Saturday, February 9, 2013

Society Saturday - Sacramento County Records Preservation

Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society values giving back to the genealogy community through its preservation projects.  One of the Society's major efforts has been to bring Sacramento County records a little bit closer to family historians, Sacramento history buffs and the public at large.

Was your ancestor in Sacramento County back in the day?

Women Proprietors or Sole Traders
Sacramento County 1850-1930.
Click on all images to enlarge
Record types that the Society has indexed tell fascinating stories of the people who settled in Sacramento County and were recorded under a variety of circumstances!   Indexes include civil court cases, delayed births, militia, divorces, Folsom and San Quentin prisons, homesteads, marriages, baptisms, cemeteries, women proprietors, and the list goes on.  The books are available for purchase in the Root Cellar Store or send us a Research Request.

Through Root Cellar's long-standing partnership with the Center for Sacramento History, an active group of Society volunteers organized by Marilyn Ulbricht gathers every Friday morning at the Center.  Generally, everyone is transcribing the same record type because so many volumes exist.  Each volunteer gently combs through the pages, willing to get a little dusty, stopping occasionally to share an amazing story of the person's data being extracted.  Sometimes they pause for a look-up, using a dictionary of historic medical terminology or a book of California place names.  You see, preservation projects are educational on so many levels!

Cover (above) and sample contents,
Sacramento County Coroner's Records
Currently, Root Cellar volunteers are diligently working to finish the last book of the "Coroner Records Collection for Sacramento County".  The collection consists of 20 registers with a treasure trove of information.  Examples of information include, name, place of death, property and to whom distributed, place of burial, physical description of the deceased, cause of death and description of the circumstances of the death to name a few.  These books cover the years 1887 through 1969.  Each volume published (some volumes have more than one book) are indexed and upon completion of all books, a Master Index will be published. There are additional coroner's records available at the Center from years 1970 through 1978 but are not included in this project.

The Committee  has also nearly completed the "Index of Registers of Wills for Sacramento County".  Anyone doing family research will really have to look at these as there is invaluable information to help complete those missing spots in your family tree.  Some of the wills are extremely detailed giving names, addresses, relationship to the deceased, identification of property, etc.

Excerpt from actual Sacramento County Will

Data extracted from Will Books

Three members of the Society are indexing and extracting the information from "The City of Sacramento Deaths and Internments".  The information will include the date of death, names, nativity, cause of death, and internment.
Genealogists are always looking for a picture of an ancestor.  Have you ever considered looking at the police blotter?  Maybe that's why Uncle Zeke or Cousin Edna have been so elusive.  A future project is the "Mug Books from the City of Sacramento Police Department."  Indexing was started but put on hold pending completion of the Will Project.  This book will include the mug shot photos and other information.  Oh my, the stories these photos could tell!
As you can see, Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society is dedicated to making resources and information available to the genealogy community and beyond.  We have reaped from others who have done the same and it is our way to express our gratitude.
Much more information can be gleaned from the original books available for research at the Center for Sacramento History located at 551 Sequoia Pacific Ave., Sacramento, CA 95814.   Appointments must be made by calling 916-808-7072 or email
Marilyn Ulbricht is always looking for volunteers.  According to Ulbricht, "If you have three or four hours a week and would like to participate in our extraction projects, we would encourage you to come join us on Fridays from 9:00a.m. to 12:00 noon.  You will gain far more than you give!"  For further information, please call Marilyn at 916-467-0020.
Submitted by Marilyn Ulbricht
Posted by Denise H. Richmond

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