As a San Francisco researcher, I’m overjoyed to the point of ecstasy whenever a new index or database becomes available online. With the lack of pre-1906 vital records, I have to take full advantage of whatever records there are.
So, I was thrilled beyond belief when the San Francisco Genealogy website added the Calvary Cemetery index and registers to their website. If you’ve got pre-1900 ancestors in San Francisco, you’ve probably got someone buried at Calvary. Usually you become aware of this fact through an obituary or a record of reburial from Holy Cross or another cemetery.
As I understand it, they began moving graves from Calvary in the mid-1880s. I could be wrong on that. My own ancestors “left” in groups. The earliest group to be moved to Holy Cross cemetery were the Kelly and Dolan families. They were reburied in 1890. Other groups followed. I was surprised to see that reburials were going on as late as 1940. I thought by 1900 the cemetery had been cleared out.
The information on the index cards probably won’t provide anything you didn’t already know from the obituary. But, it does provide the number of the register and the page where you’ll find the original entry for the original burial. This information will provide details you might have lost from the lack of death records. Information like cause of death will be in these records.
As I flipped through the available registered, I found that there is also a register for reburials. I was able to find the page that showed my 3rd Great Grandmother’s reburial along with her children who died before her.
Keep in mind that they made errors on the index cards. I get a sense that haste was foremost. I imagine that hundreds of grave sites were being moved in a short period of time. My own 3rd Great Grandmother has the wrong death date which appears on her tombstone as well (the date is for her sister-in-law). So, if you find an index card, be sure to refer to the original register page to verify that the information is correct.
Here are the links to the records for those interested in researching them:
I recommend starting with the index cards. There are many register pages to sift through. It’s not an easy task if you don’t know where to start your search.
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com