California, County Birth and Death Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
California, United States
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Flag of California
US Locator California.png
Location of California
Record Description
Record Type County Birth and Death Records
Collection years 1800-1994
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in This Collection?

This collection includes birth and death records from 1800 to 1994, and very few marriage licenses.

The collection consists of an index and images to registers, records, and certificates of county birth and death records acquired from county courthouses. This collection contains some delayed birth records, as well. Some city and towns records are also included. Some images are not available for viewing between the years 1824-1974. Records have not been acquired for the following counties:

Contra Costa Modoc Siskiyou
Imperial Napa Solano
Kern San Francisco Tulare
Kings San Mateo Ventura

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. Some images in this collection are not available for viewing. For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

Birth records may include:

  • Child's birth date
  • Place of birth
  • Name of Child
  • Gender
  • Race or Color
  • Number of children in family
  • Living or stillborn
  • Names of Parents
  • Race and nativity of parents
  • Father's occupation
  • Parents' birth place
  • Age of parents
  • Residence
  • Maiden name of mother
  • Legitimacy of child


Death records may include:

  • Death date
  • Place of death
  • Name of deceased
  • Age at death
  • Gender
  • Nativity
  • Cause of Death
  • Attending physician


Collection Content

Sample Image

How Do I Search This Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The approximate date of the birth or death
  • The county where the birth or death occurred

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select the County/Town
  2. Select the Record Type, Date Range and Volume to view the images.


How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images.

What Do I Do Next?

If these are indexes, the original records may contain additional information than was not indexed, or the information might have been indexed incorrectly. You may want to search for the original record at the California Birth and Death Records.

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the information found in the birth or death records to locate family in probate records.
  • Use the information found in the record to find additional family members in census records.
  • Search for death or burial information in BillionGraves Index.

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching a nearby county.
  • Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names.

Known Issues With This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation

"California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 3 February 2017. County courthouses, California.

Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.