Fresno County, California Genealogy
Guide to Fresno County, California ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
|Fresno County, California|
Location in the state of California
Location of California in the U.S.
|Founded||April 19, 1856|
|Address|| Fresno County Courthouse|
2221 Kern St
Fresno, CA 93721
Fresno County Website
- 1 County Information
- 2 County Courthouse
- 3 Historical Facts
- 4 Places/Localities
- 5 Resources
- 6 Bible Records
- 7 Biography
- 8 Cemeteries
- 9 Census
- 10 Church History and Records
- 11 Court Records
- 12 Crime and Criminals
- 13 Directories
- 14 Emigration and immigration
- 15 Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups
- 16 Gazetteers
- 17 Genealogy
- 18 Heraldry
- 19 History
- 20 Land and Property
- 21 Maps
- 22 Migration
- 23 Military History and Records
- 24 Naturalization and Citizenship
- 25 Newspapers
- 26 Obituaries
- 27 Periodicals
- 28 Probate Records
- 29 Repositories
- 30 Societies
- 31 Taxation
- 32 Vital Records
- 33 Voting Registers
- 34 Genealogy Societies, Archives and Libraries
- 35 Web Sites
- 36 References
Fresno County, California Record Dates
County Clerk has birth, marriage, and death records from 1855
Fresno County was created 19 April 1856 from Merced and Mariposa counties. Parts were taken for Kings 22 March 1893, Madera 11 March 1893 and Mono 24 April 1861. Named for Fresno Creek. Fresno in Spanish means "ash tree", because of abundance of mountain ash in the area.
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.
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
- Cities: Clovis | Coalinga | Firebaugh | Fowler | Fresno | Huron | Kerman | Kingsburg | Mendota | Orange Cove | Parlier | Reedley | San Joaquin | Sanger | Selma |
- Unincorporated Communities: Auberry | Big Creek | Biola | Calwa | Cantua Creek | Caruthers | Centerville | DelRey | Dunlap | Easton | Friant | Highway City | Lanare | Laton | Mercey Hot Springs | Minkler | Pinedale | Prather | Raisin City | Riverdale | Rolinda | Shaver Lake | Squaw Valley | Tarpey Village | Tollhouse | Tranquillity
|Tombstone Transcriptions Online||Tombstone Transcriptions in Print||List of Cemeteries in the county|
|Findagrave.com||Family History Library||Findagrave.com|
|See California Cemeteries for more information.|
For tips on accessing Fresno County, California Genealogy 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
Emigration and immigration
Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups
Local histories are available for Fresno County, California Genealogy. 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.
Military History and Records
Naturalization and Citizenship
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Fresno County, California Genealogy 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 - Fresno - Probate records.
Online Probate Records
- 1782 – 1999 California Wills and Probate Records 1782-1999 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1833 – 1991 California Probate Estate Files 1833-1991 at FamilySearch — images
Archives, Libraries and Museums
The following public libraries in Fresno County have collections of particular interest to genealogists:
- Fresno County Public Library
2420 Mariposa Street
Fresno, California 93721
Telephone: (559) 600-7323
The California History and Genealogy Room offers books, microfilms and other resources for local and state history as well as a variety of records helpful for identifying your ancestors and their lives–vital records, military, ethnic, census, Great Registers (voting records), prison records, and more.
- Fresno City and County Historical Society Archives has Central Valley early farmers index, biographies, manuscripts, photos, oral histories, newspaper clippings, and school yearbooks.
Family History Centers
Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See Family History Center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.
- Introduction to LDS Family History Centers
- Auberry California Family History Center (Pranther)
- Caruthers California Family History Center
- Fresno California East Family History Center (Clovis)
- Fresno California Family History Center
- Fresno California North Family History Center (Clovis)
- Fresno California West Family History Center
- Reedley California Family History Center
- Selma California Family History Center
- Sequoia California Family History Center (Dunlap)
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
- 1850 - 1952 - California, County Marriages, 1850-1952 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1854 - 1885 - Western States Marriage Index.
- 1960 - 1985 - California Marriage Index, 1960-1985 at FamilySearch — index and images
- The Fresno County Recorder Public Marriage Records Search. These are recent marriages.
Genealogy Societies, Archives and Libraries
Fresno City And County Historical Society
P.O. Box 2029
Fresno County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 1429
Fresno City County Historical Society
7160 West Kearney Boulevard
Fresno, CA 93706
American Historical Society of Germans from Russia
3233 N. West Avenue
Fresno, CA 93705-3402
California Mennonite Society
4824 E. Butler
Fresno, CA 93727
- Fresno County, CA History, Records, Facts and Genealogy
- California Genealogy Network Community on Google+
- California Genealogy Network Group on Facebook
- Fresno County CAGenWeb
- USGenWeb Archives
- USGenWeb Archives backup site
- Alice Eichholz, Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, Revised ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992), 62-75. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 1992
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Fresno County, California. Page 84 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).