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25 March 2010

San Francisco Mortuary Records – 2010 Update!

There is exciting news for researchers with San Francisco ancestors! The San Francisco Mortuary Records Project is moving forward on two fronts with new records available for indexing at FamilySearch and the announcement of a database update at

In case this record set is new to you, the project was initiated by the California Genealogical Society and Library and is a cooperative effort with, the San Francisco Public Library, the Genealogical Society of Utah and FamilySearch Indexing. It is the culmination of several years' work to bring the digital images of thousands of mortuary records, stored by the Halsted Gray Mortuary in San Francisco, to researchers all over the world. The records are a significant genealogical find because of the richness of their detail and the miraculous way they survived the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire.

The records include the complete holdings of the first mortuary in San Francisco, undertakers N. Gray & Co., from the day it opened - July 1, 1850. In all, the project includes the surviving records of several mortuaries that merged with either Halsted or Gray, over the years. The records contain information from financial ledgers, cemetery records, removal records and headstone notations. Many have obituary clippings.

Rose Pierson of FamilySearch Indexing informed us that the next batch of U.S., California, San Francisco - Mortuary Records, 1850-1917 are up and are ready to be indexed. If you want to participate you better hurry. It is a small batch and the work will be completed quickly. If you are already signed up to be a volunteer indexer, just sign in. If not, you will need to register at the site.

I also received this press release from Ron Filion of


The free, online San Francisco Mortuary Records 1911-1974 Database at SFgenealogy has been updated.

San Francisco, CA - March 25, 2010 has completed the second phase of indexing for the San Francisco Mortuary Records Database. The second phase has added records from the Martin & Brown (A.W. Martin) mortuary to the previous Halsted & Company collection. The collection now spans from 1911 to 1974.

The database includes over 179,000 digitized images and over 70,000 unique names. The searchable index also includes advanced surname search options such as Soundex and Metaphone, and wildcard searching.

The current Halsted N. Gray - Carew & English, Inc. mortuary has merged and acquired various mortuaries throughout the years. It is one of the oldest and largest mortuaries in San Francisco. FamilySearch and the California Genealogical Society are indexing their earlier records.

Ron Filion or Pamela Storm.