Sierra County, California Genealogy
Guide to Sierra County California genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
|Dates for major county records|
|For earlier dates, try...|
April 16, 1852: Sierra County was created from the County of Yuba. In 1866 additional land was added from Yuba County and in 1863 and 1866 land was gained from Plumas County. Look for records in both Yuba County and Pumas County.
|Remember these collections|
|Sierra County, California|
Location in the state of California
Location of California in the U.S.
|Founded||April 16, 1852|
|Address|| Sierra County Courthouse|
100 Courthouse Sq Ste 11
PO Box D Suite 11
Downieville, CA 95936
- 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
- 5 Websites
- 6 References
County Recorder has birth records from 1857,
marriage and land records from 1852 and death
records from 1862, Superior Court has divorce
probate and court records and naturalization
records from 1852
1947: Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.
For further information on researching in burned counties, see the following:
For tips on accessing Sierra 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.
Crime and Criminals
Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups
Local histories are available for Sierra 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.
- California Trail 1844 to 1869 from western Missouri to northern California
- Truckee (River) Trail 1844 crossed the Forty Mile Desert to the Truckee River to follow it west past Reno, Nevada to Donner Pass to Emigrant Gap to Sutter's Fort (Sacramento, California). The exact route varied over the years, the most used being the Nevada City Road and Auburn Emigrant Road combination.
- Henness Pass Road 1850 branched off the Truckee Trail at Verdi, Nevada headed for Camptonville and steamboat service at Marysville, California. In 1860 it became a major route to the Comstock Lode silver mines in Nevada.
- Beckwourth Trail 1850 left the Truckee Trail near present-day Sparks, Nevada going to Oroville and Marysville, California
Military History and Records
Naturalization and Citizenship
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Sierra County, California Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:
- NewspaperArchive.com ($) has a collection of digitized Reno, Nevada newspapers going back to 1870 that may include residents from Sierra County. This database is sometimes free at libraries.
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 - Sierra - Probate records.
Archives, Libraries and Museums
Family History Centers
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.
- Sierra 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), Sierra County, California. Page 87At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- National Park Service, "California Trail" (map) in California National Historic Trail at http://www.nps.gov/cali/planyourvisit/upload/CALImap1-web.pdf (accessed 5 August 2011).
- Wikipedia contributors, "California Trail" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Trail (accessed 5 August 2012).