El Dorado County, California Genealogy

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El Dorado County

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


El Dorado County, California
Map of California highlighting El Dorado County
Location in the state of California
Map of the U.S. highlighting California
Location of California in the U.S.
Founded February 18, 1850
County Seat Placerville
Address El Dorado County Courthouse
; 360 Fair Ln;
Placerville, CA 95667;
Phone 530.621.5490

El Dorado County Website

County Information

El Dorado County, California Record Dates

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1878 1851 1907 1850 1851 1850 1850
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1905. General compliance by 1920.

County Courthouse

County Clerk has divorce, probate and court records
County Recorder has birth, marriage, death burial, land and military records Historical Facts[2]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: El Dorado County, California

Parent County

18 February 1850: El Dorado County was created ;as an original county. County seat: Placerville [3]


The county was named is derived from the Spanish meaning "the gilded/golden". The County Seat is Placerville and was founded February 18, 1850. It is located in the East Central area 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

Fires in 1910 and 1920 destroyed most courthouse records.


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Alpine | Amador | Placer | Sacramento | Douglas County, Nevada | Carson City (Independent City), Nevada


Bible Records



Cemeteries of El Dorado, 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 El Dorado County cemeteries.


For tips on accessing El Dorado 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.

Court Records

Crime and Criminals


Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups




Local histories are available for El Dorado 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.


Placer CountySacramento CountyAmador CountyAlpine CountyDouglas CountyCA EL DORADO.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


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

Military History and Records

Civil War

Regiments. Service men in El Dorado 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 El Dorado County, California Genealogy:

- 1st Battalion, California Native Cavalry (Union), Company B
- 4th Regiment, California Infantry (Union), Company F
- 5th Regiment, California Infantry (Union), Company G
- 5th Regiment, California Infantry (Union), Company H
- 7th Regiment, California Infantry (Union) , Company G
- 8th Regiment, California Infantry (Union), Company K
Spanish American War
World War I
World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Iraqi War

Naturalization and Citizenship


Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as El Dorado 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 - El Dorado - 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.



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

Genealogy Societies, Archives and Libraries

El Dorado County Historical Society
Fountain & Tallman Museum
524 Main Street
Placerville, California 95667
Phone: 530-626-0773

El Dorado County Historical Society
100 Placerville Drive
Placerville,CA 95667

El Dorado Research Society
PO Box 56
El Dorado,CA 95623

Heritage Association of El Dorado County
PO Box 62
Placerville, CA 95667

Lake Tahoe Historical Society
PO Box 404 South Lake Tahoe,CA 95705

Mother Lode Colony of the Society of Mayflower Descendants
3580 Four Springs Drive
Rescue, CA 95672-9530

Roots Gold Dust Genealogical Society
PO Box 1354
Diamond Springs, CA 95619-1354



  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), El Dorado County, California. Page 84-88 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 81-83.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), El Dorado 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, "El Dorado County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Dorado_County,_California 4/11/2017.
  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).