Butte County, California Genealogy

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Butte County

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


Butte County, California
Map of California highlighting Butte County
Location in the state of California
Map of the U.S. highlighting California
Location of California in the U.S.
Founded February 18, 1820
County Seat Oroville
Address Butte County Courthouse
25 County Center Dr;
Oroville, CA 95965;
Phone 530.538.7691
Butte County Website

County Information

Butte County, California Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1859 1851 1859 1850 1850 1851

County Courthouse

County Recorder has marriage records from 1851,
born and death  records from 1859 and land records;
County Clerk has divorce, probate, probate and court
record from 1850; Meriam Library, California State
 University Chico, has divorce, probate and court records
1850-1879 and natural records 1850-1960[2] 

1850--Butte County was created 18 February 1850 as an original county.  County seat: Oroville [3]


The county seat Oroville and the county was created February 18, 1850. The County is located in the north central corner of the state.[4]

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 MapofUS.org website.

Records Loss

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


Populated Places

Indian Reservations or Rancherias

The Berry Creek Indian Rancheria is located in this county.

Neighboring Counties


Bible Records



Cemeteries of Butte, 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 site may have additional information on Butte County cemeteries.


For tips on accessing Butte 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.

LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Chico
  • Gridley
  • Liberty (Gridley)
  • Oroville

Court Records

Crime and Criminals


Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups




Local histories are available for Butte 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

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.


Tehama CountyPlumas CountyYuba CountySutter CountyColusa CountyGlenn CountyCA BUTTE.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Early migration routes to and from Butte County, California Genealogy for emigrant settlers included:[5][6]

Military History and Records

Civil War

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

- 1st Regiment, California Cavalry (Union), Company A
- 1st Regiment, California Infantry (Union), Company A

Naturalization and Citizenship


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

Online Probate Records


Archives, Libraries and Museums

County Courthouse

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.


Paradise Genealogical Society
Library Address:
Paradise Genealogical Society
5587 Scottwood Road
PO Box 460
Paradise, California 95967-0460
Phone: 530-877-2330


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





Voting Registers

California county clerks were to keep voting registers every other year from 1866 and well into the 20th century. These large books, called Great Registers, listed the men who registered to vote in that county. Besides name and age, the record may show place of birth, address, occupation, naturalization date and sometimes even a physical description.

These records are at the California State Library (1866-1944), and microfilmed copies are available through Family History Centers (1866-1910). Ancestry ($) has a searchable database of Butte Great Registers from 1867-1898.

The Butte county records for 1872 are available on the RootsWeb site, by clicking here.

Genealogy Societies, Archives and Libraries

Butte County Historical Society
P.O. Box 2195
Oroville, CA 95965
Phone: 530-533-9418 or 530-533-5316

Paradise Genealogical Society INC
P O Box 460
5587 Scottwood Rd
Paradise, CA 95969
Phone:(530) 877-2330



  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), Amador County, California. Page 84 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. Wikipedia contributors, "Butte County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butte_County,_California 04/28/2017.
  5. National Park Service, "California Trail" (map) in California National Historic Trail at http://www.nps.gov/cali/planyourvisit/upload/CALImap1-web.pdf (accessed 5 August 2011).
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "California Trail" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Trail (accessed 5 August 2012).