Modoc County, CaliforniaEdit This Page
From FamilySearch Wiki
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
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 Clerk has divorce, probate, court and voter regisitration records from 1874
County Recorder has birth, marriage and death records 
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.
For a list of record loss in California counties see: California Counties with Burned Courthouses
For tips on accessing Modoc County, California 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 Modoc County, California. 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 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.
Military History and Records
Naturalization and Citizenship
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Modoc County, California newspapers in online catalogs like:
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.
Archives, Libraries and Museums
Family History Centers
- Introduction to LDS Family History Centers
- Alturas California Family History Center
- Cedarville California Family History Center
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. See also How to order California Vital Records
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.
Genealogy Societies, Archives and Libraries
- Modoc County, CA History, Records, Facts and Genealogy
- California Genealogy Network Community on Google+
- California Genealogy Network Group on Facebook
- USGenWeb Archives
- USGenWeb Archives backup site
- FamilySearch FamilySearch Catalog
- ↑ 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).
- ↑ 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).
- This page was last modified on 20 November 2014, at 18:37.
- This page has been accessed 7,004 times.
New to the Research Wiki?
In the FamilySearch Research Wiki, you can learn how to do genealogical research or share your knowledge with others.Learn More