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

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

SMC Newspapers: Burlingame Advance

The Burlingame Advance was first published on April 7 1906 under the ownership of the Burlingame Publishing Company.  From at least 1925 the paper was published daily except Sunday. Starting with the Jan 27 issue in 1926 the paper  went through three quick name changes: The Burlingame Advance and the Morning Star, The Burlingame Advance and the Burlingame Star, and finally settling on the Burlingame Advance-Star.  

Life - 28 Dec 1953
The Story of San Mateo County (1928 Roy Cloud) notes: "The Burlingame Advance-Star has been for years the newspaper of the community. The publisher for years was Mr. Sam D. Merk. On August 1st, 1927, A. B. Cargill took over Mr. Merk's interests."

The paper continued to be published daily except Sunday, and during a few years Sunday issues were included.  In 1936 the publisher of the paper changed from The Burlingame Publishing Company to Peninsula Newspapers which was listed interchangeably with George McQueen for many years.

 In 1962 publication was cut to three days a week.  That was cut to semi-weekly in 1969.

(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 

Burlingame Rotary (Sam D Merk)

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Cemeteries: Alta Mesa

Although Alta Mesa Cemetery is located in Santa Clara County, it is the home of many deceased San Mateo County residents.  Among those buried there are the Clouds and the Hinmans, 

The Website Offers a Map of the Cemetery and a Virtual Tour
 "The Alta Mesa Improvement Company bought the land occupied by the Alta Mesa Cemetery in March 1904 and immediately commenced work improving the property. They have since erected a handsome gateway and convenient office, a beautiful chapel and receiving vault, a residence for the superintendent and a large pumping plant, laid out the grounds under the direction of a landscape gardener, and now have a cemetery complete in every aspect."  (1905 - promotional booklet) 

Today Alta Mesa has a crematory, three mausoleums, a columbarium, several memorial gardens for cremated remains, a scattering garden, as well as the original cemetery grounds.  in 2010 they added a funeral home. 

Alta Mesa does not allow photographs of tombstones without permission from the family. They will take a photo for you, but the charge is $30.  You can request that a volunteer be allowed to take the photo by emailing  Be sure to include your relationship to the deceased and ask for the exact location of the burial.

If you are visiting the cemetery to take your own photos, check in at the office for location and permission.  

The Palo Alto Historical Association has a number of pictures of the cemetery in their photo collections

695 Arastradro Road
Palo Alto CA 94306
Alta Mesa Memorial Park
Alta Mesa Funeral Home

Tour of Grounds
Alta Mesa on Facebook
Find A Grave lists over 32,000 burials and says they are 81% photographed.
Steve Jobs TOMB at Alta Mesa Memorial 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Barry's Bits and Upcoming Events

                       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.  

November Meeting: Prohibition

Speaker: Ray Cosyn

Date:  Saturday, November 17, 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.

From 1920-43, the United States prohibited the manufacturing and sale of alcohol. How and why did this happen and what was its impact? What impact did this period have on your family?

January 2019 Meeting
Blogging for Sharing Family History Stories
Speaker: Craig Siulinski
Saturday, January 26, 2019   10:30am - 12:00 pm