by an internal war. Counting both the Confederate and Union armies, 3.3 million men were in the service. The U.S. 
population in 1860 was 31,443,321. Find out how you can discover whether or not your ancestor served and what happened in "his" war.
This presentation will cover resources both digital and printed that will help with Civil War research. We will look at examples from both the Union and Confederate sides. Learn why the war lasted so long and produced so many casualties and get some insight into why it is still impacting us in 2018.

Mary Boyle has been a librarian at the Santa Clara City Library since 2004. She is currently Local History/Genealogy Librarian and has assisted many people in furthering their genealogy research. Mary has lectured in California on genealogical topics since 2014 and has been researching her family for more than thirty years. In 2010, she proved her lineage to a Revolutionary War patriot, Prince Soper. His grandson, her great grandfather, served on the Union side in the Civil War.
 _____________________________________________

SOLD OUT   

FALL SEMINAR 2018 -  

Exploring DNA and Genetic Genealogy with CeCe Moore

Sat, November 3, 2018,  9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Menlo Park LDS Church Hall, 1105 Valparaiso, Menlo Park 


                   ______________________________________________

October Meeting-  Gay Scott, A Year in Salem: The Witchcraft Crisis of 1692 
November Meeting - Ray Cosyn, Prohibition 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Layng & Tinney Mortuary Files revisited

The newest SMCGS project has begun.  The over 7000 files in the Layng and Tinney Mortuary Collection will be scanned to ensure they remain available for researchers use even if the physical files disappear.

The files can provide a wondrous amount of information on a family.  Take the file of John Bryson Abbott who died 28 Jan 1935.  Inside you will find newspaper clippings tracking his family for quite a few years.  In wondering why, we discovered that his bill was not completely paid until 1946.  


The file includes a Certificate of Burial which gives parents names and birth places, his wife, the fact he had lived in Redwood City for 9 years and that he is buried in Alta Mesa Cemetery.  There are two typed obituaries, plus two clipped from newspapers.  









There is a copy of the bill for the funeral and a notice of a trustee sale for the property in 1941. 

In addition there is a notice of his son Cyril's marriage license application as well as one for a nephew, an article about his son's fiance's bridal shower, an obituary for his sister, a hand written note sending the viewer to another file for information on the marriage of another son.  In other words, a lot of genealogical information that could save hours of research time.



This project is no small undertaking.  As Barbara Ebel and I set up the process today, just three files took us 45 minutes, so we can use all the help we can get.  If you would like to lend a hand using the library scanner, or by scanning at home contact Publications@smcgs.org for details.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Sanchez Adobe



Nestled in San Pedro Valley (Pacifica)  is the second oldest house in San Mateo County.  Begun in 1842 by Don Francisco Sanchez it sits on land that had originally known as the village Pruristac home of the Ramaytush band of the Ohlone Tribe. 
Diagram of Mission Buildings

In 1776 Mission Dolores established an outpost, San Pedro y San Pablo Asistencia, on the site to facilitate mission work and to grow food for the mission.  Logs mark the boundaries of the original buildings.  

The outpost was abandoned in 1834 when the mission system was dismantled. 

In 1836 the land was part of the Rancho San Pedro grant to Francisco Sanchez.  Sanchez was Commandant of the Presidio and the eighth Alcade of San Francisco.  The house was finished in 1846.

In 1871 the adobe was purchased by James Regan, who defaulted on his mortgage.  It was then sold to Gen. Edward Kirkpatrick, commander of the presidio,  in 1879.  Kirkpatrick expanded the adobe to 20 rooms.  It then became Hotel San Pedro;  the Prohibition era speakeasy, Adobe House; and an artichoke storage facility before being purchased by the county in 1947.  Restoration of the original adobe was completed in 1953.


Today Sanchez Adobe is a County Park managed by the San Mateo County Historical Association.  Plans are underway for an interpretive center and other facility upgrades.  

Inside the adobe you will find examples of tools, furniture, fixtures, and more from the time of the Sanchez and Kirkpatrick families.  

Each year on the third Saturday of September, Rancho Day at Sanchez Adobe offers early California music and dance, original Rancho food, demonstrations of bygone trades and the opportunity to participate in do it yourself crafts.  This year that would be September 15.  This is a great opportunity to experience a little bit of San Mateo County's past. 




Location: 1000 Linda Mar Blvd, Pacifica

Learn More




Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Historic United States Court of Appeals

In 1891 ground was purchased for a new Federal Building in San Francisco.  Designed by James Knox Taylor, supervising architect for the United States Treasury, it was planned to hold a Post Office, the Federal Courts and other Federal Agencies in the area.  Construction commenced in 1897 and seven years and $2.5 million later it was finished in time for the opening on 29 Aug 1905. 
Less than eight months later the building was one of two in the south of Market area to survive the 1906 earthquake and the subsequent fires.  Just one room, the redwood room succumbed to fire, thanks to the diligent efforts of the post office workers who used water from the hydraulic elevator to stop the fire at the doors.  The other building to survive was the US Mint.

Eighty three years later, the Loma Prieta earthquake caused enough damage that there was a possibility the building would be demolished.  However, history won out and a $91M renovation took place.  After the earthquake the Post Office moved out leaving the US Court of Appeals, 9th circuit which maintains its headquarters and four courtrooms in the building.
Mail windows in first floor corridor
Mail Chute

Marble & Mosaic on the 2nd Floor
This simple history doesn't include information on the 1933 addition, the removal of the US District Courts to the new building on Golden Gate Avenue in 1964.  There is so much more to know, including the fact that there have been only 100 9th Circuit Appellate Court Judges since the court was established in 1891. 


Mexican Mahogany Doors
Green Paint was removed
after Loma Prieta
Courtroom One



Courtroom Two
And there is so much to see.  The marble in the hallways and Courtrooms 1-3, especially Courtroom 1 is as spectacular as anything I've seen in the palaces of Europe.  It was brought in from all over the world including some exquisite green marble from Vermont.  Then there is the Redwood Room, which was rebuilt after the fire.  It was originally created for a judge from Eureka who wanted to be surrounded by his beloved forests.

So I urge you to take a tour.  Just two blocks from Civic Center Bart, it is easy to get to.  There are public tours  on many Tuesdays and you can arrange group tours in advance.  You can also wander through parts of the building on any day it is open, use the law library (created from space originally occupied by the post office), or attend an appeal hearing.  Check the website for more information. - Cath Trindle


Courtroom three

Redwood Room










Courtroom Four - Art Deco

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

SMC Newspapers: The Times Gazette

In his Story of Redwood City, which was edited by John Edmunds years after his death, Roy Cloud notes......

"During the first few years of its existence San Mateo County had no newspaper to disseminate its news or in which to publish its official doings. This deficit was overcome on April 9, 1859 almost exactly three years after the formation of the County. On that day William Godfrey published the first issue of the San Mateo County Gazette."

The story goes on to state that, "Charles N. Fox was the editor of the Gazette for the first six months, then turned over his editorial duties to Mr. Godfrey who up to that time was printer and pressman."

The paper changed hands a number of times over the next few years, there was David Downer, proprietor and publisher in 1861, George W Fox, editor in 1864, Horace Hawes, Harvey Scofield (editor) and A Warren (printer) proprietors in 1866.

In 1871 Duncan and Sandy McPherson who owned the Santa Cruz Sentinel took over and continued until at least 1886.  In 1876 the Gazette purchased the San Mateo Times which had been established in 1874. The first issue of the consolidated Times-Gazette was published on 5 Feb 1876.

In 1893 the Times-Gazette was purchased by Denis and James O'Keefe.  James left to practice law after a few years, but Denis continued as editor until 1922 and continued ownership until the paper was sold to the Redwood City Tribune.

San Mateo County Times Gazette Index 1859-1899
San Mateo County Gazette Transcriptions by Chris Havnar on SFGenealogy 1906

1893

  • San Mateo County Gazette (w) Vol. 1, no. 1 (Apr. 9, 1859)-v. 13, no. 24 (Sept. 9, 1871) Original RCL, CA Lib (p), Microfilm RCL, UCR, CA Lib
  • San Mateo Gazette  (w) Vol. 13, no. 25 (Sept. 16, 1871)-v. 17, no. 44 (Jan. 29, 1876) Original RCL, CA Lib (p), Microfilm RCL, UCR, CA Lib
  • Times and Gazette (w) Vol. 17, no. 45 (Feb. 5, 1876)-v. 28, no. 8 (May 22, 1886) Original RCL, CA Lib (p), Microfilm RCL, UCR (p) , CA Lib
  • San Mateo County Times and Gazette  (w) Vol. 28, no. 9 (May 29, 1886)-v. 31, no. 24 (Sept. 14, 1889) Original RCL, CA Lib (p), Microfilm RCL, UCR (p) , CA Lib   
  • (Redwood City) Times Gazette (w) Vol. 31, no. 25 (Sept. 21, 1889)-v. 75, no. 60 (May 24, 1935) ; v. 75 (May 31, 1935)-v. 76 (May 27, 1949) Original RCL, CA Lib (p), Microfilm RCL, UCR (p) , CA Lib   
  • Times Gazette: The Peninsula Beacon  (w) June 3, 1949-v. 104, no. 48 (Mar. 27, 1963) Original RCL (s), Microfilm RCL, CA Lib (p)
  • Times Gazette (w) Vol. 104, no. 49 (Apr. 3, 1963)-114th year, no. 52 (Apr. 25, 1973) Original RCL


_____________________________________________________
(w) weekly (d) daily (n) daily except Sunday and holidays
(p) partial run  (s) scattered missing issues
CA Lib - California State Library
UCR - University of California Riverside - Newspaper Master Files
RCL - Redwood City Public Library
SM Lib - San Mateo City Library

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Barry's Bits and Upcoming Events

San Francisco Examiner

                       Upcoming Events                          
FALL SEMINAR 2018 - Registration opens on August 15. 

We encourage you to register early as this event will sell out.

Exploring DNA & Genetic Genealogy with CeCe Moore

Sat, November 3, 2018,  9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Menlo Park LDS Church Hall, 1105 Valparaiso, Menlo Park


CeCe Moore is a well known, well respected, and well loved genetic genealogist. She is an innovator in the use of autosomal DNA in genealogy and has been a long-time expert on the PBS show  "Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr."


  SOLD OUT

No August Meeting



September Meeting:   

Researching Your Civil War Ancestors

     Date:        Saturday, September 22, 2018


         10:00 am Cookies & coffee
         10:30 am - 12 noon 
         
Location: Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo
         Entrance in back.







Speaker: Mary Boyle

From 1861 to 1865, this country was torn apart by an internal war. Counting both the Confederate and Union armies, 3.3 million men were in the service. The U.S. 
population in 1860 was 31,443,321. Find out how you can discover whether or not your ancestor served and what happened in "his" war.
This presentation will cover resources both digital and printed that will help with Civil War research. We will look at examples from both the Union and Confederate sides. Learn why the war lasted so long and produced so many casualties and get some insight into why it is still impacting us in 2018.

Mary Boyle has been a librarian at the Santa Clara City Library since 2004. She is currently Local History/Genealogy Librarian and has assisted many people in furthering their genealogy research. Mary has lectured in California on genealogical topics since 2014 and has been researching her family for more than thirty years. In 2010, she proved her lineage to a Revolutionary War patriot, Prince Soper. His grandson, her great grandfather, served on the Union side in the Civil War.


_____________________________________________________



October Meeting:  

A Year in Salem: The Witchcraft Crisis of 1692