Picture of the library with members of the reserach committeeIndex Codes

The CGS Names Index includes several databases. When you do a Names Search, the search results will include a code that represents the database in which the name was found. Described below in detail are the databases associated with each code.

Code: BIO/BIO2

Information for some individuals may be limited to name and locality. For others, a complete biography including a photo may be available. Information comes from over 50 state, county, and local histories in our collection.


This code includes entries in San Francisco Department of Public Health Death Registers and early Death Certificates from the FamilySearch microfilm series San Francisco Death Records 1865-1904, film numbers 975830-47. Information usually includes name, age (yrs-mos-days), place of birth, date and place of death and often cause of death. Some entries include residence, occupation, name of the informant, mortuary used and place of burial. Death ledgers and death certificates from pre-earthquake San Francisco cover 1865-1873, 1882-1889, 1894-1896, and 1901-1904, but some of these years are incomplete. FamilySearch has digitized the microfilm images and they are available on FamilySearch, but indexing is still in progress. Image links are included on the FamilySearch catalog page.

Also included in this code are names of individuals whose death notices appeared in the San Francisco Call newspaper during the years 1902-1904. If a name of interest is found, we may be able to locate an obituary or mortuary record as part of our Research Services.


CGS holds the original ledgers from the IOOF Crematorium in San Francisco, which operated from 1895 through 1911. Digitization provides name, place of birth, age (yrs-mos-days), date and place of death, cause of death, name of informant and mortuary used. Many entries also include newspaper death notices; some date to disinterment of very early burials. Mortuary information, both here and in cemetery records (below) may lead to additional information that can be unearthed in our Research Services.


Name, date of burial, lot location and owner, and mortuary used are recorded in our holdings of original burial ledgers of the old San Francisco IOOF Cemetery in which the crematorium was located. The ledgers, which have been digitized, cover all the years of operation, 1865 – 1911, and are particularly important for locating information on immigrant Germans. When remains were removed to other cemeteries, the place and date of removal is noted above the original entry. CGS also holds lot maps that can be searched as part of our Research Services.


When an estate is probated, all the actions taken are reported to the court and entered by the clerk into a list called a “Register of Actions”. We hold digitization of the San Francisco Registers begun after the 1906 earthquake and continuing through March 1942. Some represent guardianship (coded M) or proceedings of insanity or incompetence (coded I), but most are conventional probates (coded D). There are more than 100,000 cases, including a few that remained open until the 1980s.

If you order a probate lookup, you will receive a copy of the Register for your person of interest. The estate documents themselves, including the will, if there is one, are available through the San Francisco Superior Court, where our Research Services team can review them and make copies of genealogically relevant portions for you.


Several ledgers and reports from the San Francisco First Congregational Church survived the earthquake and fire. CGS holds extractions of baptisms (1851-1948), marriages (broken years 1897-1941), memorial services (1915-1917) and membership rolls indicating previous residence (1849-1909). In addition we hold extracts of membership rolls from the defunct Third Congregational Church (1863-1886).

Code: 1890 SF-VOTERS

The 1890 Great Register of Voters for San Francisco City and County contains name, age, place of birth (U.S. state/foreign country), occupation, home address and place and year naturalized if applicable for more than 59,000 men living in San Francisco in 1890. Note that the information in this publication is slightly more detailed than in the 1890 California Great Register of Voters publication coded as CA-GRV in the other part of lookup (below) and for common names focuses on only San Francisco. (Note: This code was formerly FRAN)