Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: GD Mariani

A couple of Thursdays ago, I visited the California Genealogical Society library and met a wonderful woman (Jane) who helped me find the burial place of someone I was researching: GD Mariani.   She helped me find the California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1835-1931 on FamilySearch.  In there, in Godeau’s Day Book 1, we found Giusseppe Mariani, died 21 July 1895 in the French Hospital. Buried 26 July 1895 it IOOF Cemetery, age 55. 

At the mention of IOOF, Jane got excited, told me it stood for “International/Independent Order of Odd Fellows and ran off for a book.  She came back with a VERY LARGE tattered book listing all those buried at IOOF.  Very old.  Very awesome.  Among the listed was my GD.  GD had been buried in Tier 1, Lot 27 in the Avenue Section with Godeau as the funeral home.

Oddly, having never heard of the French Hospital, one of my book club cohorts (nothing at all to do with genealogy) discussed it at our meeting last week, as she grew up in San Francisco and her family were members.  The French Hospital had very low dues and then very low payments to receive services.  They “contracted” with different societies around San Francisco and that is how I imagine my GD got in as he was prominent in the Ticanese Benevolent Society.  You can read more about the French Hospital here.

IOOF cemetery, as all cemeteries in San Francisco (except Mission Dolores and the Presidio) were moved to Colma to make room for houses and industry.  The IOOF moved happened in 1929, when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance requiring the removal.  It took six years to move all the IOOF remains to Greenlawn Cemetery in Colma.  All the bodies were put together in a mass grave.  If their markers were unclaimed, they were used in seawalls, rain gutters in Buena Vista Park, and even the foundation of the Golden Gate Bridge.

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