California Vital Records
- 1 California Birth, Marriage and Death Records
- 2 Introduction to Vital Records
- 3 Birth Index (CABI) (1905-1995) is available for free at:
- 4 Marriages Records
- 5 Death Records
- 6 Vital Records Indexes
- 7 Substitute Records
- 8 Tips
- 9 Analyzing Records
- 10 Archives, Libraries and Societies
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]
- California Death Index
- California Death Indexes
- California Death Index
- California Death Index Family Tree Legends
- Rootsweb Death Search
- Pre 1905 California Death Index Project
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 .........
|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]
- California Church Records
- California Cemetery Records
- California Census Records
- California History
- California Newspapers
- California Military Records
Tips [edit | edit source]
Analyzing Records[edit | edit source]
Archives, Libraries and Societies[edit | edit source]