California Periodicals

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Overview[edit | edit source]

A periodical is a regularly published magazine, newsletter, or journal. Several valuable periodicals concerning California genealogical research exist. Many genealogical and historical societies publish magazines and newsletters. The articles in these periodicals often include the following:

  • Family genealogies and pedigrees
  • Helpful articles on research methodology
  • Transcripts or indexes of biographical sketches, censuses, church records, migration lists, military records, obituaries, wills, vital records, and more
  • Historical background
  • Current and historical maps
  • Information about local and national records, archives, and services
  • Interesting articles about social life and customs
  • Book advertisements and book reviews
  • Advertisements of professional researchers
  • Queries or requests for information about specific ancestors that can help you contact other interested researchers


Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Some major genealogical periodicals helpful for California research are:

  • Ash Tree Echo 1966—. Published by the Fresno Genealogical Society, P. O. Box 1429, Fresno, California 92516-1429. FHL Book 979.4 B2at.
  • Lifeliner1965—. Published by the Genealogical Society of Riverside, P. O. Box 2557, Riverside, California 92516. FHL Book 979.497 B2L.
  • Orange County California Genealogical Society Quarterly 1964—. Published by the Orange County Genealogical Society, P. O. Box 1587, Orange, California 92668-1587. FHL Book 979.496 B2g; fiche 6087663—, Volumes 1-27.
  • San Diego Leaves & Saplings 1973—. Published by the San Diego Genealogical Society, 2925 Kalmia Street, San Diego, California 92104. FHL Book 979.498 B2s.
  • Santa Clara County Historical and Genealogical Society (Quarterly) 1964—. Published by the Santa Clara County Historical and Genealogical Society, 2635 Homestead Road, City Library, Santa Clara, California 95051. FHL Book 979.473 B2s. Title changed to Santa Clara County Connections in 1987.
  • The California Nugget –. Published twice a year by the California Genealogical Society, 2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland, California 94612. FHL Book 979.4 C45cn.
  • The Searcher 1964—. Published by the Southern California Genealogical Society, 103 South Golden Mall, Burbank, California 91502. FHL Book 979.49 B2s.


Obtaining Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Copies of periodicals are available from the local societies that publish them. Major archives with genealogical collections will have copies of many periodicals, particularly those representing the area they serve. The Periodical Source Index, or PERSI, is the largest subject index to genealogy and local history periodical articles in the world. PERSI is available online and is especially useful because it refers to countless items published in thousands of family history periodicals worldwide. Learn more at the PERSI wiki page here:

  • Periodical Source Index (PERSI). Ft. Wayne, Indiana: Allen County Public Library Foundation, 1987-. (Family History Library book 973 D25per; 40 fiche 6016863 (1847-1985); 15 fiche 6016864 (1986-1990).) Partially indexes over 5,000 English-language and French-Canadian family history periodicals. The microfiche indexes are cumulative; book indexes since 1986 are year-by-year. For further details see the PERiodical Source Index Resource Guide (34119).
  • Find My Past Researchers can use the Internet edition of this index at Family History Centers via their site.

Once you locate an article in a periodical, check the FamilySearch Catalog and regional or local libraries for available copies. The Family History Library has collected many periodicals, with some available in digital format and accessible online. California periodicals may be found in the FamilySearch Catalog with a Place and Subject search, as found here: California-Periodicals. They can also be found by using:

  • Place Search of the country, state/province, and county
  • Title Search of the periodical
  • Keyword Search for the publishing society name.


Also find Periodical resources available at other libraries via WorldCat. As with the FamilySearch Catalog search, search WorldCat using society names, locality names, and periodical title names. Learn more about how to search WorldCat and the FamilySearch Catalog on our Wiki pages.