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Category: California Genealogy

A French Woman Abandoned in San Francisco in the 1880s

A French Woman Abandoned in San Francisco in the 1880s

I don’t know why Magdelaine Mazeres left France for America. She arrived in the late 1870s, a single woman, navigating the bustling city of San Francisco alone. She ended up in a bad situation.  Would she survive the challenges ahead of her as a single parent alone in the city? Let’s find out.  Here is her story. What Was Magdelaine Doing in America? Magdelaine’s story is a bit unusual. Normally, a male relative emigrated first. He got himself settled, earned…

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Women Worked For The WPA: The 1940 Census and Marie Grace Bonita

Women Worked For The WPA: The 1940 Census and Marie Grace Bonita

Did you know that women were employed through the WPA during the Depression just like men?  The 1940 US Federal Census is one place where we can find out if our relatives were working for the WPA. Look under the employment section. If you see WPA in the Industry column, it means the person was employed through the Works Progress Administration. This is how I learned my great great aunt found work though the WPA. What Was The WPA? The…

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A Friendship Reborn After Decades of Neglect

A Friendship Reborn After Decades of Neglect

My grandma and grandpa had to uproot their family during the Depression in hopes of finding work.  When they moved from Oakland to Salinas, my grandmother was like a fish out of water.  She found friendship in her sister-in-law’s sister, Eva Nunes.  The young mothers found common cause.  There was a 40 year gap in their friendship.  Genealogy brought them back together. The Move From Oakland to Salinas Anna (Jackson) and Joao “John” Pacheco Smith were only married two days…

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The Smiling Bride

The Smiling Bride

I have several favorite photographs.  But, a wedding photo from the early 1900s, has captivated my interest ever since the day it fell into my hands Not Your Usual Dour Turn of the Century Wedding Photo You ever notice that no one seems particularly happy in old wedding photos?  It seems that the gravityy of the situation sits squarely on the shoulders of the bride and groom.  And, it shows it their face. That’s why this old wedding photo stands…

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A Fresh Start in Oakland: The House at 1935 E. 25th Street

A Fresh Start in Oakland: The House at 1935 E. 25th Street

I’ve written many times about how my great grandfather fled Hawaii when he was diagnosed with leprosy.   They had a fresh start in Oakland, California, but what kind of a fresh start was it really? I found many details about the home they lived in when they first arrived. At the end of the article, I’ll show you how to find ancestral homes in Oakland online. Three Families Living in One House The Pacheco’s and de Braga’s began leaving Hawaii…

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