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The purpose of this blog is to promote the Contra Costa County Genealogical Society by announcing upcoming events and reporting on past events. In doing so, I hope it will encourage all who are interested to attend any of our events and meetings, and share in our enthusiasm of genealogical research.

June 12, 2012

A Newspaper Article about Margaret Du Bose Intrigued Me

Martinez Daily Standard,  8 Aug 1917, p 4, col 3
    I have been working on an every name index of the Martinez Daily Standard and in the process read a lot of the newspaper to find names to index.  Today an article about a woman, Mrs. Margaret Du Bose, intrigued me.  She was a seamstress from Stege who came up with an idea for adjusting the waistband of women's overalls.  A San Francisco manufacturing company awarded her a $500 bonus and an offer for $100 per month job.

    This article was in the Wednesday, August 8, 1917 issue on page four.  The original newspapers are housed at the History Center, an archive of Contra Costa County, and run by the Contra Costa County Historical Society.

    So I decided to do some research on Margaret Du Bose.  First I found that Stege was located near Richmond, on the southern end, which today is the triangle of land between Interstate 580 and 80.  I decided to check the city directories of Richmond.  I found two on Ancestry.com R. L. Polk and Co.'s Richmond, Martinez and Contra Costa County Directory 1916-1917 and 1918, but I did not find any Margaret Du Bose or any other close spelling such as Du Boise, Du Bois.

     Ancestry.com also has San Francisco city directories,  Crocker-Langley San Francisco Directory and I checked 1918, 1919, and 1920, but found no Margaret.

     I also did not find Margaret in the 1920 San Francisco Co federal census nor the 1910 Contra Costa Co federal census.  I do not know her husband's name.  Only that he has died and she was a widow.  I searched the 1905-1929 California Death Index on FamilySearch.org but did not find a man dying in Contra Costa Co before 1917.

     So why am I not finding her?  There are several things that could be impeding this search:

  1. Her name is completely wrong.  Newspapers are notorious in having spelling errors.  I did do some creative spelling searches for Du Bois, Du Boise, Dubois, etc.
  2. She lived in Contra Costa County only a short time, not long enough to be in a city directory at Richmond.  
  3. Her husband did not die in Contra Costa County.  See #2.
  4. She remarried before the 1920 census.
    So what's next?

  1. Research clothing manufacturing companies in San Francisco to see who made women's overalls.  This will help me find her new employer.
  2. Research places near Stege who might have hired Margaret.  Of course she could have been an independent worker, though she did not show up in the directory under seamstresses.
    If anyone has any other ideas, please comment.  I welcome any input!

Copyright © 2012 by Contra Costa County Genealogical Society.

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