San Francisco Genealogy
Holy Cross Cemetery Research
by Mike O'Brien
February 2003

Research at:
Holy Cross Cemetery
Located at 1500 Mission Road, Colma, CA
Mail to:
P.O.Box 1577
Colma, CA
Tel: (650) 756-2060
Fax: (650) 994-8147

Holy Cross Cemetery was established in 1889.  Most all of the burial records at Holy Cross are computerized at this time.  Burials were also being performed at Calvary Cemetery in Downtown San Francisco prior to 1889 and later into the early 1920s.

Because of the growth of San Francisco in the early 1900s, land was needed and Calvary Cemetery was closed.  The remains of those buried in Calvary Cemetery were relocated to Holy Cross in April 1929.

If your ancestor died after 1889 they may be buried at Holy Cross.  Call the receptionist at the number above and they can check their computer for your ancestor.  Full name and date of death are required.  Do not waste their time looking for someone without a date of death.  There could be literally hundreds there with the same name and they will not know which one is yours.

If the receptionist cannot locate your ancestor on their computer, do not despair.   If your ancestor died before 1889, they were probably buried at Calvary Cemetery and later moved to Holy Cross.  Even many were buried at Calvary Cemetery after 1889 and were later moved to Holy Cross.

Family research at Holy Cross costs $35.00 per family [confirmed July 2008; you can verify this amount by viewing their web page].  By calling Holy Cross Cemetery, the receptionist can get your name and address and mail you a form or you can download it here.  Be sure to specify checking the Calvary Cemetery transfer records for your ancestors.

If you find your ancestor at Holy Cross and further research indicates that there are more members buried in your family plot that you can not identify, do not despair.  According to the Staff at Holy Cross, persons buried or transferred from Calvary can only be buried in a family plot with permission of the owner of the family plot.  If the owner of the family plot is not living, those persons being buried most show relationship to the members of the family plot either by blood or marriage.  Catholic Church policy on burials is that no member will be buried in a family plot at Holy Cross if they are not related.  There is a separate section for those transferred from Calvary with no family at Holy Cross.   The transfer records will indicate where the ancestor is buried.

When I found my grandfather at Holy Cross I found his brother and two sisters.  After doing more research on our family, I have now identified a total of 19 individuals buried in our family plot including the four I first found there.

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copyright ©  2003 Mike O'Brien  All rights reserved.
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