California, County Birth and Death Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

From FamilySearch Wiki
Revision as of 17:32, 16 November 2012 by Douglasmichaelcu (talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at
Access the records: California, County Birth and Death Records, 1849-1994 .

Record Description

This Collection will include records from 1849 to 1994.

The collection consists of images of registers, records, and certificatesof county birth and death records acquired from county courthouses. This collection contains some delayed birth records, as well. Some city and towns records are also included. Records have not been acquired for the following counties:

Contra Costa Modoc Siskiyou
Imperial Napa Solano
Kern San Francisco Tulare
Kings San Mateo Ventura

For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.

California County Clerks. County Birth and Death Records. County Clerks in the state of California.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

California, County Birth and Death Records (11-0739) DGS 5585050 955.jpg

The key genealogical facts found in the Birth Records may include the following information:

  • Child's birth date
  • Place of birth
  • Name of Child
  • Gender
  • Race or Color
  • Number of children in family
  • Living or stillborn
  • Names of Parents
  • Race and nativity of parents
  • Father's occupation
  • Parents' birth place
  • Age of parents
  • Residence
  • Maiden name of mother
  • Legitimacy of child
California, County Birth and Death Records (11-0739) DGS 5580682 20.jpg

The key genealogical facts found in the Death Records may include the following information:

  • Death date
  • Place of death
  • Name of deceased
  • Age at death
  • Gender
  • Nativity
  • Cause of Death
  • Attending physician

How to Use the Record

To search the collection, you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒ Select the “Browse through images" link on the initial collection page
⇒ Select the “County, Town ” category
⇒ Select the “Record Type, Date Range and Volume” category which takes you to the images.

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • Name
  • Date of the event
  • Place of the event

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Make a photocopy of the record, or extract the genealogical information needed. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors.

The following examples show ways you can use the information:

  • Use the names and relationships as a basis for compiling family groups.
  • Use the names, date, and residence or place to locate the individual or family in the census.
  • Use the names and places to locate additional records about the individual or family such as church and land records.
  • Use ages listed to determine approximate birth dates.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • You may need to compare the information of more than one family or person to make this determination.
  • If the record is a death record look for burial and probate records in the same location.
  • If the record is a birth record look for records of the parents.

If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:

  • Check for variant spellings of the names.
  • Search the records of neighboring counties.
  • Search for an index. Local historical and genealogical societies often have indexes to local records.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"California, County Birth and Death Records, 1849-1994," images, FamilySearch( accessed 14 June 2012), Orange > Birth Certificates 1915-1921 > Image 15 of 706, Lena Elizabeth Makela, born 12 March 1915; citing California, County Birth and Death Records, Various county clerks throughout California.