Ventura County, California Genealogy

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

Ventura County, California
Map of California highlighting Ventura 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 March 22, 1872
County Seat Ventura
Address Ventura County Courthouse
800 S Victoria Avenue
Ventura, CA 93009
Phone: 805.654.2267
Ventura County Website

County Information[edit | edit source]

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

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

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

County Clerk Recorder has birth, marriage and
death from 1873 and land records from 1850
Clerk Superior Court has divorce, probate
and court records from 1873  Some land went
to Kern & Los Angeles Counties in boundary change[2]

Historical Facts [edit | edit source]

Mission San Buenaventura, one of the original 21 Roman Catholic missions in Alta California was founded in what is now downtown Ventura city in 1782 although it had a long rocky history including fires, earthquakes, tsunami and pirates, among other difficulties. The mission fathers kept the original vital records.

The costal plains and inland valleys are mostly devoted to agriculture even today but the costal mountains also cover a considerable part of the county. El Camino Real, the original roadway connecting the early missions, crosses the county. In the late 1800s the railroads came and in the 1900s US-101 followed essentially the Camino Real route heading north to Santa Barbara. Settlements mainly grew up along these routes.

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Ventura County, California

Parent County[edit | edit source]

22 March 1872: Ventura County was created from Santa Barbara County. County seat: Ventura [3]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county seat Ventura and the county was created 1873.[4] The County is located in the southern 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

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Ventura, 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.
1880 5,073
1890 10,071 98.5%
1900 14,367 42.7%
1910 18,347 27.7%
1920 28,724 56.6%
1930 54,976 91.4%
1940 69,685 26.8%
1950 114,647 64.5%
1960 199,138 73.7%
1970 376,430 89.0%
1980 529,174 40.6%
1990 669,016 26.4%
2000 753,197 12.6%
2010 823,318 9.3%
Source: "".

For tips on accessing Ventura 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.

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

  • Ventura

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Guardianship record index, A-L Surnames, M-Z Surnames (Ventura County Genealogical Society)

Crime and Criminals[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[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 Ventura 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]

San Luis Obispo CountySanta Barbara CountyKern CountyLos Angeles CountyCA VENTURA.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military History and Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Regiments. Service men in Ventura 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 Ventura County, California Genealogy:

- 1st Battalion, California Native Cavalry (Union), Company A
- 1st Battalion, California Native Cavalry (Union), Company C
World War I[edit | edit source]
World War II[edit | edit source]
Vietnam War[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 Ventura 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 - Ventura - Probate records.

Online Probate Indexes and Records

Repositories[edit | edit source]

Archives, Libraries and Museums[edit | edit source]
  • Scandinavian Center. Scandinavian American Cultural and Historical Foundation at California Lutheran University. Large oral history recordings collection; many early works about Scandinavian churches in Midwest United States. See library catalog at CLU.
  • Ventura County Museum of History and Art The museum is currently closed for renovation, though a temporary exhibit space and gift shop are open on California St. The Librarian is available to answer question by phone. Once the museum is reopened the Library is an excellent research resource.
County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

County Clerk and Recorder
County Recorder's Office
Hall of Admin., Main Plaza
800 S. Victoria Ave.
Ventura, CA 93009-1260

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]

The County Recorder maintains records from 1873. Prior to that the Santa Barbara Recorder has the records. Ventura County Recorder fees: $14 to search and/or copy birth records.

Online Records

Marriage[edit | edit source]

The County Recorder maintains records from 1873. Prior to that the Santa Barbara Recorder has the records. Ventura County Recorder fees: $12 to search and/or copy marriage records.

Online Records

Divorce[edit | edit source]
Death[edit | edit source]

The County Recorder maintains records from 1873. Prior to that the Santa Barbara Recorder has the records. Ventura County Recorder fees: $14 to search and/or copy of death records.

Online Records

Voting Registers[edit | edit source]

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

Conejo Valley Genealogical Society
P. O. Box 4977
West Lake, CA 91359-1977

Jewish Genealogical Society of Conejo Valley and Ventura County
6052 Hackers Lane
Agura Hills, CA 91301

Los Californianos
2531 Aztec Court
Ventura,CA 93001

Moorpark Historical Society
PO Box 662
Moorpark,CA 93020

Simi Valley Historical Society
137 Strathearn Place
Simi Valley, CA 93065

Ventura County Genealogical Society
PO Box 24608
Ventura, CA 93002

Ventura County Historical Society
100 East Main Street
Ventura,CA 93001-2698

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Ventura 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), Ventura County, California. Page 88At 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, “Ventura County, California Genealogy and History”, 05/09/2017.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Ventura County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_California 05/09/2017.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Ventura County, California," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_California, accessed 27 September 2019.