Modoc County, California Genealogy
Guide to Modoc County, California ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
|Modoc County, California|
Location in the state of California, United States Genealogy
Location of California in the U.S.
|Founded||February 17, 1874|
|Address||Modoc County Courthouse|
204 Court Street
PO Box 131
Alturas, CA 96101-0131
Modoc County Website
County Information[edit | edit source]
Modoc County, California Record Dates[edit | edit source]
County Courthouse[edit | edit source]
County Clerk has divorce, probate, court and voter regisitration records from 1874
County Recorder has birth, marriage and death records 
Historical Facts[edit | edit source]
Parent County[edit | edit source]
Description[edit | edit source]
The county was named from the Modoc people who lived in what is now northern California, near Lost River and Tule Lake. The county seat Alturas and the county was created February 17, 1874. The County is located in the northeastern area of the state.
Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]
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.
Records Loss[edit | edit source]
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
Places/Localities[edit | edit source]
Populated Places[edit | edit source]
For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:
|Native American communities|
Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]
Resources[edit | edit source]
Bible Records[edit | edit source]
Biography[edit | edit source]
Cemeteries[edit | edit source]
Census[edit | edit source]
For tips on accessing Modoc County, California Genealogy census records online, see: California Census.
- Modoc County Census Records (CAGenWeb Project)
Church History and Records[edit | edit source]
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.
List of Churches and Church Parishes
Court Records[edit | edit source]
Crime and Criminals[edit | edit source]
Directories[edit | edit source]
Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups[edit | edit source]
Germans[edit | edit source]
Gazetteers[edit | edit source]
Genealogy[edit | edit source]
History[edit | edit source]
Local histories are available for Modoc 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[edit | edit source]
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.
- Modoc County Land and Tax Records (CAGenWeb Project)
Maps[edit | edit source]
Migration[edit | edit source]
- California Trail 1846 to 1869 from western Missouri to northern California
- Applegate Trail since 1846 (avoided the Forty Mile Desert) by leaving the Humboldt River in Nevada early at present-day Rye Reservoir, Nevada and passing through the Black Rock Desert to Fandango Pass past Goose Lake on to the Lost River and eventually the Willamette Valley in Oregon
- The Lassen Cutoff 1848 was established by gold rushers from Oregon going to California. It branched off the Applegate Trail at Davis Creek, went through Devil's Garden to the Pit River passing east of Mt. Lassen, and turning west to Lassen Rancho, California, and from there to Sacramento. In some years as much as 1/3 of emigrants mistakenly took the Applegate Trail-Lassen Cutoff, a much longer and more difficult trail than the Truckee or Carson routes.
- 1906-1935 California, Pioneer Migration Index, Compiled 1906-1935 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; index
Military History and Records[edit | edit source]
Civil War[edit | edit source]
- 1883 - Modoc County – List of Pensioners on the Roll, January 1, 1883 (Genealogy Trails)
- Modoc County Civil War Veterans (USGenWeb Archives)
World War I[edit | edit source]
- 1914-1918 California, Geographical and Name Index of Californians who served in WWI, 1914-1918 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index and images
- Index to Modoc County World War I Draft Registrations (USGenWeb Archives)
World War II[edit | edit source]
- Index to Modoc County World War II Army Enlistees (USGenWeb Archives)
- Modoc County Honor List of Dead and Missing Army and Army Air Forces Personnel (Genealogy Trails)
Korean War[edit | edit source]
- Modoc County Korean War Casualties (Genealogy Trails)
Vietnam War[edit | edit source]
- Modoc County Vietnam War Casualties (Genealogy Trails)
Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]
Newspapers[edit | edit source]
- 1800s-1999 U.S., Newspapers.com Marriage Index, 1800s-1999 at Ancestry - index ($)
- California Digital Newspaper Collection at UCR Center for Bibliographical Studies and Research
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Modoc County, California Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:
Obituaries[edit | edit source]
Probate Records[edit | edit source]
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 - Modoc - Probate records.
Online Probate Indexes and Records
- 1782 – 1999 California Wills and Probate Records 1782-1999 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1833 – 1991 California Probate Estate Files 1833-1991 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; images
Repositories[edit | edit source]
Archives, Libraries and Museums[edit | edit source]
County Courthouse[edit | edit source]
Family History Centers[edit | edit source]
Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries
- Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
- FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.
Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries
- Introduction to Family History Centers
- Alturas California Family History Center
- Cedarville California Family History Center
Societies[edit | edit source]
Taxation[edit | edit source]
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[edit | edit source]
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
- Modoc County Vital Records (CAGenWeb Project)
Birth[edit | edit source]
- 1812 - 1988 California Births and Christenings, 1812-1988 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; index
- 1905 - 1995 California Birth Index, 1905-1995 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; index. Also at: MyHeritage($)
- Modoc County Birth Notices (Genealogy Trails)
Marriage[edit | edit source]
- 1800 - 2007 - California, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
- 1850 - 1945 California Marriages, 1850-1945 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection index
- 1850 - 1952 California, County Marriages, 1850-1952 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; index and images. Also at: MyHeritage($)
- 1854 - 1885 - Western States Marriage Index.
- 1960 - 1985 California Marriage Index, 1960-1985 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; index and images. Also at: MyHeritage($)
- Modoc County Marriage Notices (Genealogy Trails)
Divorce[edit | edit source]
Death[edit | edit source]
- 1776 - 2000 California Deaths and Burials, 1776-2000 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; index, some images
- 1905 - 1939 California Death Index, 1905-1939 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; index
- 1940 - 1997 California Death Index, 1940-1997 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; index. Also at: MyHeritage($)
Voting Registers[edit | edit source]
California county clerks were to keep voting registers every other year from 1866 and well into the 20th century. These large books, called Great Registers, listed the men who registered to vote in that county. Besides name and age, the record may show place of birth, address, occupation, naturalization date and sometimes even a physical description.
These records are at the California State Library (1866-1944), and microfilmed copies are available through Family History Centers (1866-1910). Ancestry ($) has a searchable database of Modoc Great Registers from 1875-1898.
The Modoc records for 1874 are available on the RootsWeb site, by clicking here.
- 1866-1898 California, U.S., Voter Registers, 1866-1898 at Ancestry.com - index ($)
- 1866-1910 California, Great Registers, 1866-1910 at MyHeritage - index, ($)
Genealogy Societies, Archives and Libraries[edit | edit source]
Modoc County Historical Society Museum
600 South Main Street
Alturas, California 96101
Phone: (530) 233-2944
Websites[edit | edit source]
- Modoc County CAGenWeb
- Modoc County, CA History, Records, Facts and Genealogy
- California Genealogy Network Group on Facebook
- USGenWeb Archives
- FamilySearch Catalog
- Modoc County, California Genealogy Trails
- Modoc County CA Genealogy (ldsgenealogy.com)
References[edit | edit source]
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Modoc County, California. Page 84-88 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 81-83.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Modoc County, California. Page 85 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- Wikipedia contributors, "Modoc County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modoc_County,_California 05/04/2017.
- Wikipedia contributors, "Modoc County, California," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modoc_County,_California, accessed 17 September 2019.
- 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).