Databases

Land and Maps

Land
An index to the land records of San Mateo County. This index currently includes Patent Books 1-3, Record of Deeds 1-4, Mortgage Books 1-2. See the pdf file for information on where to find the records
LandRecords.pdf 2.11 MB
Last Updated: Mar 15 2016 - 3:50pm

Sales by the County Tax Collector 1857-1894
An index of Certificates located in drawers 25-34 and entries in Tax Sales Books A-G. The earliest records are found only in the drawers, later records are found in both the books and the drawers, however, some certificates for sales to the People of the State of California were not found. Information includes owner, purchaser, a description of the land and whether the land has been redeemed. Many of these "sales" are in fact pseudo loans for those unable to pay the taxes when due.
Tax Sales.pdf 206.13 KB
Last Updated: Mar 15 2016 - 3:51pm

Water Appropriation Appliations
These applications for the rights to previously unappropriated state water can include maps, protests of the appropriations and other treasures for those researching in the county. They date from the 1870s to the 1950s and include applications by both individuals and companies (farms, land developers and water).
Water Rights.pdf 6.91 MB
Last Updated: Oct 17 2016 - 7:37pm

Name Index to Unrecorded Maps
This is an index to 54 volumes of subdivision maps located in the San Mateo County Record Repository. Names were added to the maps by the County Assessors Office in the first few decades of the 2oth century. The volumes cover most areas of the county. The maps have been photographed and are available on the website of the SMC Public Works Department Surveying Department. Links are available on database cover page.
Name Index to Unrecorded Maps.pdf 1.18 MB
Last Updated: Mar 13 2016 - 6:12pm

Sheriff's Sales, Executions and Attachments 1856-1929
These certificates are located in Drawers 19-24 in the San Mateo County Record Repository. Types of Documents include: Sheriff's Certificate of Sale (names include sheriff and purchaser of land (p) and if found name of original land owner (o) a plaintiff is also often listed as in the case of a lawsuit the land is sold to satisfy it. In a tax delinquency the plantiff is the people); Sheriff's Certificate of Sale on Foreclosure Specific to mortgage holders; Sheriff's Certificate of Redemption; Copy of Writ of Attachment ( a court order to "attach" or seize an asset. It is issued by a court to a law enforcement officer or sheriff. The writ of attachment is issued in order to satisfy a judgment issued by the court.); Copy Writ of Execution (a court order granted to put in force a judgment of possession obtained by a plaintiff from a court.[1] When issuing a writ of execution, a court typically will order a sheriff or other similar official to take possession of property owned by a judgment debtor. Such property will often then be sold in a sheriff's sale and the proceeds remunerated to the plaintiff in partial or full satisfaction of the judgment.); Release of Attachment; Sale on Execution (a sale of property by the sheriff under authority of a court's writ of execution in order satisfy an unpaid obligation; Constable's Sale (sold at township rather than county level) ; Sale by City Treasurer (usually for non payment of improvement bonds, most were redeemed); and Conveyance of Real Estate for Delinquent Taxes
Sales Executions and Attachments.pdf 211.17 KB
Last Updated: Mar 15 2016 - 3:52pm

Death Records and Substitutes

James Crowe Register of Deaths : 1880s – 1920s
James Crowe (1841-1913) was an undertaker who served as the coronor for San Mateo County for many years. This book appears to be an early register of burials that he handled rather than an official county birth register. It is, however, housed in the San Mateo County Recorders Office Records Center. This is a full transcription of what is in the register.
early-deaths.pdf 622.94 KB
Last Updated: Dec 15 2014 - 12:43pm

Index to SMC Coroner's Records 1856-1984
Compiled by Russ Brabec with a little help, this index covers Coroner's records from the beginning of the county to 1084. The index includes, name, age, nativity, residence at time of death, and cause of death as well as case number and box where the original file is located. The original records are located in the SMC Record Center. Records over 70 years old have been digitized and are available on the FamilySearch website. This index includes a finding aid for those images.
Coroners Index.pdf 7.64 MB
Last Updated: Jan 28 2017 - 7:36pm

Public Administration Reports
When there is no one to administer an estate it falls into the hands of the Public Administrator. These reports cover 1880 and then 1897 through 1960 with about a dozen missing years. They include names, dates, amount of the estate and costs. Various years include other information.
Public Administrator Reports.pdf 3.94 MB
Last Updated: Aug 22 2016 - 9:49pm

Index to San Mateo County Deaths - Earliest to 1920
Included in this index are Register 1 1873 to 1906 and Certificate Books A-D covering the years 1880-1920. Many of these deaths were filed at a later date. Be sure to check the James Crowe Book, the Coroner's Records and the Vital Records index to the San Mateo Times for deaths that might not have been recorded here. Note that reference to entries in book 1A are listed under Letter, but that book has not been located in the record repository.
Index to Early SMC Deaths.pdf 274.25 KB
Last Updated: Aug 6 2015 - 8:44pm

Layng & Tinney Mortuary File
Index to the Layng & Tinney Mortuary File Collection housed in the San Mateo County Genealogical Society Library. Contact SMCGS Research to obtain a copy of the contents of a file.
MORTUARY INDEX.pdf 2.4 MB
Last Updated: Jan 21 2015 - 12:43pm

SMCGS Obituary Collection Index
This collection currently includes over 57,000 indexed and scanned obituaries as well as a large collection of obituaries that are indexed elsewhere. Included are the Redwood City/ Peninsula Times Tribune Obituary Morgue (1969-1992); The SMCHA obituary Collection which includes obituaries culled from the historical societies biographical files; The Daily Post; The Daily Journal; The Daily Post; The San Mateo County Times (assorted); San Mateo County Residents in the SF Examiner (1906-1959); Veteran's Memorials; and a collection of obituaries of former San Mateo County residents from other papers. The scanned images also include the Pacifica Times Tribune and the San Mateo Times from 1999, which were indexed by Chris Havanar on The Obituary Daily Times The original index was created by the SMCGS Computer Club and images are available in the SMCGS Library. See research to obtain digital copies of those as well as the added obituaries.
Obituary Index 2016.pdf 5.98 MB
Last Updated: Sep 12 2016 - 5:23pm

Institutional Records

County Poor Farm Reports 1903-1905
These clippings were attached to the last sheet of the Day book showing cash paid out from 1897-1929
County Farm Reports 1903-1905.pdf 7.48 MB
Last Updated: Feb 12 2016 - 10:12pm

Sources for County Poor Farm Records
A list of Sources used for indexes to County Poor Farm records and for SMCGS Blog posts concerning the Poor Farm.
County Poor Farm Sources.pdf 10.39 KB
Last Updated: Feb 23 2016 - 8:05pm

Record of Orphans, Half-Orphans, etc.
Covering the years 1910-1915, this ledger of Orphans, Half-Orphans and others receiving public support payments is located in the San Mateo History Museum Archives ( # 15-182-5 // #5 H2 16).
Record of Orphans.pdf 28.86 KB
Last Updated: Jan 19 2016 - 8:23pm

County Poor Farm Employees
This list includes employees found in census records and in the Treasurer's Book located in the San Mateo County History Museum Archives.
Poor Farm Employees.pdf 108.91 KB
Last Updated: Mar 21 2016 - 8:58pm

List of Indigents
Culled from reports, registers and lists, this database of those supported by the county of San Mateo includes records from Jan 1904 through Jan 1915. An additional list for 1915 has been added as well as notations from April 1905 indicating how long those receiving payments that month had been on the rolls. For sources used please see County Poor Farm Sources. Indexed by Cath Trindle
Indigent Relief Rolls.pdf 27.31 KB
Last Updated: Feb 7 2016 - 9:47pm

County Poor Farm Inmate List
A comprehensive listing of both those who were admitted to the San Mateo County Poor Farm / Hospital from it's opening in 1876 until 1942. The list also includes those who were buried in the Farm Cemetery even if they were never residents of the Farm. There are some gaps in information but the listing includes over 3700 entries.
County Poor Farm Inmates.pdf 1.1 MB
Last Updated: Mar 21 2016 - 10:48pm

Index to County Poor Farm Contracts 1912-1917
These contracts are located in the County Record Repository.
County Poor Farm Contract List.pdf 9.42 KB
Last Updated: Feb 12 2016 - 9:23pm

County Poor Farm Income & Expense Reports 1916-1920
Monthly reports supporting these amounts (annual amounts were included on each found report) are located in the County Record Repository. See source list.
Income 1916-1920.pdf 11.76 KB
Last Updated: Feb 12 2016 - 9:25pm

Publications by SMCGS Members

Sunset View Cemetery: Cemetery for the Paupers and Indigent of San Francisco
(c) 2015 Russell R Brabec
Sunset View Cemetery.pdf 911.34 KB
Last Updated: Nov 11 2015 - 4:26pm

NARA - Pacific Region - SF

Private Common Law Cases 1855-1863
Arranged numerically by case file number. The parties in cases in this series are private individuals, corporations, and municipal governments. The United States is not a party in any case. Cases involve ejectment (wrongful occupation of lands, squatters), patent fraud, import impoundment, promissory notes, water lots in San Francisco, unpaid taxes and unpaid moneys, lands in Oakland (Kellersburger map), San Mateo (Rancho de las Pulgas), Santa Clara (Guadalupe Mines), John C Fremont, Pacific Mail Steamship Company, trips across the Isthmus of Panama, Gustave Touchard, and more. These cases are very local and tell great stories of California in its early statehood. - Record Group 21, Records of District Court of the United States - U.S. Circuit Court for Districts of California
Private Common Law Case Files.pdf 418.75 KB
Last Updated: May 23 2016 - 11:00pm

Criminal Case Files 1863-1917
An index to more than 2000 case files, in 63 boxes and two docket books. Criminal cases heard in Federal Court include tax cases, civil rights cases, admiralty cases and other violations of federal laws.
Index to Criminal Case Files 1863-1917.pdf 5.34 MB
Last Updated: Nov 13 2016 - 6:35pm

Admiralty Case Files 1855-1863
NARA Record Group 21 - Cases on appeal from the Northern and Southern Districts of California. Cases involve ships with too many passengers, abandoned contracts, damaged goods, cargo not paid for, workers not paid, mistreatment of passengers, and Panama & NIcaragua crossings.
Admiralty Case Files.pdf 376.88 KB
Last Updated: Aug 1 2016 - 4:48pm

Equity Case Files 1855-1863
Cases involve land claims, land sales, mining claims, mortgages, lands in San Mateo, San Francisco (many water lots), Santa Clara, and Alameda counties and others in Northern California, patent infringement (telegraph, crushing quartz to get gold, gold digger fork, self-rising flour, mould grooving machine, boxes for axles & gudgeons, rice hullers), cutting down trees, ferries in San Francisco Bay, people like John Charles Fremont, Maria Bernal de Bereyesa, Wm T Sherman, James Phelan, Samuel F B Morse as plaintiffs and defendants. RG 21 - Arranged in 3 groupings: Private cases (boxes 1-12 - cases 1-116), Southern District case 2 (Farnham v. Russell)(box 13) and U.S. cases (box 14 cases 1-4).
Equity Case Files 1855-1863 a.pdf 357.04 KB
Last Updated: Aug 1 2016 - 5:00pm

Index to Fair Employment Practices Committee Cases
In 1941, President Roosevelt ordered that all industry essential to the war effort be non-discriminatory in all hiring practices without regard to race, creed, color, or national origin. Workers who felt that discrimination had occurred could file a formal complaint with the FEPC (Fair Employment Practices Committee, 1941-1945) and the situation would be investigated and changes made where appropriate and possible. The records for northern California, Portland, and Seattle produced in the San Francisco office of the FEPC, Region 12, contain letters, complaint forms, and more, and are stored in RG 228 at the National Archives, Pacific Region, San Francisco, California (located in San Bruno). • A complete indexing of these files is in the attached PDF • Contact NARA in San Bruno to set up an appointment to see the files.
RG 228 Index.pdf 2.44 MB
Last Updated: Mar 29 2016 - 5:13pm

Inventories

Inventory of the County Archives of California #42 San Mateo County
Historical Records Survey: Division of Women's and Professional Projects Works Progress Administration. San Francisco California, The Historical Records Survey, June 1938 A scanned copy showing location of records throughout San Mateo County in 1938
Inv of the County Archives of CA #42 San Mateo.pdf 227.5 MB
Last Updated: Apr 5 2015 - 10:49pm

Identification of the Historical Records of the State of California
March Fong Eu, Secretary of State; California State Archives 1981
State Record Assessment.pdf 50.63 MB
Last Updated: Apr 5 2015 - 11:01pm

Schools

1907 School Funding Petition
Included in the records found in Drawer 31 in the SMC Record Repositories are signatures from 391 individuals living in San Mateo, Burlingame, Pigeon Point, Pescadero, Redwood City, Jefferson, and San Bruno districts. List of Signers. This is a list of the signers
1907 School Funding.pdf 19.27 KB
Last Updated: Aug 13 2015 - 9:07pm

Trustee Petition For More Funds 1920
To the County Superintendent of Schools, San Mateo County, Cal., In order that our schools may have sufficient funds to pay fair salaries and to provide for proper maintenance, we the trustees of the following School Districts respectfully request that you ask a sufficient tax rate to cover all expenses. The tax rate for the past year was inadequate. This is a list of the trustees that signed. Original petitions for each school district can be found in drawer 31 in the SMC record repository.
List of Trustees.pdf 9.69 KB
Last Updated: Aug 13 2015 - 9:11pm

Court & Criminal

Early Court Records
An index to Court Minute and Record Books located in the San Mateo County Historical Association Archives.
CourtRegisters.pdf 1.19 MB
Last Updated: Nov 27 2014 - 12:10am

Lis Pendens Index
Notifications filed with the County that a lawsuit had been filed involving property within the county. This is an index to records filed in drawers 53-56A in the county record center. Records date from the 1850s through the early 1900s.
Lis Pendens.pdf 172.24 KB
Last Updated: Nov 21 2015 - 9:43pm

Sheriff's Office Booking Registers
It was not uncommon for homeless residents to lodge in the jail. You can find not only the aged and disabled who had no means of support, but also those travelling into the county to find work. Often time of residence is listed as one day. The records give a wealth of information. Besides the surname, given name and alias you will find the day of incarceration, occupation, age, height, weight, time in county, state and U, where picked up, by whom, the justice, the code under which the person was picked up, hour of arrest, hour of release, number of meals served, sentence, date of commitment, date of discharge, fines paid and a column for further remarks. This index which includes volumes 7-12 and 14-16 includes more than 60,000 entries. Copies of the registers (which were located in the SMC Jail) are in the SMCGS Library. Visit the library or see the research page to obtain a copy. The location of Volumes 1-6 and Volume 13 is unknown. We believe that 1-6 may be in the Historical Association offsite collections. It is possible that volume 13 which would have entries during WWII years was not bound and did not survive.
JailRegister.pdf 3.1 MB
Last Updated: Mar 1 2015 - 9:30pm

Jury Lists 1908-1932
Found in Drawer RC5B1‐31 The lists in this drawer are a combination of Certified Lists created by the Board of Supervisors at the request of various court judges and lists created to show that the jury summons had been delivered. When both existed for the same time and court, double entries were eliminated. There are many gaps in the lists. Some lists name the court that has requested jurors, others do not. Some lists give a residence address others do not.
Juror Lists.pdf 199.62 KB
Last Updated: Jul 23 2015 - 8:24pm

Appeals & Venue Changes
Papers Concerning Appeals from Justice Courts and Change of Venue to San Mateo County Superior Court 1882-1930 which is located in drawer 32 of cabinet RC5B1.
Appeals and Venue Changes.pdf 359.45 KB
Last Updated: Jan 29 2017 - 7:10pm

Birth & Marriage

San Mateo County Marriage Index : 1853-1948
An index of the San Mateo County Marriage Certificates from the earliest times to the end of 1948 when the state index begins.
Marriage Index.pdf 14 MB
Last Updated: Nov 30 2014 - 5:21pm

San Mateo Times Gazette Index : 1859-1899
An index to vital statistics listed in the San Mateo Times Gazette. The paper is available on microfilm in the Redwood City Main Library.
smcgaze.pdf 857.83 KB
Last Updated: Jan 22 2015 - 5:03pm

San Mateo County Birth Index : 1866-1965
This index includes Volumes A-C, Volumes 1-53, Delayed Births 1-5, and the Birth Affidavit Register which lists births filed with Official Records.
BirthIndex_a.pdf 6.29 MB
Last Updated: Jan 22 2015 - 5:00pm

Historical and Biographical

Schellens: 1 San Mateo County Business Index
An index to businesses found in the San Mateo Volumes of Richard Schellens Collection of Historical Materials.
schellens-sm-businesses.pdf 66.26 KB
Last Updated: Jan 10 2015 - 7:11pm

Schellens: 2 San Francisco Every Name Index
Every name index to the San Francisco Volumes of Richard Schellen's Collection of Historical Materials
Schellens-SF-name.pdf 9.82 MB
Last Updated: Nov 27 2014 - 1:09am

Schellens: 2 San Francisco Hotels
An index to hotels mentioned in the San Francisco Volumes of Richard Schellen's Collection of Historical Materials
schellens-SF-hotel.pdf 57.91 KB
Last Updated: Nov 27 2014 - 1:06am

Schellens: 2 San Francisco Saloons
An index to Saloons mentioned in the San Francisco Volumes of Richard Schellen's Collection of Historical Materials
schellens-SF-saloon.pdf 78.13 KB
Last Updated: Nov 27 2014 - 1:05am

Schellens: 2 San Francisco Ships
An index to ships mentioned in the San Francisco Volumes of Richard Schellen's Collection of Historical Materials
schellens-SF-ship.pdf 265.04 KB
Last Updated: Nov 27 2014 - 1:06am

Schellens: 3 California Name Index
Every name index to the California Volumes of Richard Schellen's Collection of Historical Materials
Schellens-California-name.pdf 878.38 KB
Last Updated: Nov 27 2014 - 12:53am

Schellens: 4 The Other States Name Index
Every name index to the Other State Volumes of Richard Schellens Collection of Historical Materials. Copies of the material Schellens gathered on Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington can be found in the state binders in the SMCGS library.
schellens -other-states-name.pdf 914.88 KB
Last Updated: Nov 27 2014 - 1:09am

Schellens: Index to Places
An Index to the places covered in the Schellens Collection
Schellens Place Index.pdf 492.71 KB
Last Updated: May 21 2016 - 8:34pm

Schellens: 1 San Mateo County Name Index
Every name index to the San Mateo County Volumes of Richard Schellen's Collection of Historical Materials. After his retirement, San Mateo County resident Richard N. Schellens dedicated his life to collecting genealogical and historical information from throughout the state of California. The original collection is housed in the Redwood City Main Library’s History Room. A copy of the entire collection is available in the SMCGS Library. There are nearly two hundred binders of material covering San Mateo County, San Francisco, California in General, the Other State Collection and one or two binders on every county in California. You will find indexes to all but the other county collections here. Members of the California State Genealogical Alliance indexed those volumes. Some are available online or in printed form, the entire index is available in the Members Section of the CSGA Website.
Schellens San Mateo County Index.pdf 6.5 MB
Last Updated: Mar 1 2015 - 9:20pm

SMCGS Clipping File
Miscellaneous Newspaper Articles for San Mateo County Residents
SMCGS CLIPPING FILE.pdf 10.41 KB
Last Updated: Jan 10 2015 - 10:58pm

Naturalization and Electoral Records

Naturalization Prior to 25 Sep 1906
Index to the Naturalization Records of San Mateo County. Includes Declaration of Intention to Become a Citizen, Petitions and Certificates. These records are available unindexed on FamilySearch.
naturalization1906.pdf 3.47 MB
Last Updated: Nov 27 2014 - 12:33am

Camp Fremont Naturalization Records
Those non-citizens who served in the US Forces during WWI were able to become naturalized before they were discharged. This is an index to the 13 volumes of Petitions of those who were discharged from Camp Fremont (Menlo Park) in 1918 and 1919. No Declaration of Intention was required.
naturalizationcamp-fremont.pdf 2.18 MB
Last Updated: Nov 27 2014 - 12:40am

Naturalization 1907-1925
Index to the Naturalization Records of San Mateo County. Includes Declaration of Intention to Become a Citizen, Petitions and Certificates. These records are available unindexed on FamilySearch.
naturalization1907.pdf 1.63 MB
Last Updated: Nov 27 2014 - 12:30am

Naturalization 1926-1945
Index to the Naturalization Records of San Mateo County. Includes Declaration of Intention to Become a Citizen, Petitions and Certificates. These records are available unindexed on FamilySearch.
naturalization1926.pdf 1.57 MB
Last Updated: Nov 27 2014 - 12:28am

Naturalization 1946+
Index to the Naturalization Records of San Mateo County. Includes Declaration of Intention to Become a Citizen, Petitions and Certificates. These records are available unindexed on FamilySearch.
naturalization1946.pdf 2.68 MB
Last Updated: Nov 27 2014 - 12:26am

Naturalized Voters
Transcription of a card file of Naturalized Voters circa 1930s. Information might include name, date naturalized, place naturalized, person actually naturalized (self, father, husband), marriage date, voting district and place of birth.
NaturalizedVoters.pdf 1.42 MB
Last Updated: Nov 27 2014 - 12:22am

San Mateo County Recorder's Office Records

Miscellaneous Records
An index to volumes 1-7 of San Mateo County Miscellaneous Registers. Miscellaneous records include builders contracts, leases, assignments, mortgages, lis pendens and much more. Copies are available from the San Mateo County Recorders Office.
LandMiscellaneous.pdf 606.25 KB
Last Updated: Jun 10 2015 - 2:04pm

Sole Traders
Index to the Register of Separate Property of Married and Sole Traders (1856-1913). Indexed by Barry Goyette. The register is labeled Volume 1, but no other volumes appear to exist, this register is not full. There are 100 documents. You will find a digital version of this volume on FamilySearch
Land-soletraders.pdf 36.2 KB
Last Updated: Nov 26 2014 - 11:33pm

Professional Registers
An index to the Register of Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Pharmacists, Dentists and Dental Hygenists (1923-1952); Physicians, Surgeons & Optometrists (1876-1929); Register of Dentists (1903-1935) and the Register of Doctor's Certificates (1914-1951) working from the Index to Medical Licenses 1876-1931 and rechecking the original volume. Records are available from the Recorders Office.
professional-ledgers.pdf 137.15 KB
Last Updated: Nov 27 2014 - 12:07am

Miscellaneous Records
An eclectic collection of records that includes birth and marriage affidavits, at least one estate record, a certificate of residence for Doctors, Conveyance of property to utilities, dedication of land to cemeteries, powers of attorney, Disability retirement of Major Thomas J. McGrath, street name changes, estray notices, nuisance abatement filings from the 1920s (the nuisance being those pesky ground squirrels that still scamper around my yard today) and the real "genealogical" treasure a Japanese American Citizen's League Oats of Allegiance circa 1942.
Index to Miscellaneous Drawers 61-61B.pdf 28.71 KB
Last Updated: Jun 18 2015 - 6:43pm

Cancelled Architects who had practiced in San Mateo County
From lists found in the Miscellaneous Drawers in the County Recorders Record Facility. Use as a pointed to death, retirement or leaving the area.
Cancelled Architects Licenses.pdf 15.36 KB
Last Updated: Jun 18 2015 - 7:01pm

Brands - Other County
An index of brands originally filed in other counties 1876 to 1921.
Out of County Brands.pdf 141.9 KB
Last Updated: Dec 28 2016 - 7:14pm

Official Bonds & Election Certificates
Before taking office, elected officials were required to file bonds. Election Certificates were documents signed by the county clerk, verifying the election. These bonds and certificates are located in the county record center in one of the small drawer cabinets (SM - RC5B1 - 15 - 21) You will find original signatures on many of the documents.
Bonds.pdf 5.33 MB
Last Updated: Oct 17 2016 - 6:32pm