California, San Mateo County Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|Access the Records|
California, San Mateo County Records, 1851-1991 .
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|San Mateo, California, United States|
|Flag of California|
|Location of San Mateo, California|
|Location of California|
|Record Type||County Records|
- 1 What is in the Collection?
- 2 Collection Content
- 3 What Can this Collection Tell Me?
- 4 How Do I Search the Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Known Issues with This Collection
- 7 Citing this Collection
- 8 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in the Collection?
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.
To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of California marriages, click here.
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.
What Can this Collection Tell Me?
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 Do I Search the Collection?
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
View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
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"
⇒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.
What Do I Do Next?
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.
I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?
- Use the residence and names of the individuals to locate church and census records.
- 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.
I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?
- 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.
|Don't overlook FHL Keyword California, San Mateo items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see the wiki article 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
- "California, San Mateo County Records, 1851-1991." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. County Clerk, Redwood City.
|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, San Mateo County Records, 1851-1991.|
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.