Difference between revisions of "Santa Cruz County, California Genealogy"

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== Societies, Libraries and Museums  ==
== Societies, Libraries and Museums  ==
==== Family History Centers  ====
*[[Introduction to LDS Family History Centers]]
*[[San Lorenzo Valley California Family History Center]]
**Ben Lomond, California
== Websites  ==
== Websites  ==

Revision as of 02:04, 26 July 2011

United States Gotoarrow.png California Gotoarrow.png Santa Cruz County

County Courthouse

Santa Cruz County
701 Ocean Street
Santa Cruz CA 95060

Quick Facts

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Santa Cruz County, California
 The first European settlements in Santa Cruz County began with the founding of a Franciscan mission in 1791 near the San Lorenzo River in what is now the city of Santa Cruz. In 1797, a proprietary Spanish colony was founded near the mission church and named Branciforte. When California became part of the United States in 1850, Branciforte County was one on the original counties but the name was quickly changed to Santa Cruz County.

Geographically, the coastline gives way to coastal mountains which often come right down to the sea. Two significant rivers played a role in settlement, the San Lorenzo (Santa Cruz city) and the Pajaro River (Watsonville). California hightway route 1 passes through the county along the coast and route 17 provides a connection over the coastal mountains to the San Jose/Silicon Valley area. A railroad also came to the area in the late 1800s providing a shipping outlet for agricultural products of the coastal farmlands.

Earthquakes have affected the area destroying much of the mission church in 1857 and another doing major damage to the city of Santa Cruz in 1988 but they did not cause any significant loss of records.

Parent County

18 February 1850: Originally as Branciforte County. County seat: Santa Cruz [1]

19 April 1850: Renamed Santa Cruz County.

Boundary Changes

No significant changes.

Record Loss


Populated Places

Incorporated Cities (2000): Capitola, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Watsonville

Other populated places:

Aptos Hills-Larkin Valley
Ben Lomond
Bonny Doon
Boulder Creek
Day Valley
La Selva Beach
Live Oak
Mount Hermon
Opal Cliffs
Rio del Mar
Twin Lakes

Neighboring Counties


Archives and Libraries

  • Santa Cruz Central Library

224 Church Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

  • Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz County library

(housed in the Central Branch Library, significant collection of genealogies)


Day Valley Cemetery (Aptos)

Evergreen Cemetery (Santa Cruz)

Felton Cemetery (Felton)

Home of Peace Cemetery (Santa Cruz, Jewish)

Holy Cross Cemetery (2 locations Soquel, Catholic)

Oakwood (Soquel)

Pajaro Valley Memorial Park (Watsonville)

Pioneer Cemetery (Watsonville)

St Francis Cemetery (Watsonville)

Santa Cruz Cemetery (Santa Cruz)

Soquel Cemetery (Soquel)

Church History and Records

LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Santa Cruz
  • Watsonville

Court Records




Military History and Records


Santa Cruz Sentinel (Santa Cruz 1866-present 2011)

Santa Cruz Surfer (Santa Cruz 1889-1919)

Mountain Echo (Boulder Creek 1896-1916)

Register Pajaronian (Watsonville, 1868-present)

Probate Records


Vital Records

    701 Ocean Street, Room 230
    Santa Cruz CA 95060

For records generated since 2009

Santa Cruz County Office of Vital Records
12 West Beach Street
Watsonville CA 95076

Societies, Libraries and Museums

Family History Centers



  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).