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

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

San Mateo County Records on Family Search

A few years ago FamilySearch spent months in the San Mateo County County Record Center digitizing records.  Among the records were the entire series of Naturalization Records, Coroner's Records, Deeds, Homesteads, Patents, and Marriage Applications.

The images are currently available to browse, but are not indexed.  Fortunately SMCGS has indexes for many of the available volumes, including the naturalization records, the Coroner's Records, the Patents, Homesteads and some of the Deeds.  By using the indexes on our website first you can then access the online images .

The list of available volumes is arranged in Alphabetical Order, which sometimes makes it difficult to find what you are looking for.  With that in mind, we have created a page on this blog with links to the individual volumes, arranged in a more understandable order.  It is a work in progress, so continue to check if you don't find what you are looking for.

A few realities of using the images. First you are required to create a free account on FamilySearch and sign in  if you want to view the images.   Second, when you are searching for a page it is not going to be the same as the image number.  Depending on the volume there might be numerous document images for each page number.  Using the Naturalization Petitions as an example a page might have a Declaration of intention (2 images), a ship record, and other correspondence in addition to the two images of the petition page itself.  All of the sudden you might find that page 88 is in fact image 557.

Taking a few minutes to orient yourself is well worth while.  I usually look at the first page...which might be image 5 considering the image of the book cover, the book spine, etc.  Then I check the last page, and then look at the middle.  Using those three checkpoints you should be able to quickly navigate forward or backward to the record you are looking for.  Be sure also to scroll.  There might be two or more records on an image.  Depending on the zoom factor, you might not see those on the bottom or side. without using the scroll bars or downloading the entire image.

Index to Image Volumes on FamilySearch (with links to each volume)
Images on FamilySearch

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