California, San Mateo County Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

From FamilySearch Wiki

FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Image Visibility

Some records, previously available, have been removed from publication to comply with the 1945 year cut-off restriction on all U.S. Army Discharge Records.

Record Description

The collection primarily includes land records – deeds, patents, and homesteads. However, the following various county records may also be intermixed within the land records:

  • Marriage intentions (1856 to 1943)
  • Naturalization (1856 to 1930)
  • Military service discharges (1856 to 1965)

The Collection includes records from 1851 to 1991.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California, San Mateo County Records, 1851-1991.

Record Content

The records may include:

  • Dates when the transaction occurred, was written up, and was recorded with the county
  • Names of the grantors (sellers), grantees (buyers), witnesses, and sometimes neighbors
  • Ages are seldom given, but a person might be mentioned as a minor
  • Exact relationships (may be included if property was sold or given to heirs during a person’s lifetime)
  • Residences of the grantor and grantee (usually included)
  • Occupations of the grantor and grantee (usually included)
  • Signature or mark (usually an X) of the grantor
  • Legal description of the parcel
  • Amount of consideration (included until the late 1800s)

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The names of the primary individuals
  • The approximate date of the transaction
  • Other identifying information such as the location of the property or names of other interested individuals

Search the Collection

To search the collection image by image select:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "County"
⇒Select the "Record Type, Date Range and Volume" which takes you to the images

Look at each image 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 residence and names of the individuals to locate church and census records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • Search for records of people in the county who shared a surname. These may have been the couple’s parents, uncles, or other relatives. Your ancestor may have been an heir who sold inherited land that had belonged to parents or grandparents.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • Witnesses and neighbors, even those with a different surname, may have been relatives, in-laws, or even a widowed mother who has remarried. You may want to check the records of these witnesses and neighbors, especially if they are frequently found in your ancestor’s land records.
  • The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1900.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Check for an index. Local historical and genealogical groups often have indexes to local records. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned. In addition, some entries from earlier years may have been missed.
  • Make a list of all residences mentioned in the records within a year or two of when your ancestors came to the county—regardless of surname. Then search the records of places that seem likely or that occur frequently.
  • Create a database for other people with the same surname who lived in the county. Doing this may help you identify which individuals were related. If your ancestor’s records do not contain the information you need, a county database might give you a more complete picture.
  • Some counties were subdivided or the boundaries may have changed. Consider searching the “parent” county to find the original purchase of a parcel of land. You may also need to search a neighboring county since that courthouse may have been more convenient for the person to record the deed.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection, see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

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, San Mateo County Records, 1855-1991." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing County Clerk, Redwood City.

Image Citation

The citation for an image is available on each image in this collection by clicking Show Citation at the bottom left of the image screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California, San Mateo County Records, 1851-1991.

 

Need additional research help? Contact our research help specialists.

Need wiki, indexing, or website help? Contact our product teams.


Did you find this article helpful?

You're invited to explain your rating on the discussion page (you must be signed in).

  • This page was last modified on 29 October 2014, at 22:22.
  • This page has been accessed 9,036 times.