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Calling on the Archdiocese

Genealogy Research Journal #6, Entry #6

I knew that the city of San Francisco would not have a copy of the marriage record as they were destroyed in 1906. I also knew that the state of California did not begin recording vital records until after 1905.  I didn’t know what church they were married at and the thought of writing them all was not all that savory.

Contacting the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco

I was fairly sure that Margaret was Catholic, but not so sure about Thomas.  I might as well contact the Catholic  Archdiocese of San Francisco to see what they might have on hand. My hopes weren’t very high. If the city records were destroyed in the earthquake and fire, chances are church records were also destroyed.

When I saw the envelope in the mail box, I was disappointed. It wasn’t very thick and I could see a handwritten letter in side. One sheet of paper usually meant disappointment.

What Did the Letter Say?

Although the letter was short, it contained details unavailable elsewhere given the massive record loss in San Francisco.

They did not find a marriage record for my great great grandparents. But don’t feel sorry for me! They found an obituary for Margaret in the Catholic newspaper “The Monitor”. It confirmed that the person buried at Holy Cross Cemetery was the wife of Thomas Jones.

Her Birth Details Revealed

It had a surprise for me, too. The obituary included her birth date and place.  I was always told that Margaret was born in Ireland or San Francisco. Neither was right. She was born in Manchester, N.H.!

Instead of getting their marriage record, I had her birth information.  I still didn’t know who her parents were, but Margaret (Jones) Kelly was starting to come into focus.

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