California, Alameda County, Land Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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Revision as of 00:42, 2 February 2013 by TimothyNB (Talk | contribs)
FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at


Record Description

This collection contains deed records and indexes that are located at the Clerk-Recorder Offices in Oakland.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

Clerk-Recorder Offices. California, Alameda County, Land Records. Administration Building, Oakland, California, United States.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

Key genealogical facts found in this collection may include:

  • Name of buyer
  • Name of seller
  • Name of spouse, heirs, other relatives, or neighbors
  • Place of residence at time of purchase
  • Occupation

How to Use the Record

To begin your search, you need to know the name of ancestor and some other identifying information such as their residence.

Search the Collection

Searching the Images To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒ Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒ Select the "County " category
⇒ Select the "Record Type, Volume, and Date Range" category which will take you to the images.

Look at each image one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Download a copy of the record, or extract the genealogical information needed. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors. For example use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and census records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Some counties were subdivided or the boundaries may have changed. Consider searching neighboring counties as well since that courthouse may have been more convenient for the person.
  • One deed does not usually give sufficient information about a couple and their children. A careful study of all deeds for the person or the family will yield a richer return of information.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records.
  • Search for the land transactions of a couple and their children. The parents may have sold or given property to a son or daughter. Such transactions confirm relationships that might not be found in other 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.
  • To find later generations, search the land records a few years before and after a person’s death. Your ancestor may have sold or given land to his or her heirs before death, or the heirs may have sold the land after the individual died. For daughters, the names of their husbands are often provided. For sons, the given names of their wives may be included. Heirs may have sold their interest in the land to another heir even though the record may not indicate this. Continue this process for identifying each succeeding generation.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Check for variant spellings of the names.
  • Look for a different index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the records of nearby counties.

Background Information About Land Records

Most of the states in the United States are public domain states, which means the federal government controls the land. In state-land states, however, the state government appropriates all land within its borders.

Once a parcel of land was transferred from government to private ownership, it may have stayed in the family for generations or for only a few months. It may have been subdivided, sold, and resold, with each transaction requiring new records.

Land records are primarily used to learn where an individual lived and when he or she lived there. These records may offer clues such as the given name of a spouse, a previous residence, names of children, or death information. Land records also offer clues to maiden names if a father deeded property to his daughter upon marriage. Witnesses and neighbors may be in-laws or relatives. It is important to trace the purchase and sale (or the acquisition and disposition) of each parcel of land your ancestor owned.

Related Websites

California Land Records and Deeds Directory

Related Wiki Articles

California Land and Property

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. 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. A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

“Argentina, Buenos Aires, Catholic Church Records, 1635-1981,” images, FamilySearch ( accessed 28 February, 2012), La Plata > San Ponciano > Matrimonios 1884-1886 > image 71 of 389 images, Artemio Avendano and Clementina Peralta, 1884; citing Parroquia de San Ponciano en la Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Matrimonios. San Ponciano, La Plata, Buenos Aires.


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