I have been a bit remiss in checking for California projects on FamilySearch as we went for quite a long time without any.  But there is a project available on the indexing site now.  It is a collection of Alameda County Obituaries dated 1985-2006.  This is considered an intermediate project.  Read through the .pdf on Indexing Obituaries and Death Notices Projects before you get started.  It will answer a lot of questions you might otherwise have.

If you belong to the California Genealogical Society there is also an ongoing project involving indexing San Francisco Coroner’s Records.  Contact CGS for information on how to sign up for that project.


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Society Update




Join the country’s genealogists as they sign the Bill of Rights for Genealogists.  Read more on the Legal Genealogist Blog:  We’re genealogists… and we vote


Orange Line

 California Genealogical & Historical Projects

Check out Orange County CA Genealogical Societies


Index of Veterans Interred in Orange County, California

Weekly Blog Recommendation  Orange line 3

Sticking with Orange County….check out


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FDR’s Alphabet Soup: Records from the Great Depression

Cath Madden Trindle

WPA Federal Theatre Project

1935 – 1939 (NARA 69.5.4)

Federal Theatre Project presents "Festival of American dance" featuring "An American exodus"

Poster for Federal Theatre Project presentation of a “Festival of American Dance” featuring “An American Exodus” at the Alcazar, showing a man and a woman dancing. (LOC Collections)

The primary goal of the Federal Theatre Project was to implement the reemployment of theater workers who were on public relief rolls, including actors, directors, playwrights, designers, vaudeville artists, and stage technicians.  A secondary goal was to make theater a vital part of community life, an art form that would continue to function after the FTP program was completed.

Theater projects were set up in towns where a number of theater professionals were unemployed.  At its largest, the Federal Theatre Project employed around 12,700 people. Over 90% of these employees came from the relief rolls.

Ninety percent of the FTP appropriation had to be spent on wages. About fifty per cent of FTP personnel were actors. Others were writers, designers, theater musicians, dancers, stage hands, box office staff, ushers, maintenance workers, and the business personnel necessary to operate the program in a way that would meet government standards.  There were theater companies in some forty cities in twenty two states. In order to reach the more rural areas some of the companies toured.  Classic plays shared the stage with those newly written for the project, puppet shows, dance reviews, children’s theater, ethnic theater, foreign plays and more.

Among the largest theater companies was the one in Los Angeles.  San Francisco and San Diego also had companies.

Photographic Print from San Francisco production of Power. Finding Aid Box 1182.

The University of Southern California and UCLA both have collections of scripts and other items relating to the theater project in the Los Angeles area. San Francisco Public Library history room has items relating to the program on Treasure Island. UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library has photographs for SF Bay area productions.  Check the OAC for other materials available in California.

Collections at the National Archives include among other things: correspondence, staging blueprints, specifics on certain productions, over 25,000 photographs, drawings and paintings of costumes and set designs, and posters.

The Federal Theatre Project Collection (Finding Aid), housed in the Library of Congress’ Performing Arts Reading Room, contains correspondence, memoranda, play and radio scripts, reports, research studies, manuals, publications, bulletins, forms, lists, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, charts, costume and set designs, blueprints, posters, addressograph plates, photographs, negatives, slides, playbills, and other records documenting the role of the Federal Theatre Project in laying the groundwork during the New Deal years for much innovation in the theater. (LOC Guide – Federal Theatre Project).  American Memory – FTP.

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Jamboree Logo

June 5-8 2014 Burbank CA


California Genealogical & Historical Projects

Sutters Mill California History at Night , a photography project by Sarah Blair is seeking $4000 to photograph California Historical Sites at night.  You can read more and see a video on the Kickstarter website.  California History at Night


Weekly Blog Recommendation  Orange line 3

Inquiring Minds: Commemorating the Federal Writers’ Project  on the

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Society Update

May 1 – Vallejo-Benicia Genealogy Society   – Election – Potluck – Foreign Research –  Check website or contact program chair for more information.

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