The Carew family is not actually one of my direct lines. In fact, I didn’t know that they were related until 1999. Finding them stemmed from trying to find all of my great-grandfather’s siblings. I put out several queries on Pam Wolfskill’s San Francisco Query board, and a couple of others. I searched the San Francisco Call archives of Jim Faulkenbury — and there it was, on 23 Nov 1873, “in this city, Nov 18, by Rev. Father Cullen, the marriage of Thomas R. Carew to Mary Agnes Doyle.” [1]

And I got a response to my query – from not one but two of Mary and TR’s grandchildren. They didn’t know much about the Doyle family, nor much about TR’s parents. We’ve found out quite a bit since then. And in December, while cleaning, I found an envelope of notes from my grandmother (who married Doyle), indicating that Mary had married “some Carew”!

Thomas Richard Carew was born 18 Nov 1847, in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, the son of Thomas Carew and Rose Ann Dowling, both of Ireland. He has at least two brothers born in Sydney, John (born 1846) and William Ambrose (born 1849), based on christening records from St. James Catholic Church [2]. Thomas and Rose immigrated to San Francisco in 1852. Thomas senior drove a team in the wholesale district. [3] Jim Faulkenbury’s Foreign Born Voters lists “(Record 7438), age 45, nativity Ireland, naturalized in US District Court, San Francisco on 7 Aug 1855. Registered 1866, found in the Great Register of San Francisco, 1872.” All three sons are also listed, being registered to vote “on naturalization of his father.”

Further searching of the SF Call indices provided the genders and dates of birth of the first 7 children (including one set of twin sons). Paul Carew (a great-grandson through Joseph) provided the details. Those children are Mary Rose Carew, Martha M. Carew, Joseph Anthony Carew, Agnes C. Carew, Thomas Aquinas Carew, Editha E. Carew, Leo Vincent & Paul Augustin Carew, Aloyisius Jerome Carew (who went by Jerome), Clement Carew and Claire E. Carew.

After completing his education, he worked for about twenty years for Fechheimer, Goodkind & Company, as a shipping clerk. [3] By 1891, TR Carew was a prominent businessman, being a partner in Carew-English, with James English, “funeral directors, practical embalmers and undertakers, 19 Van Ness Avenue, near Market” [4] The property was burned in April, 1906, and a new facility was built at 1618 Geary.

Joseph Anthony Carew was born in San Francisco in 1878, attended public schools, and ultimately graduated from the School of Dentistry at the University of California (now UCSF). He married Mary A. McGrath in 1908, whose parents were born in Ireland, and whose father was a miner. They had four children: Joseph A. Jr., Thomas R., Mary A., and Jane. [5] He died March 6, 1930 from a heart attack.

A. B.
A. Mary Agnes Doyle Carew – from a contemporary painting now kept by a granddaughter
B. The Carew family, circa 1930. The only definite identities are: front row left, Joseph; front row center, TR. The women in the front are Martha and Mary (but which is which?). And the man in the first row at the far right, and the man in the middle back are the twins.

[1] Jim Faulkenbury is a professional genealogist, who has abstracted records from the San Francisco Call, Foreign Born Voters registration and others. The abstracts are available on-line through, although you must write Mr. Faulkenbury for details. I think his fees are quite reasonable for what he provides.
FHL Australian Vital Records (CD-ROM)
[3] Byington, Lewis Francis, The History of San Francisco, Vol 3, page 43, 1931.
[4] San Francisco City Directory(s)
[5] Hunt, Rockwell D, California and Californians, Vol 3, page 153, 1932.


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