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Finding Aid to the Halsted N. Gray–Carew & English Funeral Home Records, 1835-1931 (bulk 1850-1921)
SFH 38  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Provenance
  • Existence and Location of Copies note
  • Related Materials
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement

  • Title: Halsted N. Gray–Carew & English Funeral Home Records
    Date (inclusive): 1835-1931
    Date (bulk): 1850-1921
    Collection Identifier: SFH 38
    Creator: Halsted N. Gray-Carew & English.
    Physical Description: 115.0 volumes (ca. 57.3 cubic feet)
    Contributing Institution: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
    100 Larkin Street
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    (415) 557-4567
    info@sfpl.org
    Abstract: Funeral records, daybooks, and death and burial registers for seven funeral homes, mostly based in San Francisco--with the exception of Clark and Booth in Sacramento, as well as a few records from Burlingame and Stockton--acquired over time by the present-day firm of Halsted N. Gray Carew & English.
    Physical Location: The collection is open for research and stored offsite. A minimum of two working days' notice is required for use. Please call the San Francisco History Center for hours and information at 415-557-4567.
    Language of Materials: Collection materials are chiefly in English , with some materials from J.S. Godeau & Co. in French.

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Halsted N. Gray – Carew & English Funeral Home Records (SFH 38), San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.

    Provenance

    Gift from Carol Rae Giovannini, Vice President and General Manager of Halsted N. Gray–Carew & English, May 27, 2006.

    Existence and Location of Copies note

    The Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City has digitized the entire collection, which is available for browsing on the FamilySearch website at www.familysearch.org.

    Related Materials

    Around 1920, N. Gray ledgers from 1850-1862 were abstracted into a manuscript, which was subsequently converted into a card file called "Book of the Dead," available on Family History Library (FHL) microfilm and cards at the Sutro Library and the California Genealogical Society.
    Researchity (www.researchity.com) has continuing records for these funeral homes, plus records for Martin & Brown (A.W. Martin) spanning the years 1911-1985.
    Halsted Mortuary Records for 1923-1974 are also available at sfgenealogy.com.
    Halsted N. Gray-Carew & English (www.halstedngray.com/records.html) retains current files going back approximately 20 years.
    At the San Francisco History Center, researchers are encouraged to see also the San Francisco Office of the Chief Medical Examiner's Records (SFH 30).

    Biographical/Historical note

    Halsted N. Gray – Carew & English began as several predecessor funeral homes, mortuaries, and undertakers in San Francisco, Sacramento, and Stockton, which by 1985 had become merged into one firm, from which this collection has been received. The corporate history is characterized by frequently shifting business partnerships and locations. N. Gray was established in 1850 by Nathanial Gray, who also served as the second Coroner of San Francisco from 1851-1852. Halsted & Co. began in 1883 as Halsted & Kremple and became a family business by 1887. This chronology documents the seven firms represented in this collection. (Sources: San Francisco History Center Ephemera Collection and Card Files, San Francisco: the Imperial City, http://www.halstedngray.com, Nancy Peterson of the California Genealogical Society, and San Francisco City Directories)
    1850: Nathanial Gray founds N. Gray & Co. (originally known as N. Gray Undertakers).
    1883: Kremple & Halsted founded.
    1884-1885: Kremple & Halsted listed in City Directory at 946 Mission.
    1885-1886: Halsted & Evers listed in City Directory at 946 Mission.
    1886: Suhr & Heins listed in City Directory at 1171 Mission.
    1887: Halsted & Co. (W. A. Halsted and J.L. Halsted) listed in City Directory at 946 Mission. Suhr & Becker first listed in City Directory at 1171 Mission.
    1889: Valente & Godeau listed in City Directory at 1325 Dupont.
    1890: San Francisco Undertaking Co. T.R. Carew, Manager, listed in City Directory at 1021 Market St. and 2429 Mission St. Valente, Godeau & Co. listed in City Directory at 1524 Stockton.
    1891: Carew & English (Thomas R. Carew and James English) listed in City Directory at 19 Van Ness Av.
    1893-94: H.F. Suhr & Co. listed in City Directory at 1209 Mission.
    1894: Hallowell & Petersen listed in City Directory at 8-10 City Hall Av.
    1894-1906: Clark & Booth based in Sacramento, first as George H. Clark, then as Clark & Booth.
    1895: Godeau & Co. listed in City Directory at 326 Montgomery, Godeau & Lipman, 326 Sutter. Peterson [sic] & Gantner listed in City Directory at 8 and 10 City Hall Square.
    1899: George H. Clark name changes to Clark & Booth.
    1906: Halsted & Co. burns in earthquake & fire. Moves temporarily to the Western Addition.
    1907: Clark & Booth moves to San Francisco.
    1980: N. Gray Mortuary and Halsted & Co. merge.
    1985: Halsted N. Gray & Co. and Carew & English merge.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection consists of funeral records, daybooks, and death and burial registers for seven funeral homes, mostly based in San Francisco--with the exception of Clark and Booth in Sacramento, as well as a few records from Burlingame and Stockton--acquired over time by the present-day firm of Halsted N. Gray Carew & English. Formats and types of information differ somewhat across time and between firms, but typically include: name, death date, age, and other information about the decedent; and financial transactions concerning the deaths, funeral arrangements, and burials. Some volumes are indexed; however, not all records are referenced in the indexes.
    The term "funeral records" is used here to mean page entries containing information about a deceased person's funeral, which can include personal information about the deceased, along with financial, medical, and/or burial information. Registers list deceased persons, with some additional information included in the line entries. Daybooks record daily financial transactions of the mortuary, and they often include names of family members conducting these transactions. Some volumes include small amounts of additional types of records, such as price lists, unpaid bills, death announcement clippings, and other information. Volume 3 of N. Gray & Co. funeral home includes a burial register of Lone Mountain Cemetery, 1850-1862.

    Arrangement

    Volumes are arranged by funeral home in seven series: Series 1. N. Gray & Co.; Series 2. Halsted & Co.; Series 3. Clark & Booth; Series 4. Petersen & Co.; Series 5. J.S. Godeau & Co.; Series 6. H.F. Suhr & Co.; Series 7. Gantner Bros. Within each series, records are arranged chronologically.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Clark & Booth (San Francisco, Calif.). -- Archives
    H. F. Suhr & Co. -- Archives
    Halsted & Co. -- Archives
    Halsted N. Gray-Carew & English. -- Archives
    J. S. Godeau & Co. -- Archives
    N. Gray & Co. -- Archives
    Petersen & Co. -- Archives
    Account books
    Burial registers
    Daybooks
    Death registers
    Funeral homes--California
    San Francisco (Calif.)--Registers