Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tuesday's Tip: San Francisco County Records on FamilySearch

This week's Tuesday's Tip is:  Look for Marriage, Probate, Land and other records for San Francisco on www.FamilySearch.org.

I have seen the future of online digital records in the FamilySearch.org record collection titled California, San Francisco County Records, 1824-1997.  The collection description says:

"Records from San Francisco County, California including an alphabetical newspaper clipping file of the "San Francisco Examiner", death reports, general index, indexes to deeds, deeds, indexes to marriage certificates, marriage licenses, indexes to naturalizations, naturalization records, coroner's records, and alien registrations. This collection is being published as images become available."

The user can browse through over 1 million images of records that are organized by subject, and then by years and volumes. 

For instance, here is the screen for the Marriage Records:

This collection page shows that there are:

*  Marriage Affidavits - 1906 (Volumes 1 and 2), 1912-1915 (Volumes 38-52)
*  Marriage Certificate Index (Brides) - 1904 to 1975 (Volumes A, 1-47)
*  Marriage Certificate Index (Grooms) - 1904 to 1975 (Volumes A, 1-48)
*  Marriage Certificates, Marriage Licenses - 1918 to 1936 (Volumes 164 to 350)
*  Marriage Certificates - 1906 to 1922 (Volumes 1 to 60)
*  Marriage Licenses - 1906 to 1920 (Volumes 1 to 194)

I wanted to find the marriage on 24 June 1906 of my wife's grandparents.  I selected the Marriage Certificate Index (Brides) for 1906 and the first image in that collection opened:

I went to the next page (right arrow on top line) and quickly figured out that the list was in last name first letter alphabetical order.  I guessed page 110 for the M's, and found Edna McKnew on page 119 (the Mc persons got a separate page from the M persons):

This page tells me that Edna C. McKnew married Paul Schaffner on 24 June 1906, and their marriage was performed by E.G. Keith.  It is on Volume 3, page 181 (presumably of the Marriage Certificates). 

Well, they weren't in Volume 3 of the Marriage Certificates collection (don't ask me why - Volume 3 was for 1908-1909).  I found them in Volume 1 which was for 1906-7 on page 31 (two screens):

This is a register, not the actual certificate.  The information is:

*  Cert. Number: 1683
*  Date of Entry: June 28, 1906
*  Date of Marriage: June 24, 1906
*  Place of Marriage: S.F.
*  Names of Contracting Parties:  Paul Schaffner, Edna C. McKuen [that's how I read it!]

*  Residence:  S.F., S.F.
*  Age:  26, 22
*  Color or Race:  White, White
*  Birthplace:  Calif., Calif.
*  Name of Bride if Previously Married:
*  By Whom Married:  E.G. Keith

So now I'm wondering which Volume 3 has more information about the couple.  Is it the Marriage Affidavits?  Volume 3 of the Marriage Affidavits is not available yet. 

Is it the Marriage Licenses?  Volume 3 is for 1906, and there I found the license (on page 181, image 183):

I saved the full license to my computer files:

Maybe I'll transcribe that for Treasure Chest Thursday!  Stay tuned!

There is a wealth of information in these San Francisco records, but you really have to Browse to find them.  Actually, it's just like scrolling through microfilm at the FHC, except it's slower to scroll through and you can do it at home in your bunny slippers, pajamas and nightcap.  But it's much faster to access the digital records than order the microfilms and then go to the FamilySearch Research Center several weeks later to read the film in your research outfit.

I think that the future of genealogy research is in these digital record collections.  I think that many brickwall problems will be solved once the land, tax, town, church and probate records hiding on the FamilySearch microfilms are digitized and indexed. 

1 comment:

Jean said...

Thanks for this tip, Randy. I've found one marriage certificate already in it.