California, Pioneer Migration Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at


Record Description

The collection consists of a card file located at the California State Library, Sacramento. Index to persons who were California pioneers or migrated to California from other states.

You will be able to browse through images in this collection when it is published.

Record Content

The cards usually contains the following information:

  • Name
  • Place and date of birth
  • Parents
  • Spouse
  • Place and date married
  • Date of arrival in California
  • Whether came overland or by vessel
  • Name of vessel
  • States lived in before coming to California
  • Places of residence in California
  • Profession or occupation
  • Public offices held
  • Where educated
  • Priniciple events in history of California
  • Place and date of death
  • Signature
  • Miscellaneous notes

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know the name of you ancestor and some other identifying information such as the approximate date they came to California or the death date.

Search the Collection

To search the collection follow this series of links:
⇒ Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒ Select the appropriate "Surname Range" which takes you to the images

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.

For example:

  • Use the names and places of residence to locate other records such as census, land and church records.
  • Use the death date to search for a death record and probate records.
  • Use the occupations listed to find other types of records such as employment or military records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname; this is especially helpful if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been in the same area. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • If you are unable to find your ancestor look for variant spellings of the surnames.

Related Websites

California Pioneers Project

Related Wiki Articles

California Emigration and Immigration

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citations for This Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection Citation:

"California, Pioneer Migration Index, Compiled 1906-1935." Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2014. Citing California State Library, Sacramento, California.

Image Citation:

The citation for an image will be available on each image once the collection is published.


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  • This page was last modified on 23 October 2014, at 20:15.
  • This page has been accessed 1,039 times.