California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|Access the Records|
California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1835-1979 .
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|San Francisco, California, United States|
|Flag of California|
|Location of San Francisco, California|
- 1 What is in the Collection?
- 2 Collection Content
- 3 General Information About These Records
- 4 How Do I Search the Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 What If I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For?
- 7 Related Websites
- 8 Related Wiki Articles
- 9 How You Can Contribute
- 10 Citing this Collection
What is in the Collection?
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.
- H.W. Gantner (Gantner Bros.)
Several different types of records were created. The collection includes records from 1835 to 1979.
|You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1835-1979.|
The records usually contain:
- Name of the deceased
- Age of deceased
- Date of death
- Place of death
- Cause of death
- Name of physician
General Information About These Records
The 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.
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.
How Do I Search the Collection?
To begin your search it is helpful to know
- Name of the deceased
- Other identifying information such as death date or age
Search the Collection
To search the collection by name:
Fill in the requested information on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own 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.
To browse by image:
To search the 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 comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.
With either search keep in mind:
- There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
- You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
- Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article [FamilySearch Tips and Tricks].
What Do I Do Next?
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors.
What If I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For?
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
- Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
- Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals with the same family number.
|Don't overlook FHL Keyword California, San Francisco items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see the wiki article California Archives and Libraries.|
Related Wiki Articles
How You Can Contribute
| We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records. |
Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.
Citing this Collection
Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.
- "California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1835-1979." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco History and Archive Center.
Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):
|The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1835-1979.|
|The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1835-1979.|