I wanted to start off the new year with some family tree research. I had fooled around for awhile looking for a death notice for Catherine (Dolan) Kelly, but had no success.
I came back after dinner and took up John Joseph Jones–a name with impossible to research written all over it. Through census and city directory research I was able to narrow down John’s year of death between 1877-1880.
I worked with the Daily Alta Newspaper database in the California Digital Newspaper Collection. I narrowed my search to 1877-1880. My first attempts were futile. Searching Jones was impossible specially since there was a Jones Street in San Francisco. Trying “John J. Jones”, “John Joseph Jones”, and any other combination of his name pulled up too many results.
I took a different tact and tried Jones + Wales. Several results came up, but under 100 for each year. I took 1877, clicked on the first entry, and…BINGO!
Daily Alta, San Francisco, CA, 7 Jan 1877, page 4
This article is interesting to me. For this period, I usually find death notices or small articles with information about someone’s death. This is the first time I have found one of my relatives listed under “Coroner’s Intelligence.”
I searched around this date for a death notice, but couldn’t find one. I don’t think this was meant to take the place of the death notice since those usually have funeral information at the very least during this time period.
Next, I checked the San Francisco Chronicle at Footnote.com. There I found a brief death notice in poor quality. Unfortunately, there was no mention of where John was buried, information I was sorely lacking! However, there was mention of a C.MA. Society. I had never seen this referred to by my Jones kin. I don’t think it has anything to do with the Country Music Awards LOL. Looks like I’ll be doing a little research into this society in the near future.
San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Jan 1877, page 5
This reminds me that while you have to put in the hard work in order to get anywhere with your family tree, often a little bit of luck helps!
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com