Fresno County, California Genealogy

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Guide to Fresno County, California ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

Fresno County, California
Map of California highlighting Fresno County
Location in the state of California, United States Genealogy
Map of the U.S. highlighting California
Location of California in the U.S.
Founded April 19, 1856
County Seat Fresno
Address Fresno County Courthouse
2221 Kern St
Fresno, CA 93721
Phone 559.488.3003 
Fresno County Website

County Information[edit | edit source]

Fresno County, California Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1855 1855 1855 1856 1856 1880 1850
*Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1905. General compliance by 1920.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

County Clerk has birth, marriage, and death records from 1855[2]

Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

Fresno County was created 19 April 1856 from Merced and Mariposa counties. Parts were taken for Kings 22 March 1893, Madera 11 March 1893 and Mono 24 April 1861. Named for Fresno Creek. Fresno in Spanish means "ash tree", because of abundance of mountain ash in the area.

Parent County[edit | edit source]

19 April 1856: Fresno County was created from Mariposa, Merced and Tulare Counties.
County seat: Fresno [3]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County Seat is Fresno and was founded February 18, 1856. It is located in the Central area of the state.[4]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

For animated maps illustrating California county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation California County Boundary Maps" (1850-1925) may be viewed for free at the website.

Records Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[5]

Unincorporated communities
Native American communities
Census-designated places

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Fresno, California online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See California Cemeteries for more information

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 4,605
1870 6,336 37.6%
1880 9,478 49.6%
1890 32,026 237.9%
1900 37,862 18.2%
1910 75,657 99.8%
1920 128,779 70.2%
1930 144,379 12.1%
1940 178,565 23.7%
1950 276,515 54.9%
1960 365,945 32.3%
1970 413,053 12.9%
1980 514,621 24.6%
1990 667,490 29.7%
2000 799,407 19.8%
2010 930,450 16.4%
Source: "".

For tips on accessing Fresno County, California Genealogy census records online, see: California Census.

Church History and Records[edit | edit source]

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about California denominations, view the California Church Records wiki page.

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Crime and Criminals[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

Heraldry[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Fresno County, California Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the Wiki page section California Local Histories.

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See California Land and Property for additional information about early California land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse and where records are currently housed.

Online Land Indexes and Records

Maps[edit | edit source]

Monterey CountySan Benito CountyMerced CountyMono CountyInyo CountyTulare CountyKings CountyMadera CountyCA FRESNO.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military History and Records[edit | edit source]

World War I[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Fresno County, California Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

The county clerk is usually the custodian of probate records. The records include wills, fee books, claim registers, legacy records, inheritance records, probate ticklers, and dockets.

Content: Probate Records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.

You can obtain copies of the original probate records (such as wills and estate files) by writing to the county clerk at the county courthouse.

The FamilySearch Catalog lists films of probate records. To find the records for this county, use the Place Search for California - Fresno - Probate records.

Online Probate Indexes and Records

Repositories[edit | edit source]

Archives, Libraries and Museums[edit | edit source]

The following public libraries in Fresno County have collections of particular interest to genealogists:

Fresno County Public Library
2420 Mariposa Street
Fresno, California 93721
Telephone: (559) 600-7323
The California History and Genealogy Room offers books, microfilms and other resources for local and state history as well as a variety of records helpful for identifying your ancestors and their lives–vital records, military, ethnic, census, Great Registers (voting records), prison records, and more.
Fresno City and County Historical Society Archives has Central Valley early farmers index, biographies, manuscripts, photos, oral histories, newspaper clippings, and school yearbooks.
County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Societies[edit | edit source]

Taxation[edit | edit source]

California tax records complement land records and can supplement the years between censuses. There may be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties. For more information, see the wiki page California Taxation.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. See the CDC Where to Write website for information on acquiring copies of these records. The State office has records since July 1905. For earlier records, contact the County Recorder. See also How to order California Vital Records

Birth[edit | edit source]
Marriage[edit | edit source]
Divorce[edit | edit source]
Death[edit | edit source]

Voting Registers[edit | edit source]

Genealogy Societies, Archives and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Fresno County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 1429
Fresno 93716-1429

Fresno County Historical Society
7160 West Kearney Boulevard
Fresno, CA 93706
Phone: 559-441-0862

American Historical Society of Germans from Russia
3233 N. West Avenue
Fresno, CA 93705-3402

California Mennonite Historical Society
4824 E. Butler
Fresno, CA 93727

Websites[edit | edit source]

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The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Fresno County, California. Page 84-88 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 81-83.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Fresno County, California. Page 84 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Fresno County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_California 4/11/2017.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Fresno County, California," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_California, accessed 13 September 2019.