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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

San Francisco Deaths 1865-1905: Abstracts from Surviving Civil Records



The California Genealogical Society is pleased to announce publication of a new four-volume set: San Francisco Deaths 1865 - 1905: Abstracts from Surviving Civil Records. Now, for the first time, an index is available to all San Francisco civil death records known to have survived the 1906 earthquake and fire. The index was compiled by a team of member volunteers lead by Barbara Close and Vernon A. Deubler.

Research Director Nancy Peterson provides some background in Raking the Ashes: Genealogical Strategies for Pre-1906 San Francisco Research (2006):
While most of the vital records that were created by the city and county of San Francisco were destroyed in the earthquake and fire of 1906, a few volumes of death records and indexes, six months of death certificates, a coroner's register and an index to a little under two years of marriage records somehow survived.
Access by the public to the original records has been restricted. Fortunately, the Genealogical Society of Utah filmed most of the records that did survive. Using their films, the California Genealogical Society (CGS) extracted enough information to build an index of these death records. CGS was able to film the several indexes that had not been previously filmed.

Most records contain a wealth of genealogical information: sex, age (often in years, months and days), occupation, place of birth (sometimes very specific information, including, for instance, county of birth in Ireland), marital condition (married, single, widow or widower), date and cause of death, residence at time of death, place of burial, physician, undertaker and additional remarks. This collection includes records for many who were not necessarily San Francisco residents, including the
following:
  • those who died in San Francisco
  • those who died at sea for whom San Francisco was the next port of call
  • military personnel who died in the Spanish-American War and whose bodies were returned
    to the Port of San Francisco
  • those who died abroad and whose bodies were returned to San Francisco 
  • those whose bodies were to be re-interred
  • those whose bodies were sent to San Francisco for forensic or other investigation
San Francisco Deaths 1865 - 1905: Abstracts from Surviving Civil Records is available for purchase at our Lulu bookstore.

Many members of the society contributed to this effort. Barbara Close and Vernon A. Deubler, long
time members of CGS, led the project and contributed innumerable hours working with other volunteers in doing research and in extracting and digitizing information from all the pertinent records they could find. The result is this unique and invaluable four volume set of death indexes arranged alphabetically by surname.

The California Genealogical Society acknowledges with gratitude the many people who contributed to this publication. They include Kay Arnold, Bob Bly, John Callan, Barbara Close, Verne Deubler, Joyce Dye, George Field, Wil Frye, Tom Gesner, Marjorie Kelt, Judy Kettwig, Bette Kot, Lynne Fisher, Lisa Lee, Esther Mott, Mark Pierce, Michelle Reeder, Bev Schroder, Phil Seelinger, Nancy Servin, Rick Sherman, Marilyn Tanner, Shirley Thomson, Terry Toomey, Judy Velardi, Lorna Wallace, Marjorie Wyatt, Sharon Yost, and Judy Zelver. Special thanks goes to Cathy Paris who designed the covers and shepherded the digitization project from start to finish.

San Francisco Deaths 1865 - 1905: Abstracts from Surviving Civil Records
Softbound, 8 1/2 x 11" format
481 pp., vol. I, A-D
475 pp., vol. II, E-K
477 pp., vol. III, L-P
481 pp., vol. IV, Q-Z
Library of Congress Control Number 2009940489
ISBN (4-vol. set) 978-0-9785694-1-9
Published by the California Genealogical Society


Copyright © 2010 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

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