San Bernardino County, California Genealogy

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San Bernardino County

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

San Bernardino Calif.JPG

Dates for major county records[1]
1854-present 1873-present 1860-present 1854-present 1856-present
For earlier dates, try...

Remember these collections


San Bernardino County, California
Map of California highlighting San Bernardino County
Location in the state of California
Map of the U.S. highlighting California
Location of California in the U.S.
Founded April 26, 1853
County Seat San Bernardino
Address Archives
1808 Commercenter West, Ste. D,
San Bernardino, CA 92415
(855) 732-2575
(909) 890-1713
Named for: Saint Bernardino of Siena

County Courthouse

San Bernardino County Courthouse
22 W Hospitality Lane
San Bernardino, CA 92415
Phone: 909.387.8306

County Clerk has marriage license from 1887
divorce and probate records from 1856 court
records from 1853 and land records from 1854;
County Recorder has birth and death records
from 1853 and marriage records from 1857[2]

Historical Facts

Wikipedia has more about this subject: San Bernardino County, California
San Bernardino County is presently the largest county in terms of geographic area within the United States. The county seat is the city of San Bernardino which is also the county's largest in terms of population, and that city lies in the southwest corner of the county.

San Bernardino itself was founded by settlers sent by Brigham Young in the 1850s, but they left when the matter known as the 'Utah War' erupted back in Utah.

San Bernardino Historical Society

Parent County

26 April 1853: San Bernardino County was created from Los Angeles County which had annexed part of San Diego County in 1851. County seat: San Bernardino [3]


The county was named for San Bernardino. The county seat San Bernardino and the county was created 1853. The County is located in the southeast area of the state.[4]

Boundary Changes

Los Angeles County and San Diego County were original counties created in 1850 when California became a state. In 1851, Los Angeles County expanded to the eastern border of California to include part of what was San Diego, County. In 1853, San Bernardino County was created from the eastern area of Los Angeles County. In 1878, additional land from Los Angeles County was added to San Bernardino County.

For animated maps illustrating California county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation California County Boundary Maps" (1850-1925) may be viewed for free at the website.

Records Loss

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


Populated Places

Although the settlement of these communities began in the Spanish period,  the Cucamonga US post office opened in 1864; the Alta Loma area opened as tracts in 1881 and became Alta Loma in 1913, and Etiwanda was a community planned in 1881. The three communities were merged into Rancho Cucamonga in 1977.

Neighboring Counties


Bible Records



Cemeteries of San Bernardino, 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 sites may have additional information on San Bernardino County cemeteries.


For tips on accessing San Bernardino County, California Genealogy census records online, see: California Census.

Church 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

  • Colton
  • Bloomington
  • Fontana
  • Highland
  • Needles
  • Ontario
  • Redlands
  • Rialto
  • San Bernardino
  • San Bernardino 1
  • San Bernardino 2
  • Victorville
  • Yucaipa

Court Records

Crime and Criminals


Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups





Local histories are available for San Bernardino 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.


Inyo CountyKern CountyLos Angeles CountyOrange CountyRiverside CountyLa Paz CountyMohave CountyClark CountyCA SAN BERNARDINO.PNG
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Early migration routes to and from San Bernardino County, California Genealogy for emigrant settlers included:

Military History and Records

Civil War
World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship


Serving: Adelanto, Apple Valley, Banning, Barstow, Beaumont, Big Bear, Colton, Crestline, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Hesperia, Highland, Loma Linda, Mentone, Redlands, Rialto, San Bernardino, Victorville, Yucaipa

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

Online Probate Records


Archives, Libraries and Museums
County Courthouse

San Bernardino County Recorder-Clerk - Archives

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. Introduction to LDS Family History Centers



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

San Bernadino Historical and Pioneer Society
796 North D Street
San Bernardino, CA 92401
(909) 885-2204
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 875
San Bernardino, CA 92402

San Bernardino Valley Genealogical Society
Feldheym Library
California Room
555 W 6th St
P.O. Box 26020
San Bernardino 92406

San Bernardino Valley Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 26020
San Bernardino 92406

The Highland Area Historical Society
P.O. Box 353
Highland, CA 92346-0353

29 Palms Historical Society and Museum
6760 National Park Drive
P.O. Box 1926
29 Palms, California 92277
Phone: (760) 367-2366

The Genealogical Society of the Morongo Basin
PO Box 234
Yucca Valley,CA 92286

Mohave Historical Society
P.O. Box 21
Victorville, CA 92393

Redlands Area Historical Society
P.O. Box 1024
Redlands, CA 92373

San Bernardino Valley Genealogical Society
P. O. Box 2128
San Bernardino, CA 92406

Big Bear Lake History Museum
630 Bartlett Road, CA
(909) 585-8100

Big Bear Valley Historical Society
P.O. Box 513
Big Bear City, CA 92314
Phone: 909-585-8100



  1. Eichholz, Alice Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Pub., 2004), 68-83. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), San Benardo County, California. Page 86 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. Genealogy Trails History Group, “San Bernardino County, California Genealogy and History”, 05/08/2017.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "El Camino Real (California)" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 14 September 2011).
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Old Spanish Trail (trade route)" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 14 September 2011).
  7. "Oregon California Trails Association" at (accessed 18 July 2011).
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Jefferson Hunt" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 6 September 2011).
  9. Wikipedia contributors, "Butterfield Overland Mail" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 14 September 2011).
  10. Wikipedia contributors, "Central Overland Route" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 13 September 2011).
  11. Wikipedia contributors, "Union Pacific Railroad" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 14 September 2011).
  12. Wikipedia contributors, "Central Pacific Railroad" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 14 September 2011).
  13. Wikipedia contributors, "Santa Fe Railroad" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 14 September 2011).
  14. Wikipedia contributors, "Southern Pacific Railroad" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 14 September 2011).
  15. Wikipedia contributors, "Atlantic and Pacific Railroad" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 14 September 2011).