I have been doing research on my paternal grandmother’s line for a few days now, inspired by my reflections on her personality and background. As I have been searching, I found the names of her maternal grandparents, Eli and Caroline Alexandre, parents of her mother Flora. I knew that her mother had been born in San Francisco and found census records naming her parents. I also corresponded with the oldest synagogue in San Francisco. Despite most of the records having been destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake and ensuing fire, the synagogue archivist also had a little information about the Alexandres.
I was able to determine that they had died in San Francisco, had been buried there, and later had been reinterred, along with many others, in Colma, California when the San Francisco cemetery was closed. I found them listed in a very helpful site, Find-A-Grave, but without photos of their monuments.
One wonderful aspect of crowd sourcing in genealogy is the ability to request favors from other genealogists. In this case, I left a request at Find-a-Grave for photos of these two stones. Within a week, lovely volunteers went to the Colma cemetery, took photos, and added them to the web site for me and others to see. While I do not have to reciprocate, I am waiting for the snow to melt to search for some stones in our local cemetery that others wish to have photographed.
Not only have a now been able to see the stones, I also have gained new information confirming that the Jewish line of my family came from Alsace-Lorraine, alternatively French, Prussian, French, German and French. While I do not yet know the maiden name of Caroline, I now have her birth year and birth town. Soon, I will ask French researchers to help me.
With so much disagreeable dialogue going on in this country, I am grateful that the genealogical community continues to be generous. I send thanks to those Colma volunteers.