Sunday, August 02, 2009

1906 San Francisco

CGS and the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire: "This was not the simple courthouse fire with which many of us with southern ancestry are familiar. Over one-fifth of the population of California lived at this time in San Francisco. Within three days 4.7 square miles of the city had burned, and about half the city's population was left homeless. Although the 'official' death toll was set at 478, it has since been shown that at least 3400 lives and likely more were lost in a city that then was home to over 400,000.

Losses in lives and property far exceeded those lost in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Not only were the documents genealogists are accustomed to accessing destroyed, but also the personal effects of a large part of its citizenry were lost.

Marriage records, birth and baptismal certificates, deed and naturization documents were aboandoned and later destroyed as residents fled in terror to the outer reaches of the city or to its suburbs."


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