California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1835-1931 .
This set is a collection of various records maintained by several San Francisco funeral homes, including N. Gray and Co., (records of the Burlingame and San Francisco branches), Halsted and Co. Undertakers, H.F. Suhr & Co., Godeau Funeral Service, (branches in San Francisco and Stockton), George H. Clark Funeral Home (Sacramento), Clark & Booth Funeral Directors (Sacramento), Kremple & Halsted-Undertakers, W.P. Peterson & Co., and H.W. Gantner (Gantner Bros.) Several different types of records were created. The collection include records from 1835 to 1985.
For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
Some records are handwritten on blank paper. Others are written on pre-printed forms, depending on the type of record. Most are arranged chronologically and include a variety of notes and comments.
For a list of records by date or locality currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.
- "California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1835-1931" Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Public Library, History and Archive Center.
Key genealogical facts found in most of these records are:
- Name of the deceased
- Age of deceased
- Date of death
- Place of death
- Cause of death
- Name of physician
How to Use the Records
To search this collection using the index:
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.
Be aware there may be inaccuracies such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
To browse this collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒ Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "City (County)"
⇒Select the "Year Range"
⇒Select the "Funeral Home"
⇒Select the "Record Type and Volume/Page Range" which will take you to the images.
Look at each image one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.
Indexes are arranged alphabetically by surname, grouped by type of record. Some indexes will index the names of the deceased, others will index the persons making the funeral and financial arrangements, and others will index both. Some indexes refer to only the name and page number. Others may also include death and/or burial dates, the age at time of death, birth place, residence, cause of death, grave site, cemetery name, and the persons making funeral and financial arrangements. Some page numbers were incorrectly transcribed when the indexes were created and such records are usually found within a page or two of the page given. The earlier index is more complete than the later index and indexes are often incomplete. Sometimes there are separate indexes for the persons with given names that had Chinese and Japanese burials.
General Information About These Records:
Funeral record books were written on pre-printed forms and were arranged chronologically. Most give the name of the deceased, his age, birth place, death date, burial date, cause of death, burial site, doctor’s or coroner’s name, the person(s) making the funeral/financial arrangements, place of residence, relationship to the deceased, place and time of funeral, clergy’s name and itemized funeral arrangements. Some funeral records also include the physician’s certificate of death, the deceased person’s occupation, religion, marital status, race, parents’ names, and their birth places. Some also include an obituary.
Day books are daily handwritten account books organized chronologically. Information included varies greatly. Day books contain the name of the person making the arrangements, place of residence, the name of the deceased and may contain cause and date of death, age, place of nativity, burial place, doctor or coroner’s name and financial data. Some include obituaries.
Burial books are lists kept chronologically containing the burial date, the name of the deceased, age at death, birthplace, cause of death, burial site, and the undertaker.
Registers of deaths were kept chronologically, listing the name of the deceased, age, birthplace, death date, sex, where interred, plot description, cause of death, physician or entity making the death certificate, place of death, and remarks.
Records were created by funeral homes to record financial transactions and keep a record of their business activities.
Information pertaining to death is probably fairly reliable, including cause and date of death, place of residence, and name of attending physician. Other information is dependent upon the reliability of the informant.
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1835-1931," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org): accessed March 17, 2011). Edward C. Smith, 3 March 1856; citing Funeral Home Records, digital folder number 4,177,093; San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco History and Archive Center, San Francisco, California.
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