California Research Tips and Strategies
|California Wiki Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
California Research Strategies
Below are links to different research strategy pages to help you locate your ancestors in California:
- California Online Genealogy Records
- How to find California Birth Records
- How to find California Marriage Records
- How to find California Death Records
California Research Tips
These tips will help you as you research your ancestors in California.
- Birth information: Birth records in California start on the county level in 1905 - although not all counties complied with the law. The best substitute record for locating birth information is death records (the majority of death records will list the date of birth of the decedent, and since death certificates are considered a primary resource, they can provide you with the same documentation as a birth certificate). Or, try these other substitute records.
- Finding Parents: The State of California began recording deaths in 1905. They often will list the parents of the deceased and their birth information. Search California death records
- Look in all censuses: Always look for your ancestor in every possible census. There are clues regarding immigration, naturalization, and occupation that can lead to other records. Sometimes parents can be found living with their children later in life. Search U.S. Censuses.
- Marriage Records. To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of California county marriage records, click here.
California Record Finder
This Record Finder is designed to help you determine the best record to search for the type of information you are looking for. It is most helpful for post-1850 research.
|1. What you are looking for:||2. Try these records first:||3. Other useful records|
|Birth information||Birth records, Death records, Obituaries, Church records||Cemeteries, Naturalization and Citizenship, Bible records, Military records (pension)|
|Marriage information||Marriage records, Obituaries, Bible records||Church records, Probate records, Military records|
|Death information||Death Records, Cemeteries, Obituaries||Probate Records, Church Records, Bible Records|
|Parents||Birth records, Death records, Obituaries, Census, Church records||Biography, Genealogy|
|Maiden name||Marriage Records, Obituaries, Probate records||Church Records, Military Records (pension)|
|Immigration date||Emigration and Immigration, Naturalization and Citizenship, Census||Obituaries, Biography, History|
|Naturalization||Naturalization and Citizenship, Census, Court Records||Voting Registers, Biography, Periodicals|
|Physical description||Military Records, Naturalization and Citizenship (after 1906)||Biography, History|
Further California Research
For more research on California, including research at the county level, visit the California page on the Research Wiki.
Search all of the California record collections at FamilySearch.