Alameda County, California Genealogy

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Alameda County

Guide to Alameda County, California ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records. {{{link}}}

Alameda County, California
Map of California highlighting Alameda County
Location in the state of California
Map of the U.S. highlighting California
Location of California in the U.S.
Founded March 25, 1853
County Seat Oakland
Address Alameda County Courthouse
1106 Madison St; Rm 101
Oakland, CA 94607
Phone 510-272-6362
Alameda County Website

County Information

Alameda County, California Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1853 1854 1905 1850 1853 1880

County Courthouse

County Clerk has marriage records from 1854, probate,divorce,court and land records, birth records 1919-1988 (some from 1873) and death records 1905-1988 some from 1876[2]


The county was named the Spanish word alameda means "a place where poplar trees grow," a name originally given to the Arroyo de la (Poplar Grove Creek). The willow and sycamore trees along the banks of the river reminded the early explorers of a road lined with trees, also known as an alameda. The county seat Oakland and the county was created March 25, 1853. The County is located in the west central corner of the state.[3]

Boundary Changes

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

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


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties


Bible Records



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

The following web sites may have additional information on Alameda County cemeteries.


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

Church History and Records

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.

Alameda Churches, short list but with links to transcriptions of some records

Church records are usually found in the towns rather than on the county level. Search the FamilySearch Catalog Place Search for the appropriate town in Alameda County.

LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Alameda
  • Berkeley
  • Berkeley 1
  • Berkeley 2
  • Carquinez
  • Claremont
  • Dimond (Oakland)
  • Eastmont
  • Elmhurst (Oakland)
  • Hayward
  • Martinez
  • Maxwell Park (Oakland)
  • Napa
  • Oakland
  • Richmond
  • San Leandro

Court Records

Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, Alameda Court records Instructions.

Alameda County Court Directory gives addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers and links to the courts web sites and online resources..

Crime and Criminals


Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups



Information is found at Family Search Wiki and California Genealogical Society.


  • WorldCat has a list of books available on the history.
  • FamilySearch Catalog Place Search has a list of materials available History and History - Indexes. Films can be sent to family history centers. Public libraries may have copies of the books or can obtain them through Interlibrary Loan.
Local Histories

Local histories are available for Alameda 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.

  • History of Alameda County, California: including its geology, topography, soil, and productions: together with a full and particular record of the Spanish grants...1883, by M. W. Wood. Digitized book online from
  • The centennial year book of Alameda County, California: containing a summary of the discovery and settlement of California ... also, a gazetteer of each township, useful local and general statistical information, appropriate for the present time, to which are added biographical sketches of prominent pioneers and public men 1876, by William Halley. Digitized book online from
  • Past and present of Alameda County, California, 1914, 2 volumes, by Joseph Eugene Baker. Digitized book online from Volume 1 Volume 2
  • History of Washington Township, Alameda County, California, 1904. Digitized book online from

Land and Property

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.

Clerk-Recorder's Office has records prior to 1969 on film that must be searched there.  From 1969 to the present, the records are online.

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


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

San Francisco CountyContra Costa CountySan Joaquin CountySan Mateo CountySanta Clara CountyStanislaus CountyCA ALAMEDA.PNG
About this image
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 Alameda, California

Perry-Castaneda Map Collection for California


Military History and Records

Civil War

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

Korean War
Vietnam War

Naturalization and Citizenship


  • The California Digital Newspaper Collection has newspapers from 1848 through 1922.  You can search by keyword, including names, and/or by date.
  • The major newspaper published in Alameda county is The Oakland Tribune, which has been published under variations of the current name since 1874. has broken runs from 1874 to 1977. has all publications from 1874 to 1975.
  • Berkeley Daily Gazette - more than 8,000 issues spanning 1911-1946 freely available in Google Newspaper Archive.

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



Probate Records

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 - Alameda - Probate records.

Online Probate Records


Archives, Libraries and Museums

Public, college, and university libraries in Alameda County lists the libraries with links to their web sites

Online genealogical resources at the California State Library

Livermore and Pleasanton Public Libraries & LDS Family History Centers

Alameda County Library, Dublin Library (Online Archive of California)

Livermore Heritage Guild "collects and preserves historical artifacts, is an information resource for those who are interested in the history of Livermore and assists those searching for family background. "

Alameda Free Library located on Oak Street in Alameda, California.

County Courthouse

Alameda County's official website 1225 Fallon St. Oakland, CA 94612

Family History Centers

Family history centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.



Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society serves the cities of Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin and surrounding areas in the Livermore and Amador Valleys of southeastern Alameda County, in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Hayward Area Historical Society preserves the history of the Hayward, Castro Valley, and San Lorenzo area.

California Genealogical Society and Library, located in Oakland, is rich in genealogy reference materials, both standard and unique, covering people and places in California and the rest of the country.

East Bay Genealogical Society - serves Bay Area East Bay genealogy enthusiasts. Monthly meetings are held at the Oakland FamilySearch Library on the 2nd Wednesday at 10am.

Hayward Area Genealogical Society serves local genealogy enthusiasts. Monthly meetings are held at the San Lorenzo Library on the 4th Tuesday at 6:30pm

Macintosh Genealogical Society serves Mac users who are also genealogy enthusiasts. Monthly meetings are held at the Oakland FamilySearch Library in Oakland, California on the 4th Saturday at 1:30pm.

San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society serves local genealogy enthusiasts. Monthly meetings are held at the Danville Family History Center in Alamo, California on the 3rd Tuesday at 10am.


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

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


Copies of Birth Certificates can be obtained at:
Alameda County Clerk Recorder - Vital Records
1106 Madison Street, Room 121
Oakland, CA 94607
Phone:  510-272-6362


Copies of Marriage Certificates can be obtained at:
Alameda County Clerk Recorder - Vital Records
1106 Madison Street, Room 121
Oakland, CA 94607
Phone:  510-272-6362

Online Resources


Divorce papers are filed at:

Alameda County Superior Court
1225 Fallon Street, Room 209
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 510-208-4900


Copies of Death Certificates can be obtained at:
Alameda County Clerk Recorder - Vital Records
1106 Madison Street, Room 121
Oakland, CA 94607
Phone:  510-272-6362

Voting Registers

Genealogy Societies, Archives and Libraries

Alameda Historical Society
2324 Alameda Avenue
Alameda 94501

Alameda County Historical Society
672 11th Street
Oakland 94607

African American Genealogical Society of Northern California
PO Box 27485
Oakland,CA 94602-0985

Amador-Livermore Valley Historical Society
PO Box 573
Pleasanton,CA 94566

Berkeley Historical Society
1931 Center Street
Berkeley,CA 9470

East Bay Genealogical Society
PO Box 1648
Alameda,CA 94501-0182

Hayward Area Genealogical Society
PO Box 754
Hayward, CA 94543-0754

San Leandro Historical Commission
300 Estudillo Avenue
San Leandro, CA 94577

Surveyors' Historical Society
31457 Hugh Way
Hayward, CA 94544

Washington Township Historical Society
PO Box 3045
Fremont CA 94539



  1. Alice Eichholz, Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, Revised ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992), 62-75. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 1992
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Alameda County, California. Page 84 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Alameda County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_California 04/28/2017.