Santa Clara County, California Genealogy
Guide to Santa Clara County California genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
|Santa Clara County, California|
Location in the state of 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
Santa Clara County Website
- 1 County Courthouse
- 2 Historical Facts
- 3 Places/Localities
- 4 Resources
- 4.1 Bible Records
- 4.2 Biography
- 4.3 Cemeteries
- 4.4 Census
- 4.5 Church History and Records
- 4.6 Court Records
- 4.7 Crime and Criminals
- 4.8 Directories
- 4.9 Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups
- 4.10 Gazetteers
- 4.11 Genealogy
- 4.12 History
- 4.13 Land and Property
- 4.14 Maps
- 4.15 Migration
- 4.16 Military History and Records
- 4.17 Naturalization and Citizenship
- 4.18 Newspapers
- 4.19 Obituaries
- 4.20 Periodicals
- 4.21 Probate Records
- 4.22 Repositories
- 4.23 Societies
- 4.24 Taxation
- 4.25 Vital Records
- 4.26 Voting Registers
- 5 Genealogy Societies, Archives and Libraries
- 6 Web Sites
- 7 References
Santa Clara County Courthouse
70 W Hedding St 1st Floor
San Jose, CA 95110-1768
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
18 February 1850: Santa Clara County was created as an original county. County seat: San Jose 
For animated maps illustrating California county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation California County Boundary Maps" (1850-1925) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.
May 18, 1931: Courthouse burned and many records were damaged. For a list of record loss in California counties see: California Counties with Burned Courthouses
For further information on researching in burned counties, see the following:
- Santa Clara County list of cemeteries
- Alta Mesa Cemetery, Palo Alto
- Madronia Cemetery, Saratoga
- Santa Clara Cemetery, Santa Clara
- Santa Clara Mission Cemetery, San Jose
Please refer to populated places for individual cemetery information.
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).
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.
Military History and Records
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
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:
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.
Archives, Libraries and Museums
Family History Centers
- Introduction to LDS Family History Centers
- Los Altos California Family History Center
- Milpitas California Family History Center (San Jose)
- San Jose California Family History Center
- Santa Clara 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. 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.
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.
A considerable number of early marriages are listed on the Western States Marriage Index.
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.
Genealogy Societies, Archives and Libraries
- Santa Clara County, CA History, Records, Facts and Genealogy
- California Genealogy Network Community on Google+
- California Genealogy Network Group on Facebook
- Santa Clara County CAGenWeb
- USGenWeb Archives
- USGenWeb Archives backup site
- FamilySearch Family History Library Catalog