Your Ancestor’s Obituary Might Have Been on the Radio

I have contacted several mortuaries in Oakland who have kindly sent me back many files on my relatives.  Most of those sheets are from 1920 through 1940. They are filled with useful genealogy information.

Mortuary records can supply so many details about one’s life.   And, if you’re really lucky, the mortuary will have the obituary and a copy of the death certificate in their file, too.

Speaking of obituaries, did you know that obituaries used to be read on the radio?  The family could opt to have the obituary read on the radio in lieu of or in addition to having it in the newspaper.

I have not figured out which radio station in the San Francisco Bay Area might have provided this service.  Since their was a Portuguese radio station in this area, it’s possible that Antonio’s obituary was read during one of its broadcasts.


The obituaries are noted on the line that says Trib. (Oakland Tribune) PE (Post Enquirer) Radio.  Notice that a newspaper obituary in 1932 cost $1.00, but a radio obituary reading cost $5.00.



SNGF: Fearless Female Prompt of the Day

Randy Seaver has asked us to take a prompt from the Fear Females list created by Lisa Alzo for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.  I’ve chosen today’s prompt which is to take a family document and write a narrative about it.

My Great Aunt Margaret Jackson married Alfred Fafri sometime in the early 1940s…somewhere.  No one seemed to know when it happened.  As far as I knew, they were always married.  I never met Margaret but remembered Uncle Buster, his life as a Merchant Marine, and that he’d bring us wonderful things like koala stuffed animals from Australia.

It wasn’t until last year when added marriage records for San Francisco to their offerings that I could flesh out Margaret’s story.  I knew that Margaret had been married three times, so I looked for Alfred Fafri in the Groom Index.

The entry shows that Alfred Vernon Fafri married Margaret Mary Nelson 19 Jul 1944 in San Francisco.  Nelson!  This was not a surname I had for Margaret, meaning she had been married four times, not three.

The 1940 US Census fills in the rest of Margaret’s story.  (Click image for larger view)  She was renting a room for $16 on Post Street in San Francisco.  She was going by the name Margaret Nelson and she was divorced.  She had nine years of education.

At the time the census she was unemployed.  She had been working as a waitress in a sandwich shop.  She had no income to report in 1939.  Without being employed, I wonder how she was able to afford the $16 monthly rent?

According to the marriage record, she met up with Alfred Fafri not too long after the census and they were married.  They were married for 28 years,  until Margaret died in 1972.

(It was great for me to find the marriage entry for Margaret.  Up until then I had lost track of her from the 1920 Census when she was with her parents until later city directory information with Alfred.  I know have the 1940 census and I hope to be able to find 1930 soon.)



An Azorean Marriage Record: Maria and Jozimas

[Fearless Females, Prompts for Women’s History Month, March 4th: Marriage Record of my Great Great Grandparents]

In my previous entry, I showed you a copy of the Marriage record for my Great Grandparents, Theodoro Pacheco and Maria de Braga.  The record was from a Catholic Church and was written in Latin.

This next example is the marriage record of my Great Great Grandparents, Jozimas de Braga and Maria de Mello.  The record comes from Divino Esperito Santo Church in Maia, Ribeira Grand, Sao Miguel Island, Azores.  The record is in Portuguese (not Latin) and is one of the easier ones to read.  The Azorean Priest liked to go on and on and on and this record fills a full book page.