Santa Maria California Family History Center

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Center Location, Contact Information, & Hours[edit | edit source]

COVID-19 UPDATE:[edit | edit source]

WE ARE OPEN and ready to help you with your family history needs and research questions. Because of Covid concerns, please come prepared to wear a mask or face shield as mandated by Santa Barbara County. If you have any questions, just give us a call - we'll be happy to help. Hope to see you soon!


BEFORE YOU COME...[edit | edit source]

If you have a FamilySearch account, don't forget to bring your Username and Password for logging into your account. If it has been awhile since you logged into FamilySearch, we also encourage you to bring your email account Username and Password as well as your cell phone if you have one. This will allow you to retrieve a code from FamilySearch just in case you have trouble with your sign-in process. If you don't have a FamilySearch account, we can help you set up a FREE account - just be prepared to access either your email or cell phone as listed above.

Map:[edit | edit source]

Address:[edit | edit source]

  • 908 Sierra Madre Avenue, Santa Maria, CA 93454 United States.
  • Entrance and parking are at the southwest corner of the larger church building.
  • Please ring the bell for entrance to the Family History Center.
  • Language: We offer English, Spanish, Finnish, German, and Latin help; some by appointment.

Phone:[edit | edit source]

  • 1-805-928-4722
  • If we don't answer the phone, please leave a message and we will call you as soon as possible.

Email:[edit | edit source]

  • ca_santamaria@familyhistorymail.org

Hours:[edit | edit source]

  • 1st & 3rd Sundays: 1:30pm-4:30pm
  • DAYS: Tues-Wed-Thur: 10:00am-2:00pm
  • EVENINGS: Tues-Wed: 6:30pm-8:30pm

2022 Center Closures:[edit | edit source]

  • New Year's Day
  • Thursday, March 3 - due to RootsTech being shown online worldwide
  • 1st weekend of April and October
  • Tuesday, April 12 - for carpet cleaning throughout the building
  • Easter Sunday
  • Father's Day
  • Thanksgiving week beginning with the Sunday before Thanksgiving
  • The Sunday before Christmas through New Year's Day

Upcoming Events[edit | edit source]

2022 Class Schedule & Family History Courses[edit | edit source]


Family Discovery Day[edit | edit source]

  • To be determined at a later date because of Covid.

Center Resources[edit | edit source]

Collections[edit | edit source]

  • FamilySearch Catalog: The Santa Maria California Family History Center no longer has the ability to order any of the microfilms and microfiche available through the FamilySearch Catalog. Many of the films and fiche are now digitized and therefore available online.
  • We have a Reference Library housing over 1,000 books and periodicals to help you with research throughout the world.

Databases and Software[edit | edit source]

Our Center has access to the Family History Center Portal which offers free access in the Center to premium family history software and websites. Often these sites will charge subscription fees but here in the Center, there is no charge for patrons to use them. The Portal offers the following:

  • 19th Century British Library Newspapers - This fully searchable database of the British Library's newspaper holdings provides a complete run of 48 national and regional Victorian British newspapers for the 19th century from 1800 to 1900. These support the study of colonial history, genealogical research, politics, urban studies, and media courses.
  • Alexander Street Press - American Civil War
  • Research Data: Contains indexed, searchable information on over 4 million soldiers and thousands of battles, together with 15,000 photographs. The American Civil War Research Database
  • Letters and Diaries: Contains approximately 100,000 indexed pages of diaries, letters, and memoirs, including 4,000 pages of previously unpublished manuscripts, such as the letters of Amos Wood and his wife and the diary of Maryland planter William Claytor. The American Civil War Letters and Diaries
  • Images, Photographs, Posters, and Ephemera : Provides a vivid history of the American Civil War with over 1,400 images. Images of the American Civil War: Photographs, Posters, and Ephemera
  • Women and Social Movements in the United States: Organized around the history of women in social movements in the United States between 1600 and 2000 A.D.
  • American Ancestors - Created by the New England Genealogical Society, the American Ancestors website allows searches in a variety of different databases including, 19th-century newspapers, court and probate records, genealogies, journals and periodicals, and immigration records.
  • Ancestry.com (Institution version) - Ancestry gives you access to thousands of collections of records from around the world, including immigration, census, voter, vital, and military records; newspapers and periodicals; family trees; photos and images; directories, maps, court, land, wills and financial records, stories, memories, and histories; and detailed records about births, marriages, deaths, land ownership, and much more. It is the largest for-profit genealogy company in the world.
  • ArkivDigital - ArkivDigital is the largest private provider of Swedish Church Records and other historical records online! All images are newly photographed color images of the original documents.
  • FamNet - The online family history network for those who have New Zealand roots.
  • FindMyPast.com - Findmypast makes it easy to research your UK ancestry and create your family tree. Search census records and trace births, marriages, and deaths to bring your family history to life. Please note that not all of the content from findmypast is available in family history centers.
  • Fold3 (Military records research) - Search or browse millions of historical documents and photos. Fold3 has refocused their efforts on gathering the best online collection of military records and stories. The Fold3 name reflects military history and honor, since traditionally, the third fold in a flag-folding ceremony honors and remembers veterans for their sacrifice in defending their country and promoting peace in the world.
  • Geneanet - This resource, available in centers in the United Kingdom only, contains English parish records, directories, census, civil registration, surname mapping, and selected army and navy lists.
  • Kinpoint (Premium) - Kinpoint is designed to make it easier for you to do your family history by letting you see what to work on at a glance; quickly find missing information in your family tree, and discover insights into the lives of your ancestors.
  • MyHeritage.com (Library edition) - Used by millions of people worldwide to help research family history, build a family tree, and add photos, historical records, and more.
  • Newspapers.com - The largest online newpaper archive. 12,100 newspapers from the 1700s to the 2000s. Millions of additional pages added every month.
  • Paper Trail - Provides access to 19th-century westward American migration documents.
  • Puzzilla (Premium) - Find new research opportunities on descendant lines in Family Tree.

Hardware and Equipment[edit | edit source]

  • Multiple computer workstations with printer access
  • 1 Lexmark Laser Black & White Printer/Copier (no charge for copies, limited to 10 copies per patron)
  • 2 Northwest Microfilm Readers
  • 1 Microfiche Reader
  • 1 Canon Microfiche/Microfilm Scanner-Copier
  • 1 Epson Flatbed Photo Scanner (scans photos, negatives, and slides)
  • 1 Epson Upright-Feeding Document Scanner
  • 1 12" Paper Trimmer/Cutter
  • 1 Heavy-Duty 3-Hole Punch (punches up to 130 sheets at a time of 20 pound paper)

Center Services[edit | edit source]

Staff Research Specialties[edit | edit source]

We have friendly and experienced volunteers who have various skill sets. We also offer translation help in the following languages: Spanish, Finnish, German and Latin (by appointment).

Resources in the Local Area[edit | edit source]

Santa Maria Public Library: Special Collections
421 S. McClelland St.
Santa Maria, CA 93454


Santa Maria Valley Genealogical Society
www.SMVGS.org

The Society meets on the 3rd Thursday of each month from 2:15-4pm here at the Santa Maria Family History Center. They do not meet in June, July, August or December. The Society can be reached for volunteer help through the Santa Maria Public Library: 805-925-0994 or by email at Roots@smvgs.org. If you are just getting started, new to the area, or need something special in your research they are another source of help.


Santa Maria Valley Historical Society Museum
616 S. Broadway
Santa Maria, CA 93454

Links[edit | edit source]

The "Links" below offer in-depth information and education on the subject of each link and there are many more links contained within each page of information. Click the link to learn more about a particular subject and what is available to help you in your research.




Maintained by: Ramona Cashmore, Director

Last modified: 3 January 2022

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