Friday, September 28, 2007

Book: "The Civil War Veterans of San Diego, CA"

One of the absolute "best" genealogy books about San Diego area people is the book "The Civil War Veterans of San Diego, CA" by Barbara Palmer, Ph.D., published by the author, 1999 (on the Genealogy Reference shelf at the Chula Vista, Civic Center Branch, Public Library - Dewey 973.749 PALMER).

This book describes:

* California and San Diego in the Civil War

* Cemeteries Studied for the survey

* Other Cemeteries in San Diego

* Additional Research Sources - includes libraries, historical and genealogical societies, etc.

* Specific Genealogical Records Available in San Diego - by subject (e.g. military, death, probate, etc.)

* General Findings concerning Civil War Veterans

* Civil War Veterans buried in San Diego (in studied cemeteries)

* Civil War Veterans with Burial Locations unknown (but who died in San Diego)

* State of First Enlistment of Civil War Veterans

This is an excellent reference work - not just for Civil War veterans but for all local genealogy researchers - the research sources and specific records available in San Diego are very useful in describing holdings.

Of course, the Civil War veterans, and their burial locations, are the focus of this book. The information available for each veteran found in a San Diego cemetery, using codes, includes:

A. Veteran's Official Tombstone (info. from the official government tombstone)
B. Veteran's Unofficial Tombstone (info. from unofficial or family tombstone)
C. Cemetery information (cemetery name, grave location, date of death/burial, age at death, nativity, marital status, etc.)
D. Heintzelman Post #33 G.A.R. (code for info. for this specific post)
E. Datus E. Coon Post #172 G.A.R. (code for info. for this specific post)
F. Information on Veteran's Wife (if located, including birth/death info, age, nativity, marital status, info in quotes are in cemetery records).

For example, here is one entry:

"Adams, Frederick F.
B. F.F. Adams, Co B 43rd Ohio Vol Inf 1861-1864
B. F.F. Adams, October 5, 1842 - October 28, 1928
C. MH/Div. 4 DOD/B 10/28/1929-2/23/1930 A. 86/__/23 O. died Seattle WA (grave stone says date of death is 1928)
D. Frederick F. Adams N: Ohio A:39 O: Merchant CW: Co B 43 Ohio Inf (Sgt) E/D: 10/61 - 9/64 LOS: 34 mos GAR: 3/31/81 SP: 4/30/1890 RE: 12/10/1890 TR: 12/13/1910 S: H
F. Mary Virginia, his wife March 2, 1854 - October 30, 1887 "He giveth His beloved sleep" DOD/B 10/30-11/1/1887 A: 34 N: California M: Married J/S: "Adams, Mary d. 30 Oct (1887), 35 yrs, bur. Mt Hope Cem" "

The cemetery abbreviations are:

* CAL = Calvary Cemetery (also known as Mission Hills Cemetery and Pioneer Cemetery)
* CV = Cypress View Mausoleum (opened in 1927)
* FR = Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery (opened after 1883)
* GW = Greenwood Cemetery (opened in 1907)
* HC = Holy Cross Cemetery (opened in 1919)
* MH = Mount Hope Cemetery.

For the Civil War veterans whose burial place is unknown or is outside the city of San Diego, the information offered was gleaned from GAR records of the two San Diego posts.

A typical entry is:

"Abrahams, W.F., N. Steubenville, Ohio CW: Co F 84 Ohio Vol Inf (Pvt) Term: 90 days E/D 5/62-9/62 Camp Delaware, Ohio GAR: 5/28/1904 Died 3/31/1915 age 63. Buried: Los Angeles S: DC."

There are 182 pages of veteran listings in this book. The book has source notes and photo credits, and an index of the Civil War Veterans and their wives.

I found this book on the shelf several years ago and have used it often. Today, I had to answer a query received from a correspondent about a civil War veteran ancestor and I wanted to find out if he was in the book and if so to gather his information from the book. Unfortunately, he was not in the book even though I found that he is buried in Glen Abbey Memorial Park in Bonita, but without a Civil War designation. This probably means that he was not a GAR Post member and therefore was not a "target" of Barbara Palmer's study.

A book of this type, whose records are not online in any form, but may be available in a cemetery list published by a society, is priceless for a local historian. A bonus for San Diego area researchers is the survey of local repositories and available source records.

A study of this sort would make an excellent genealogy or historical society project.

1 comment:

BPalmer said...

Hi, Randy:

Thank you very much for your review of my book, The Civil War Veterans of San Diego, California. The book is currently available at, and the price of the book is $56. The book includes an all name index providing birthplace and place of first enlistment, thus allowing a determination of veteran migration patterns over time.

Another book, Family History Research in San Diego, California is also available from Heritage Books, and the price is $14.

This book includes the research sources featured in the Civil War book and adds more sources for the study of the early Hispanic founders of San Diego and for the American and European men who married into these families from the 1820s to the 1850s.

The book also provides information about three of the oldest cemeteries in San Diego: Protestant Cemetery in La Playa, Protestant Cemetery in Old Town, and the old Jewish cemetery in Loma Portal. Some newspaper obituaries for possible burials at these locations are also included.

Randy, again, thank you very much for your review.

Barbara Palmer