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

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Spotlight: Napa county Library

by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

Napa County is in northern California, north of San Francisco. Its county seat is the city of Napa. The Napa County Library has made genealogy and local history resources available on its website.
Newspaper Database 
This digital newspaper collection includes the American Canyon Eagle (2016-2018), Napa Valley Register (1856-2018), St. Helena Star (1874-2018), and Weekly Calistogan (1857-2018). In addition, there are two Napa newspaper index card databases. One is organized by name (1857-1901, 1973-1991) and the other by subject (1973-1991).

To access the databases first click "Genealogy & Local History," then "Napa County Newspaper Archive." Search by keyword or browse by title. Click the title/date link for a digital image. Browse the index card databases by title or subject.

Local History Resources 
Click "Explore Napa" for stories about Napa County and its residents. Virtual tours are also offered in this section.

This article originally appeared in The Weekly Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 
Vol. 21, No. 49, Whole #977, December 4, 2019 

For more information, see the Napa Library website:
Thanks to Millie Clough for letting us know about this.
Printed with permission

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

SMCGS Sharing Stories 2019

The Mystery Woman in my Great, Great Grandparents Grave
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 (son) 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 another enigma!

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.  

P.S. I am not related to the Carrolls in adjacent grave.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Upcoming Events

Dec 2019 – No meeting, please take this time for Membership renewal or to join.

Please support our monthly speakers, workshops, seminars, and library through Membership. We need your support to be able to offer these educational programs.                                       

     Sat, Jan 25,1020 10:30 am–12:00 pm, Free
The Orphan Train Movement
A History and Personal Story
Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo, entrance in back. 

 Jeanne MacVicar

The Orphan Train Movement was the largest mass migration of children in American History.  It lasted from 1854 to 1929 and it is estimated that over 250,000 children were moved from orphanages in New York City to rural areas in the United States.  This presentation is an informative history of the Orphan Train Movement on a personal level.

Jeanne MacVicar is from Clyde, Kansas, where her great aunt Great-Aunt Adeline Trowbridge arrived in 1911 at age 3 on the Orphan Train. Jeanne came to California in 1970, was a school teacher, but now is a real estate agent in Los Altos.

     Sat, Feb 22, 2020 10:30 am–12:00 pm, Free
Titanic Connections
 Exploring the Legend & Genealogy
Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo, entrance in back. 

 Sheryl Rinkol

Come aboard and discover the history of the Titanic from design through on-board life to disaster. The genealogy of Titanic descendants, both victims and survivors, will be highlighted including the modern-day genealogy center in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Titanic collectibles will be displayed.

Sheryl Rinkol is a 35-year Titanic enthusiast, both a researcher and lecturer on the topic. She is the author of the book Titanic Today which will be available at the meeting.

               Everyone is welcome at SMCGS events.  Meetings are free 

Save the Date
Saturday 2 May 2020

Lisa Louise Cooke is a world-class genealogy speaker, and the producer and host of The Genealogy Gems Podcast and the Genealogy Gems app. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements on the topics for the SMCGS Spring Seminar 2020.

Ticket sales open on February 15, 2020