Santa Barbara County, California Genealogy
Guide to Santa Barbara County California genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
|Santa Barbara County, California|
Location in the state of California
Location of California in the U.S.
|Founded||February 18, 1850|
|County Seat||Santa Barbara|
|Address|| Hall of Records|
1100 Anacapa St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
|Named for: Saint Barbara|
- 1 County Courthouse
- 2 Historical Facts
- 3 Parent County
- 4 Places/Localities
- 5 Resources
- 5.1 Bible Records
- 5.2 Biography
- 5.3 Cemeteries
- 5.4 Census
- 5.5 Church History and Records
- 5.6 Court Records
- 5.7 Crime and Criminals
- 5.8 Directories
- 5.9 Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups
- 5.10 Gazetteers
- 5.11 Genealogy
- 5.12 History
- 5.13 Land and Property
- 5.14 Maps
- 5.15 Migration
- 5.16 Military History and Records
- 5.17 Naturalization and Citizenship
- 5.18 Newspapers
- 5.19 Obituaries
- 5.20 Periodicals
- 5.21 Probate Records
- 5.22 Repositories
- 5.23 Societies
- 5.24 Taxation
- 5.25 Vital Records
- 5.26 Voting Registers
- 6 Websites
- 7 References
Santa Barbara County Courthouse
105 E Anapamu Rm #204
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Superior Court has divorce, probate, court and naturalization records
Recorder has birth, marriage, death and land records from 1850
Santa Barbara area Native Americans were first contacted by several early explorers in the 1500s and 1600s but the first moves toward settlement by Europeans were Spanish in 1769. The Santa Barbara mission was founded in 1786 by Franciscan padres who were also the first record keepers.
18 February 1850: Santa Barbara was created as an original county when California first became a state. 
1 January 1873: Ventura County was set off.
The preceding list of places includes incorporated cities and towns, unincorporated towns and communities, and place names that may have been used in family histories. Some have well-organized records and even have web sites. Some are simply social communities with no official records, but which may be referenced in small-town newspapers. The list is provided to help researchers identify localities within the county. As records or histories of these localities are identified, a page will be added for each of these place names. Information about the cemeteries can be found in these pages if known.
- Foxen Canyon Cemetery, Santa Maria
- Lompoc Evergreen Cemetery, Lompoc
- Santa Barbara Cemetery, Montecito
Santa Barbara Cemetery
Santa Maria Cemetery
- Tombfinder - Carpinteria Cemetery
For tips on accessing Santa Barbara 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
- Santa Maria
Crime and Criminals
Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups
The Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society has free online databases and indexes to search at sbgen.org and maintains the Sahyun library open for research at 316 Castillo St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101. Online subscriptions to Ancestry.com, Fold3, and GenealogyBank.com available to members only, or $5 per day. WiFi available.
Hours are: Tues., Thurs., Fri. - 10-4, Sun. 1-4.
Summer evening hours beginning in April - Tues. 5-8 p.m.
Local histories are available for Santa Barbara 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.
Military History and Records
Naturalization and Citizenship
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Santa Barbara County, California Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:
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 Barbara - Probate records.
Archives, Libraries and Museums
Family History Centers
- Introduction to LDS Family History Centers
- Lompoc California Family History Center
- Santa Barbara California Family History Center
- Santa Maria California Family History Center
- Solvang California 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 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.
Santa Barbara Mission archives contain early births, baptisms, marriages and deaths.
For a large number of early marriages see Western States Marriage Index.
- Santa Barbara County CAGenWeb
- USGenWeb Archives
- USGenWeb Archives backup site
- FamilySearch Family History Library Catalog
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Santa Barbara County, California. Page 87At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- WorldCat 50140092 ▲ FHL CollectionHandybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.] (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002)