California, County Birth and Death Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
California, United States
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Flag of California
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Location of California
Record Description
Record Type County Birth and Death Records
Collection years 1800-1994
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection?

This collection includes birth and death records from 1800 to 1994.

The collection consists of images of registers, records, and certificates of county birth and death records acquired from county courthouses. This collection contains some delayed birth records, as well. Some city and towns records are also included. Records have not been acquired for the following counties:

Contra Costa Modoc Siskiyou
Imperial Napa Solano
Kern San Francisco Tulare
Kings San Mateo Ventura


To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994.


Collection Content

Sample Image


What Can this Collection Tell Me?

Birth records may include the following information:

  • Child's birth date
  • Place of birth
  • Name of Child
  • Gender
  • Race or Color
  • Number of children in family
  • Living or stillborn
  • Names of Parents
  • Race and nativity of parents
  • Father's occupation
  • Parents' birth place
  • Age of parents
  • Residence
  • Maiden name of mother
  • Legitimacy of child


Death records may include the following information:

  • Death date
  • Place of death
  • Name of deceased
  • Age at death
  • Gender
  • Nativity
  • Cause of Death
  • Attending physician

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know at least some of the following:

  • The name of your ancestor.
  • The date of birth or death.
  • The place where the birth or death occurred.
  • The names of known relatives or associates.

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information in the list to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if it is the correct family or person. You may need to compare several persons in the list before you find your ancestor.

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Pagethen:
⇒Select the "County/Town" category
⇒Select the “Record Type, Date Range and Volume"

What Do I Do Next?

Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members.


I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the information in the records to help you find other records such as marriage or census records.
  • Use the information in each record to find additional family members.
  • Repeat this process with additional family member’s records to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.


I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of California, United States Genealogy.
  • Search in the California Archives and Libraries.

Known Issues with This Collection

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.


Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.


Collection Citation:

"California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. County courthouses, California.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994.


Image Citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994.


How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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.