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California Vital Records

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United States > United States Vital Records > California > California Vital Records

California Birth, Marriage and Death Records[edit | edit source]

California Vital Records Online Links[edit | edit source]

Introduction to Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Local Records of Births and Deaths[edit | edit source]

The church records in California provide the earliest evidences of births and deaths. County recorders eventually kept vital statistics. Monterey County, for example, recorded a few births as early as 1824. Most clerks kept better records in the decades following the Gold Rush.

The Family History Library has been acquiring microfilmed copies of the original records from many counties. For example, the Family History Library has 81 microfilms of births from Los Angeles (1905-19, indexed 1905-23), and deaths (1877-1905, indexed 1873-1920). You can also write to each county clerk for information.

Delayed registration of births began in 1943. These records are kept by each county. You can write to the county clerk for information.

The Family History Library has copies of delayed births for many counties, such as Los Angeles, for the years 1943 to 1964.

State Records of Births and Deaths[edit | edit source]

Early - 1905

1905 - Present

The statewide registration of births and deaths began in July 1905, and was generally complied with by 1920.

California San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records 1835-1931 are available online at Record Search

 Birth Index (CABI) (1905-1995) is available for free at:
[edit | edit source]

The birth index includes the following information: Full name, birth date, gender, mother's maiden name, and birth county.

For additional information (including the mailing address) on ordering birth, marriage and death certificates from the state of California visit: A comprehensive resource for locating vital records

Marriages Records[edit | edit source]

Early to 1905?   When the county was formed county clerks were assigned to  record marriages.

1905 - Present

The first law that required the recording of marriages was passed in 1850. Each county usually kept these records as soon as it was organized.

The Family History Library has copies of the marriages for many counties. For example, Los Angeles County marriage applications (1850-1905) and certificates (1851-1919) are available on 120 microfilms.

The statewide registration of marriages began in 1905. The state records are indexed.

The index for 1960 to 1985 is available at the Family History Library (fiche 6332554—). The Family History Library has not obtained copies of the actual certificates from the state office. Write to the Office of Vital Records and Statistics for further information.

Marriage Indexes (1949-1986) are available at:[edit | edit source]

Divorce Records[edit | edit source]

Divorce records have been kept by the superior court in the county where the divorces were granted. You can write to the clerk of the court for information. You can also write to the State Department of Health for records since 1962.

Many of the early marriages for the state are searchable online at no cost in the Western States Marriage Index.

 Death Records[edit | edit source]

Early to 1905

1905 - Present

 Death Index  (CADI) (1940-1997) is available for free at:[edit | edit source]

The death index includes: Deceased's full name, date of birth and country or state of birth, death date and death place in California, Social Security Number, and mother's maiden name.

Vital Records Indexes[edit | edit source]

In the statewide indexes prepared by California each county was assigned a number; the chart below will assist you in utilizeing the indexes .........

Vital Records Code - California-County and City[edit | edit source]

1 Alameda 13 Imperial 25 Modoc 37 San Diego 49 Sonoma Cities
2 Alpine 14 Inyo 26 Mono 38 San Francisco 50 Stanislaus 60 Alameda
3 Amador 15 Kern 27 Monterey 39 San Joaquin 51 Sutter 70 Los Angeles
4 Butte 16 Kings 28 Napa 40 San Luis Obispo 52 Tehama 80 San Diego
5 Calaveras 17 Lake 29 Nevada 41 San Mateo Cities 53 Trinity 90 San Francisco
6 Colusa 18 Lassen 30 Orange 42 Santa Barbara 54 Tulare
7 Contra Costa 19 Los Angeles 31 Placer 43 Santa Clara 55 Tuolumne
8 Del Norte 20 Madera 32 Plumas 44 Santa Cruz 56 Ventura
9 El Dorado 21 Marin 33 Riverside 45 Shasta 57 Yolo
10 Fresno 22 Mariposa 34 Saccramento 46 Sierra 58 Yuba
11 Glen 23 Medocino 35 San Benito 47 Siskiyou 59
12 Humboldt 24 Merced 36 San Bernardio 48 Solano

Inventory of Vital Records[edit | edit source]

You can learn more about the history and availability of vital records in Guide to Public Vital Statistics Records in California, Volume II, Deaths (San Francisco, California: Historical Records Survey, 1941; Family History Library book 979.4 V2h; film 897426 item 5).

Substitute Records[edit | edit source]

Tips [edit | edit source]

Analyzing Records[edit | edit source]

Archives, Libraries and Societies[edit | edit source]

California Archives and Libraries

California Societies