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

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

SMCGS Databases: Obituary Index Update

Over 10,000 names have been added to the SMCGS obituary index.  Every obituary in this index is available from SMCGS, see the research page for details.  The collection has grown in the nearly twenty years since the Peninsula Times Tribune gave SMCGS their obituary morgue when they closed their doors from the last time.  That collection, originally in envelopes, was indexed by the SMCGS computer club under the direction of Bob Tousey.  It was later photocopied by Barry Goyette and even later those pages were scanned.  All of those original obituaries came from the Redwood City Tribune or it's successor the Peninsula Times Tribune.

Not long after that collection was received, we received our first batch of obituaries culled from the files of the San Mateo County Historical Association.  In most cases we do not know what paper they were from, but assume most were from the San Mateo Times or duplicates of what we had received from the Redwood City Tribune.  SMCHA has continued to cull files over the years and we have added them to our collection as they are received.  Other minor collections have also been added as thy are received.  

The most recent additions come from the Colma Historical Society.  They gave us over 50 years of rolled obituary pages from the San Francisco Examiner (1906-1959).  They in turn had received them from Woodlawn Cemetery.  It is unclear where they had originated. In some cases there were missing obituaries and crosses through others.

We have culled those pages for San Mateo County residents and are turning over the remains to the San Francisco Group of CGS. This project is only half complete, but it seemed a good time to update the online index to include those that are done.

Click here for index.
Click here to obtain an obituary listed in the index.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Early Families: Northern County Families, cont.

Russ Brabec has contributed another set of families to this growing biographical resource.  This installment adds another five families to the collection.

Robert Sheldon Thornton
Perhaps the highlight of the additions is a three part series on Robert Sheldon Thornton, his family and the state beach that bears his name.  If you haven't had the pleasure of finding one of these biographies in the past, you will be astounded by the amount of research in each one.  You will find a detailed time line of the lives of those followed, maps, references to deeds and other county documents, newspaper articles and much more.

Even if you have no connections to these families, you will find the biographies interesting and worth the read.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

SMCGS Databases: Public Administrator Reports

Public Administrator’s Reports
These files, located in cabinet RC5B1 Drawer 2 at the San Mateo County Record Repository, contain the semi-annual reports made by the Public Administrator of the estates that have been placed in his hands.  In most cases there are also affidavits of publication of the same. There is one report from 1880.  Regular reports start in 1897. Reports for 1907-1909 and 1912-1921 are missing. If you are looking for those years, they should be published in the local newspaper. 

Reports were compiled differently in different years.  In the earliest years names were placed on the reports until they were disposed of.  Some estates went on for some time as heirs were sought or if there were difficulties in disposing of the assets.
In later years they appear only once, most likely in the time period that they first were put in the hands of the public administrator.  The reports might show amount estate was appraised at, the amount actually collected, the amount of administration fees, the amount paid out for expenses and any amount still remaining in the administrator’s care.   Search the Database. 

The San Mateo County Public Administrator website give a good description of what a public administrator does.  The job description does not appear to have changed in the past 136 years.

You will not find any further information by accessing these reports, however, you might find more information in the court records for the administration.  There also might be further information about some of the estates in the newspapers.  There might be advertisements looking for heirs and those who owe money or were owed money by the decedent. 

Some of the Public Administrators and Clerks during time period of the records

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