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Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society

The Richard N. Schellens Collection of Historical Materials


[A-Aue] [Aug-Az] [B-Bentley] [Bento-Bowman] [Boyce-Butter]
[Buttner-Byx] [C-Christian] [Christie-Cowing] [Cox-Cz] [D-Donlon]
[Donn-Dy] [E] [F-Franke] [Franklin-Fu] [G-Graves]
[Gray-Gyr] [H-Hays] [Hayward-Hovey] [Howard-Hy] [I]
[J] [K] [L-Lis] [Lit-Ly] [M-McCully]
[McCumber-Million] [Mills-My] [N] [O] [P-Pill]
[Pim-Py] [Q] [R-Rof] [Rog-Ry] [S-Sh]
[Si-Spa] [Spe-Sy] [T-Tw] [Tya-Tys] [U]
[V] [W-Wilf] [Wilk-Wy] [X] [Y] [Z]

This is a name index to all 17,219 names in Volumes 63 to 67 of the Schellens Papers, covering Alameda County.


The Richard N. Schellens Historical Collection is a fascinating and important synopsis of directories, maps, newspaper articles, excerpts from books and magazines, land records, interviews with local residents and much more. The material covers the history and geography of California, with a major thrust towards making it extremely useful to genealogists and historians. It fills 169 binders, which are organized by county. This appears to be a priceless but underused accumulation of material which is now being indexed and publicized as to its value.

Born William Robert Brooks in Los Angeles in 1911, Richard Schellens was adopted two years later from a San Francisco orphanage by a German couple. The Schellens Family lived on a farm in Redwood City until 1920, and then moved to Germany. Later, they returned to the United States, living in Palo Alto and San Mateo.

Richard attended UCLA for two years, and then the University of Munich for two years, where he majored in Economics. He was in Germany when Hitler took over as Chancellor in 1933.

After graduation, he returned to the United States and worked for Libby, McNeil and Libby in Sunnyvale as a bookkeeper. He enrolled in Stanford in 1940, intending to get a high school teaching certificate, but was drafted by the Army to serve in World War II before he could finish his degree. He served in the Army finance section.

After the War, he went to work for Pacific-Portland Cement as an accountant for 14 years. He retired in 1960 and began his intense historical research of California towns and pioneers.

Richard's fascination with California history began before the war. Over the years he collected, compiled, extracted and annotated historical material of California with a concentration on San Francisco and San Mateo Counties. He also did similar work for Alameda County.

Schellens was one of the founding members of the Archives Committee of the Redwood City Public Library, but unfortunately he died only seven months later, in June of 1975. His daughter donated his boxes of notes to the Library, and members of the Archives Committee organized them into usable form. The first Archives Open House, held in 1977, was in honor of Schellens and displayed samples of his work.

The original binders are housed in the Redwood City Main Library, in the Karl A. Vollmayer Local History Room.

An examination of the material in this collection reveals that there are thousands of names associated with dates, places and occupations, which will help genealogists immensely when writing their family histories.

Therefore, in order to make the Collection really useful, a project to index all 169 binders is underway, with the San Mateo County Genealogical Society leading the project and undertaking the indexing to the San Mateo County and San Francisco volumes. Societies from other counties are taking on the task of indexing the binders from their counties. The goal of the project is to create a computer-based searchable index.

Members of the Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society (L-AGS) have provided this index to the volumes which encompass only Alameda County. L-AGS is presenting the index to the public in three forms: in print; on compact disk; and on this Web site. Copies of the original documents for Alameda County, as well as of the index, are available for examination at:

Pleasanton Public Library
400 Old Bernal Avenue
Pleasanton, CA
Map and Hours

The Livermore Heritage Guild Museum
Carnegie Building
3rd Street between "J" and "K" Streets
Livermore, CA
Map and Hours

East Bay Genealogical Society Library
14th & Franklin Streets
Oakland, CA
Map and Hours

There are 17,219 entries in the database. The surnames have been transcribed exactly as they were written - mistakes and all. Look for several spellings of the same surname. If there is no given name or initials, it is because Schellens didn't include any. In the Subject column, if there is nothing listed, Schellens didn't include any. And, if there is more than one page listed for an individual, there may also be more than one subject as well. Examine all pages listed for an individual.

The entire collection may be inspected at:

Redwood City Public Library
1044 Middlefield Road
Redwood City, California
Map and Hours

The thirty members of L-AGS who participated on the Schellens Indexing Team are the following:

David Abrahams, Team Leader
Larry Renslow, Database Consultant and Assembler
George Anderson, Print Editor

Harriet Anderson, Wayne Barnes, Gary Bradley, Derrell Bridgman, Katherine Bridgman, Sandy Clark, Caroline Foote, Frank Geasa, Joe Keller, Mary Maenchen, Wilma Myers, Wes Nelson, Kelly O'Hair, Eileen Redman, Vicki Renz, Robbie Robinson, Jim Rogers, Marie Ross, Nile Runge, Lois Smith, Jane Southwick, Stan Strickland, Linda Trudeau, Charlene Trueman, Leo Vongottfried, Barbara Wills, Kathleen Young.

David Abrahams
Livermore, California
September 8, 2002


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06 Aug 2013, 22:53:46

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