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04 November 2010

Beth Israel Congregation, San Francisco marriage records

In searching through the microfilms of the collection of the Judah L. Magnes Museum in California, I have some wonderful records. One of the more surprising finds has been a collection of marriage certificates from Beth Israel Congregation in San Francisco (FHL film #1031330 item 3). These certificates, such as the one below, include certificates from 1882 through 1935. A large part of these are certificates from before the earthquake of 1906. The fact that they survive and are available is incredible.



Beth Israel was founded in 1860, and was the first conservative congregation west of Chicago.



These marriage records are for the most part during the census years which makes them even more valuable. The information on the certificates is usually enough to help locate other family members in the censuses. The marriage above of Solomon Honigsberger (age 37) to Esther Appel (age 22) occurs on 18 Aug 1888. A search of the 1900 census (below) finds the couple living on Santa Clara Avenue.

In addition to the bride and groom, we now also have twin sons and the brides mother, Caroline Appel, a widow born in Iowa in 1848. Using the information from this census, we can search the 1880 census for an Esther Appel born in Iowa to a mother Caroline. In the 1880 census (below) we find the family. We now know that Esther is one of at least 5 children born to Samuel and Caroline Appel. We also know that the Appel's are of German origin. We should always use the information we have to build our families as completely as possible.





These records are now being added to The Jews of Americas database and will be available after the next update.

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