San Bernardino County, California Genealogy

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

San Bernardino County, California
Map of California highlighting San Bernardino 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 26, 1853
County Seat San Bernardino
Address Archives
1808 Commercenter West, Ste. D,
San Bernardino, CA 92415
(855) 732-2575
(909) 890-1713
Named for: Saint Bernardino of Siena

San Bernardino Calif.JPG

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1853 1887 1853 1853 1854 1853 1850
*Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1905. General compliance by 1920.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

San Bernardino County Courthouse
22 W Hospitality Lane
San Bernardino, CA 92415
Phone: 909.387.8306

County Clerk has marriage license from 1887
divorce and probate records from 1856 court
records from 1853 and land records from 1854;
County Recorder has birth and death records
from 1853 and marriage records from 1857[2]

Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: San Bernardino County, California

San Bernardino County is presently the largest county in terms of geographic area within the United States. The county seat is the city of San Bernardino which is also the county's largest in terms of population, and that city lies in the southwest corner of the county.

San Bernardino itself was founded by settlers sent by Brigham Young in the 1850s, but they left when the matter known as the 'Utah War' erupted back in Utah.

San Bernardino Historical Society

Parent County[edit | edit source]

26 April 1853: San Bernardino County was created from Los Angeles County which had annexed part of San Diego County in 1851. County seat: San Bernardino [3]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for San Bernardino. The county seat San Bernardino and the county was created 1853. The County is located in the southeast area of the state.[4]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Los Angeles County and San Diego County were original counties created in 1850 when California became a state. In 1851, Los Angeles County expanded to the eastern border of California to include part of what was San Diego, County. In 1853, San Bernardino County was created from the eastern area of Los Angeles County. In 1878, additional land from Los Angeles County was added to San Bernardino County.

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
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 San Bernardino, 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 5,551
1870 3,988 −28.2%
1880 7,786 95.2%
1890 25,497 227.5%
1900 27,929 9.5%
1910 56,706 103.0%
1920 73,401 29.4%
1930 133,900 82.4%
1940 161,108 20.3%
1950 281,642 74.8%
1960 503,591 78.8%
1970 684,072 35.8%
1980 895,016 30.8%
1990 1,418,380 58.5%
2000 1,709,434 20.5%
2010 2,035,210 19.1%
Source: "".

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

Church 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.

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

  • Colton
  • Bloomington
  • Fontana
  • Highland
  • Needles
  • Ontario
  • Redlands
  • Rialto
  • San Bernardino
  • San Bernardino 1
  • San Bernardino 2
  • Victorville
  • Yucaipa

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

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 San Bernardino 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.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Inyo CountyKern CountyLos Angeles CountyOrange CountyRiverside CountyLa Paz CountyMohave CountyClark CountyCA SAN BERNARDINO.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Early migration routes to and from San Bernardino County, California Genealogy for emigrant settlers included:

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

Online Records

Military History and Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]
World War I[edit | edit source]
World War II[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Serving: Adelanto, Apple Valley, Banning, Barstow, Beaumont, Big Bear, Colton, Crestline, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Hesperia, Highland, Loma Linda, Mentone, Redlands, Rialto, San Bernardino, Victorville, Yucaipa

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as San Bernardino 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 - San Bernardino - Probate records.

Online Probate Indexes and Records

Repositories[edit | edit source]

Archives, Libraries and Museums[edit | edit source]
County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

San Bernardino County Recorder-Clerk - Archives

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]

San Bernadino County Historical Society

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]

San Bernadino Historical and Pioneer Society
796 North D Street
San Bernardino, CA 92401
(909) 885-2204
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 875
San Bernardino, CA 92402

San Bernardino Valley Genealogical Society
Feldheym Library
California Room
555 W 6th St
P.O. Box 26020
San Bernardino 92406

San Bernardino Valley Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 26020
San Bernardino 92406

The Highland Area Historical Society
P.O. Box 353
Highland, CA 92346-0353

29 Palms Historical Society and Museum
6760 National Park Drive
P.O. Box 1926
29 Palms, California 92277
Phone: (760) 367-2366

Morongo Basin Historical Society
632 Landers Lane,
Yucca Valley, CA 92284
Phone: (760) 365-2000

Mohave Historical Society
P.O. Box 21
Victorville, CA 92393

Redlands Area Historical Society
P.O. Box 1024
Redlands, CA 92373

San Bernardino Valley Genealogical Society
P. O. Box 2128
San Bernardino, CA 92406

Big Bear Lake History Museum
630 Bartlett Road, CA
(909) 585-8100

Big Bear Valley Historical Society
P.O. Box 513
Big Bear City, CA 92314
Phone: 909-585-8100

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), San Bernardino 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), San Benardo 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, “San Bernardino County, California Genealogy and History”, 05/08/2017.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "San Bernardino County, California," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_California#Communities, accessed 21 September 2019.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "El Camino Real (California)" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 14 September 2011).
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Old Spanish Trail (trade route)" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 14 September 2011).
  8. "Oregon California Trails Association" at (accessed 18 July 2011).
  9. Wikipedia contributors, "Jefferson Hunt" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 6 September 2011).
  10. Wikipedia contributors, "Butterfield Overland Mail" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 14 September 2011).
  11. Wikipedia contributors, "Central Overland Route" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 13 September 2011).
  12. Wikipedia contributors, "Union Pacific Railroad" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 14 September 2011).
  13. Wikipedia contributors, "Central Pacific Railroad" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 14 September 2011).
  14. Wikipedia contributors, "Santa Fe Railroad" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 14 September 2011).
  15. Wikipedia contributors, "Southern Pacific Railroad" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 14 September 2011).
  16. Wikipedia contributors, "Atlantic and Pacific Railroad" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 14 September 2011).