Placer County, California Genealogy

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

Placer County, California
Map of California highlighting Placer 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 15, 1851
County Seat auburn
Address Placer County Courthouse
 2954 Richardson Drive
Auburn, CA 95603
Phone: 530.886.5600 
Placer County Website

County Information[edit | edit source]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1873 1873 1873 1880 1850 1851 1850
*Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1905. General compliance by 1920.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Placer County Courthouse
 2954 Richardson Drive
Auburn, CA 95603
Phone: 530.886.5600 

County Clerk Recorder has birth, marriage and death records from 1873 and land records from 1850
County Clerk has probate records from 1850 and court records from 1851[2]


Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Placer County, California

Parent Counties[edit | edit source]

15 April 1851: Placer County was created from Sutter and Yuba Counties. [3]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named from the numerous places where the method of extracting gold from the earth, called placer mining, was practiced.[4] The County is located in the northeast area of the state.[5]

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:[6]

Unincorporated communities
Native American communities
Census-designated places
Historic communities
  • Gold Run
  • Yankee Jims
Ghost towns

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Placer, 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 13,270
1870 11,357 −14.4%
1880 14,232 25.3%
1890 15,101 6.1%
1900 15,786 4.5%
1910 18,237 15.5%
1920 18,584 1.9%
1930 24,468 31.7%
1940 28,108 14.9%
1950 41,649 48.2%
1960 56,998 36.9%
1970 24,468 −57.1%
1980 117,247 379.2%
1990 172,796 47.4%
2000 248,399 43.8%
2010 348,432 40.3%
Source: "".

For tips on accessing Placer 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.

Church records are usually found in the towns rather than on the county level. Search the Family History Library Catalog Place Search for the appropriate town in Placer County.

Ward and Branch Records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  • Auburn
  • Roseville

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

The Placer County Archives and Research Center has the following records:

  • Court Case Files 1851-1925
  • Assessment Rolls and Maps 1851-1961
  • Record of Wills 1874-1963
  • Board of Supervisor's Minutes 1852-1980
  • Naturalization Papers 1852-1939
  • Deed Books 1851-1960
  • Great Register of Voters 1867-1974
  • Department of Education Records 1895-1997
  • Mining Records 1856-1947

In the FamilySearch Catalog Place Search on FamilySearch, for Placer, California, look at the list of records for Naturalization and citizenship and Naturalization and citizenship - Indexes. Films can be sent to family history centers.

Crime and Criminals[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

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

Germans[edit | edit source]

Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Placer 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.

Google Books has some books about the history and people in Placer County, California. Try various search terms, including the names of people. Books designated with "Full view" can be read online.

In the FamilySearch Catalog Place Search on FamilySearch, for Placer County, California, look at the list of records for History. Films can be sent to family history centers. Public libraries may have copies of the books or can obtain them through Interlibrary Loan.

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

County Clerk - Recorder keeps the land records.  Land records are scanned and indexed in a grantor/grantee index. The index is cross-referenced by document type, document number and the names of the parties. The index and images of the original documents are available to the public for research or to have copies made.

Maps[edit | edit source]

For historical maps,search the following free sites: • Maps of California (1850-1925)

Sutter CountyYuba CountyNevada CountySacramento CountyEl Dorado CountyWashoe CountyCarson City (Independent City)Douglas CountyCA PLACER.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Maps-Historical-Sate of California, the Carlifornia government's site.  Links to American Memory (Library of Congress), California Missions, and the State Library

Historical Maps of California

California Maps - HSU Library, also lists and links to gazetteers

David Rumsey Collection for Placer, California

Perry-Castaneda Map Collection for California

Migration[edit | edit source]

Early migration routes to and from Placer County, California Genealogy for emigrant settlers included:[7][8]

Military History and Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source] $ has Records of California men in the War of the Rebellion, 1861 to 1867

Regiments. Service men in Placer County, California Genealogy served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Placer County, California Genealogy:

- 4th Regiment, California Infantry (Union), Company D
- 4th Regiment, California Infantry (Union), Company E
- 7th Regiment, California Infantry (Union) , Company D
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 Placer 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 - Placer - Probate records.

In the FamilySearch Catalog for Placer County, California, there is a lists of resources {{Family History Library. Films can be sent to family history centers.

The Placer County Archives and Research Center has probate records from 1851-1960.

Online Probate Indexes and Records

Repositories[edit | edit source]

Archives, Libraries and Museums[edit | edit source]

Placer County Pulblic Library

Placer County Library
350 Nevada Street
Auburn, CA 95603
Email =

Placer County Online Catalog

Library branches in Placer County giving addresses and phone numbers with dates and hours open

Lake Tahoe Branches of the Placer County Library System

Sparks Law Libraryof Placer County

1523 Lincoln Way, Auburn
(530) 823-2573

11526 C Ave,
Auburn, CA 95603
101 Maple Street
Auburn, CA 95603
530-889-7789 | Fax: 530-889-7708

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Clerk- Recorder Divisions
2954 Richardson Drive
Auburn, CA 95603 Dewitt Larry Oddo Building
Recordings - (530) 886-5600
Clerk - (530) 886-5610
Fax: (530) 886-5687
Placer County Free Public Records

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

In the FamilySearch Catalog Place Search on FamilySearch, for Placer County, California, look at the list of records for Vital records. Films can be sent to family history centers.

The Placer County Clerk-Recorder's Office has birth, death and marriage records for Placer County. This office has birth and death records, 1873 to the present and marriage records 1852 to the present.

Placer County California Vital Records
Placer County Clerk-Recorder
2954 Richardson Drive
Auburn, CA 95603
Phone: (530) 886-5600
Fax: (530) 886-5687
Guidelines For Ordering Vital Records

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

At RootsWeb is an index to California Death Records 1940-1997 (free)

Voting Registers[edit | edit source]

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

Placer County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 7385
Auburn 95604-7385

Clayton Historical Society
PO BOx 94
Clayton, CA 94517-0094

Colfax Area Historical Society
PO Box 185
Colfax, CA 95713

North Lake Tahoe Historical Society
130 West Lake Blvd.
Tahoe City, CA 95730

Roseville Genealogical Society
557 Lincoln Street
Roseville, CA 95678-1459

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Placer 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), Placer County, California. Page 86 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. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Placer County, California Genealogy and History”, 05/05/2017.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Placer County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_California 05/05/2017.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Placer County, California," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_California, accessed 19 September 2019.
  7. National Park Service, "California Trail" (map) in California National Historic Trail at (accessed 5 August 2011).
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "California Trail" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 5 August 2012).