Santa Clara County, California Genealogy

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Santa Clara County

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


Santa Clara County, California
Map of California highlighting Santa Clara 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 San Joes
Address Santa Clara County Courthouse
70 W Hedding St 1st Floor
San Jose, CA 95110-1768
Phone: 408.299.2481 
Santa Clara County Website

County Information

Santa Clara County, California Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1859 1850 1848 1859

County Courthouse

Santa Clara County Courthouse
70 W Hedding St 1st Floor
San Jose, CA 95110-1768
Phone: 408.299.2481 

County Recorder has birth and death records from 1873 
Recorder has birth and death records from 1873,
marriage records from 1850, land records from 1846
and military records from1920  County Clerk has divorce,
probate and naturalization records[2]

Historical Facts

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Santa Clara County, California

Parent County

18 February 1850: Santa Clara County was created as an original county. County seat: San Jose [3]


The county was named for Saint Clare of Assisi, Italy. The county seat San Jose and the county was created 1850. [4]The County is located in the west central area of the state.[5]

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 website.

Records Loss

May 18, 1931: A fire quickly spread through the courthouse, causing extensive damage.


Populated Places

San Jose

Neighboring Counties


Bible Records



Cemeteries of Santa Clara, 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 Santa Clara County cemeteries.


For tips on accessing Santa Clara 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.

LDS Ward and Branch Records: Gilroy, Los Gatos, Naglee (San Jose), Palo Alto, San Jose and Willow Glen (San Jose).

Court Records

Crime and Criminals


Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups





Local histories are available for Santa Clara 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.


San Francisco CountySan Mateo CountySanta Cruz CountySan Benito CountyMerced CountyStanislaus CountySan Joaquin CountyAlameda CountyCA SANTA CLARA.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military History and Records

Civil War

Regiments. Service men in Santa Clara 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 Santa Clara County, California Genealogy:

- 1st Battalion, California Native Cavalry (Union), Company A
- 1st Regiment, California Infantry (Union), Company D
- 1st Regiment, California Cavalry (Union), New Company E
- 8th Regiment, California Infantry (Union), Company C
World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship


Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Santa Clara 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 - Santa Clara - 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


The website for the Office of the Clerk-Recorder for Santa Clara County has information about how to request birth records. They have births after 1873.

Online Records


The website for the Office of the Clerk-Recorder for Santa Clara County has information about how to request marriage records. They have marriages after 1851.

Online Records


The website for the Office of the Clerk-Recorder for Santa Clara County has information about how to request death records. They have deaths after 1873.

Online Records

Voting Registers

Genealogy Societies, Archives and Libraries

Dalton Genealogical Society
880 Ames Court
Palo Alto, CA 94303

Gilroy Historical Society
PO Box 2190
Gilroy, CA 95021

Los Altos Hills Historical Society
27200 Elena Road
Los Altos, CA 94022

Morgan Hill Historical Society
PO Box 1258
Morgan Hill, CA 95037

Palo Alto Historical Association
PO Box 193
Palo Alto, CA 94302

Saratoga Historical Foundation
PO Box 172
Saratoga, CA 95070

Stanford Historical Society
PO Box 2328
Stanford, CA 94309-2328

Santa Clara County Historical And Genealogical Society
2635 Homestead Road
Santa Clara 95051

California Pioneers of Santa Clara County
PO Box 8208
San Jose, CA 95155

Cupertino Historical Society and Museum
10185 N. Stelling Road
Cupertino, CA 95014



  1. Alice Eichholz, Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, Revised ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992), 62-75. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 1992
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Santa Clara County, California. Page 87At 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, “Santa Clara County, California Genealogy and History”, 05/08/2017.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Santa Clara County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_California 05/08/2017.