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The California State Library and theBancroft Library at the University of California-Berkeley have major collections of California biographies.  Use the Online Archive of California to search for materials in those libraries as well as other repositories throughout the state.

Between 1929 and 1962 the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) prepared a 26-volume biographical collection, Records of the Families of California Pioneers. It is found at the DAR Library in Washington, D.C., and at the Family History Library on films 844436-46. Each volume has an every-name index. Indexes to the principal persons found in this collection can be found:

The California Historical Society has gathered biographical materials for the entire state throughout it's history.  Finding Aids can be found on OAC.

The Society of California Pioneers has a collection of biographies and reminiscenses of Early California Settlers.

There are many published statewide, regional, and county biographical collections. A representative biographical encyclopedia is Alonzo Phelps, Contemporary Biography of California— Representative Men. 2 Volumes. (San Francisco, California: A.L. Bancroft and Co., 1881; Family History Library film 468754 item 2).

An index of biographies published in 61 county histories from 1855 to 1898 is J. Carlyle Parker, An Index to the Biographies in the 19th Century California County Histories, Gale Genealogy and Local History Series, Volume 7 (Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Company, 1979. Family History Library book 979.4 D32p).

Web Sites

California Biographies

GeneaSearch California Biographies

UC California Digital Archives - Biographies


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