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

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

NARA Databases: An Overview

The San Mateo County Genealogical Society is pleased to announce that we will be hosting a series of databases created by Martha Wallace, a volunteer at the National Archives at San Francisco (actually in San Bruno).  The databases will be available on  Click on Research and choose DATABASES.  On the Database Page look for the heading NARA - Pacific Region - SF.

Records held by the National Archives at San Francisco involve only Federal Activity. They mainly cover  Northern California, Nevada (except Clark County), Hawaii and the territories of American Samoa, Guam and the former trust territory of the Pacific Islands.  In some cases when a federal agency's region was centered in these areas with wider coverage,  you might find records for other states and Southern California.

The databases that Martha Wallace has created focus on two areas, the FEPC records from WWII and District and Circuit Court Records covering the years 1851 to 1912. Since San Francisco was the judicial center for California in early statehood, the court databases provide an opportunity to find people who lived in the bay area. Future blog posts will provide descriptions of those records, links to other relevant websites and most importantly links to the databases, which are indexes to individuals and companies involved with some description of the contents of the cases.

Remember, the National Archives is a just that, an archival repository.  Records are not available instantly, it is necessary to make an appointment.  When making the appointment you should provide as much information as possible on the records you would like to view. For more information on making an appointment visit the NARA Contact Page.

The databases we will be hosting are just the tip of the iceberg of records held in San Bruno. Available holdings are contained in 109 different record groups. Finding Aids for Records in NARA at San Francisco provides a link to a guide that describes the contents of the collections. There are also links to more detailed descriptions, lists and indexes for some of the collections .  One example is the index to Alcatraz Prisoner files,


No comments: