The Case of the Mysterious Birth Certificate
Some mysteries send us down circuitous rabbit holes. Here are the basic outlines of this one. My great grandmother’s Diary had this birth certificate among its pages. I haven’t the slightest idea who this is or why this birth certificate would be kept by her.
My great grandmother Mary “Lulu” PADEN MOSIER ANDERSON was born in 1867 in Illinois and died 28 OCT 1930 in San Francisco, CA. She lived from 1913-1930 in San Francisco. She had eight children that survived childhood and not a one had a daughter that could have been this child (by adoption). My great grandmother was of Scottish & German extraction. This child is Italian. Why did she have this Birth Certificate in her diary? What is the connection?
St. Helena is about 65 miles north of San Francisco and there is no known connection. And this was the easy part. Doing a search for Yolanda Rose Giralamo brings up nothing in the CA State Birth Index. Nor can I find her on the 1930 or 1940 census. I also searched for her father Franco Giralamo. And I can only find one mention of a “Franco Giralamo” or anything close to it. That is in the 1929 City Directory for San Francisco a Franco Giralamo a laborer lives ar 25 Montana St. Okay the only clue is this birth certificate so let’s have a closer look. The birth occurred at St Gothard Hospital in St. Helena, CA. St Gothard’s began its life as a private home in 1907, then became St Gothard’s Inn in 1911. July 11 1921 it opened as St Gothard’s Hospital and less than 5 months later it would be the birthplace of Yolanda. It stayed a hospital until 1938 when it returned as St. Gothard’s Inn.
Several things I note on this birth certificate even though this birth occurred at a hospital the bottom is not filled out. The mother Laura is listed as the mother of 4 children all living….this suggests a marriage in about 1910-1915. So not finding anything for Franco Giralamo I searched for Laura Craviotto. BINGO! Laura CRAVIOTTO and Girolomo FRANCO were married on Valentine’s Day [14 Feb] 1914 in San Francisco, CA, both born in Italy he 26 and she 24. His name was Girolomo FRANCO not Franco Giralamo!!!
So perhaps that was a discarded Birth Certificate because it was improperly filled out??? Once I knew Yolanda’s father’s “real” name it was easier to find him. They appear on the 1830 census for St. Helena, California living along the Calistoga-St Helena Highway. By this time we see that Girolomo and Lora have 5 children. That he immigrated in 1910 and she in 1913. Unfortunately Girolomo dies the 23rd of April 1933. Laura as a widow is listed in Colma, San Mateo County in the 1940 census. She dies 21 September 1950. Moral of this search: Search on any parameter you have and do not overlook the possibility that the surname and given name have been switched.
But how is Yolanda Rose FRANCO connected to my great grandmother? I am not sure I will ever know the answer to that but here is a guess. The FRANCOs and the MOSERs lived in very different neighborhoods. The FRANCO’s near Little Italy and the MOSERs in the Panhandle. However it may be that Lulu’s husband Frank MOSER and Girolomo FRANCO met as laborers and somehow the families were acquainted. It is a mystery waiting for more clues. Yolanda Carmen FRANCO JOHNSON died 10 July in 1984 in Alameda, CA. Meanwhile maybe a member of the family will someday find this post in a web search and get a bit more detail than the would have had otherwise…..onward to more rabbit holes!
Kelly Wheaton Copyright 2021 All RIghts Reserved.
Do you think that this is somehow linked to her scoundrel husband’s infidelity? Did Franklin have other children?
No I think perhaps she was a godparents. Giralamo was listed as a gardener or laborer. I like to think there was some connection. Doubt it was anything nefarious with Frank.
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What a fascinating story and nicely set up for part 2 I can’t wait!
Paul. I had no idea when I wrote this it would lead to part 2!
Those are always the best stories
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