Databases and Searchable Finding Aids

Over the years CGS volunteers have spent many hours indexing data from primary sources. Some of this information is available only through our website. Databases that are free to use by anyone include our CGS Names Index and the information in the six databases listed below. To access the additional databases you must be a member of CGS and you need to login.

Free To All Records

The CGS NAMES INDEX, containing more than 330,000 records, is the index to our largest image collections. See Index Codes for a detailed description of each database:

  • Biographies of individuals prominent in early 20th century California (Index Code: BIO)
  • Deaths in San Francisco 1865-1873, 1882-1889, 1894-1896, and 1901-1904 (Index Code: EARLY DEATHS)
  • San Francisco IOOF Crematory and Cemetery records (Index Codes: IOOF-CREMATE and IOOF-CEMETERY)
  • San Francisco County Probate Records: Registers of Actions 1906-1942. If your ancestors or relatives appear in the CGS Names Index, you can order copies of the original estate documents from our Research Services.  (Members receive a discount for this service.) (Index Code: PROBATE)
  • Records from the First and Third Congregational Churches of San Francisco (Index Code: CONGR)
  • San Francisco voters registered 1890 (Index Code: SF-VOTERS)


CGS Manuscript Collection Index

CGS Vertical File Index

Large Pedigree Charts Index

First Congregational Church Deaths 1915-1917

The Colored Directory of the Leading Cities of Northern California 1916-1917 Every-word searchable image PDF of the Directory.

Alameda County Obituary Forms 1968 – 1977, an all-name index to three binders of obituary forms submitted to the San Leandro Morning News and the Alameda Star Times newspapers.


Some of the collections held by CGS have been scanned and put on the FamilySearch website. To see these records you must have an account at FamilySearch. Once on the site go to the Search menu and select “Catalog”.  At the “Search By:” prompt choose “Titles” and enter: California, Collections of California Genealogical Society, 1700-1942.

When you select the collection it will show a list of CGS databases that includes:

  • Phillips Family Tombstones Index, 1700-1900[1]
  • Alta and Other Newspaper People Index, 1860-1861
  • San Francisco IOOF Cemetery & Columbarium Records, 1865-1932
  • Griffin Allied Family Records, ca. 1900[2]
  • San Francisco Probate Register of Actions, 1806-1942[3]
to read more....

Members-Only Records

You must be logged in to access this area.   All files are in PDF format.


New Online Resources

Lineage Chart Images: Scanned from two books of pedigree charts created by members in 1955-1957.

Pedigree Chart Images: Images from two more books of pedigree charts created in the 1920s.


San Francisco Congregational Church records.  (Names in these files also appear in the CGS Names Index where non-members may order them through our Lookups Service.)


Third Congregational Church Membership Listing – 1863 to 1886

First Congregational Church Membership Listing – 1849 to 1909

Baptisms – 1851 to 1948

Marriages – BRIDE Index – 1897 to 1914/15

Marriages – BRIDE Index – 1920 to 1941

Marriages – GROOM Index – 1897 to 1914/15

Marriages – GROOM Index – 1920 to 1941


Notices from San Francisco Newspapers

San Francisco Divorces 1889 reported in the San Francisco Chronicle

SF Marriages 1891 notices in the SF Chronicle

SF Births  July 1, 1904 – June 30, 1905 as reported in the SF Call

SF Brides  July 1, 1904 – June 30, 1905 marriage notices in the SF Call

SF Grooms  July 1, 1904 – June 30, 1905 marriage notices in the SF Call


Early Arrivals in California 

Enrollment Ledger of the Association of Territorial Pioneers