Our California genealogists research on location. They will find and analyze the best records available to further your family history research. They can search the various archives and libraries in California, including:
- Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
One of the largest and most heavily used libraries of manuscripts, rare books, and unique materials in the United States. The nearby Doe Library houses a large collection of newspapers.
- California Genealogical Society and Library, Oakland
Thousands of family histories, local and state histories, maps, reference books and periodicals. San Francisco, the Bay Area and the Gold Rush are particularly well-documented.
- California Historical Society, San Francisco
Over 50,000 books, 4,000 manuscripts, 500,000 photographs, 5,000 works of art.
- California State Archives in Sacramento
Vital records, state censuses, county records (1850-1987), probates, naturalizations, deeds, homesteads, mental health records (1856-1934), military records (1850-1942), prison records (1850-1979), Supreme and Appellate Court Cases (1850-1970), school reports (1862-1960), articles of incorporation (1850-1959), trademarks (1861-present).
- California State Library in Sacramento
California death index (1905-1995), California marriage index (1949-1986), population schedules, DAR indexes and compilations, voter regestreries, city and county directories since 1850, telephone directories from 1899, historical newspapers from around the state, publications of county genealogical and historical societies.
- Chinese Historical Society, San Francisco
The oldest and largest organization in the country dedicated to the documentation, study, and presentation of Chinese American history.
- Immigrant Genealogical Society and Library, Burbank
Records to help Americans trace their ancestors' origins, particularly in the German speaking areas of Europe and the places in the world to which they migrated.
- National Archives Pacific Region (Riverside)
Censuses and population schedules, military post returns, tribal records, service records, pensions, bounty land warrant applications, passenger arrivals, border crossings, passport applications.
- National Archives Pacific Region (San Bruno)
Original records from the Federal courts and Federal agency field offices (1850s-2000s), U.S. Navy bases on foreign territory in the Pacific and Far East, Asian-Pacific immigration, environmental and natural history, naval and military activity in the Pacific, the American Indian experience, and many other aspects of United States history.
- North Baker Research Library
Rare books, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, and periodicals. Emphasis is on voyages of discovery, Western overland travel, California's transition from a Mexican province to statehood, and the Gold Rush.
- Oakland FamilySearch Library
One of the largest centers for genealogical research in California, with over 9,000 volumes of books, periodicals, family histories, city and county histories, city directories, plus over 37,000 reels of microfilm and 9,000 microfiche containing millions of local vital records and historical census data.
- Sahyun Library, Santa Barbara
Over 10,000 books, 600 CDs, and a large collection of newsletters and journals from many genealogical societies all over the United States, Canada, Australia, Great Britain and other countries.
- Society of California Pioneers, San Francisco
Overland and ship journeys, city directories, biographies, state publications, books, periodicals, newspapers, early explorations, railroad publications, 1906 earthquake records, diaries of early pioneers, business ledgers, scrapbooks, newspapers and periodicals from 1600s to present.
- Southern California Genealogical Society and Family Research Library, Burbank
Books for every state in the U.S. and many family histories. Includes California Death Index (1930-1994) and Marriage Index (1960-1985) as well as French-Canadian, German, and Hispanic American collections. Also passenger lists, Confederate veteran volumes, family histories, manuscripts, periodicals, Los Angeles City Historical Society collection, and Los Angeles County civil filings.
Our professional researchers can do research projects of many sizes and for many budgets. We customize the amount of research provided according to your needs.
If you want to know more about how our genealogists can further your research, you can request a research quote.
Some of the major records sources that can be used for genealogy research in California include:
- Births, marriages, and deaths were kept by some towns as early as early 1800s
- Birth records have been recorded by the state government from 1905 to the present
- Marriage records have been recorded by the state government from 1960 to the present
- Death records have been recorded by the state government from 1940 to the present
- Federal census records were recorded every 10 years starting in 1790
- State, territorial, and colonial censuses from 1788. California often took censuses in the years between the federal censuses.
- Land records were kept by the towns and counties from the time they were settled
- Probate records were kept by the probate courts in each county and by the state since 1879 to the present
- Churches kept records of the christenings, marriages, deaths, or other information about their members
- Newspapers were written in many areas and time periods which contain information such as notices of marriages, notices of death, and obituaries
- Town and county histories were written that record information about the settlers and their families; many family genealogies of the settlers of California have also been written
- Naturalization and citizenship records were recorded by the courts as early as 1850
- Ship passenger lists, tax lists, and town records were recorded for many areas from 1900s