Kern County, California Genealogy
Guide to Kern County, California ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
|Kern County, California|
Location in the state of California
Location of California in the U.S.
|Founded||April 2, 1866|
|Address|| Kern County Courthouse|
1655 Chester Ave
Bakersfield, CA 93301;
Phone 661.868.6440 Kern County Website
- 1 County Information
- 2 County Courthouse
- 3 Historical Facts
- 4 Places/Localities
- 5 Resources
- 5.1 Bible Records
- 5.2 Biography
- 5.3 Cemeteries
- 5.4 Census
- 5.5 Church History and Records
- 5.6 Court Records
- 5.7 Crime and Criminals
- 5.8 Directories
- 5.9 Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups
- 5.10 Gazetteers
- 5.11 Genealogy
- 5.12 History
- 5.13 Land and Property
- 5.14 Maps
- 5.15 Migration
- 5.16 Military History and Records
- 5.17 Naturalization and Citizenship
- 5.18 Newspapers
- 5.19 Obituaries
- 5.20 Periodicals
- 5.21 Probate Records
- 5.22 Repositories
- 5.23 Societies
- 5.24 Taxation
- 5.25 Vital Records
- 5.26 Voting Registers
- 6 Genealogy Societies, Archives and Libraries
- 7 Websites
- 8 References
Kern County, California Record Dates
Kern County Courthouse
1655 Chester Ave
Bakersfield, CA 93301;
County Clerk Recorder has birth, marriage, death and land records from 1850
divorce, probate court and voting record from 1866;
An exchange of territory with San Bernardino Co took place in 1963
The county was named from the Kern River, which was named for Edward Kern, cartographer for General John C. Frémont's 1845 expedition, which crossed Walker Pass. The County Seat is Bakersfield and was founded 1866. It is located in the south-central area of the state.
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.
- Kern County Biographies (Genealogy Trails)
- Kern County Biographies (USGenWeb Archives)
- Kern County Biographies (CAGenWeb Project)
The following web site may have additional information on Kern County cemeteries.
- Interment.net California cemetery records by County.
For tips on accessing Kern County, California Genealogy census records online, see: California Census.
- 1870 - Kern County Census Records (USGenWeb Archives)
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.
LDS Ward and Branch Records
Crime and Criminals
Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups
Local histories are available for Kern 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.
- Index to Kern County History Records (USGenWeb Archives)
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.
- Index to Federal Land Records, Kern County (USGenWeb Archives)
Military History and Records
- 1883 - List of Pensioners on the Roll, January 1, 1883, Kern County (Genealogy Trails)
World War II
- Index to Kern County WWII Army Enlistees by Name (USGenWeb Archives)
Naturalization and Citizenship
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Kern County, California Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:
- Bakersfield Californian - 2700+ issues of the paper digitized and in the Google News Archive; covers 1907-1949.
- Kern County Obituaries (Genealogy Trails)
- Index to Kern County Obituaries (USGenWeb Archives)
- Index to Kern County Obituaries - Scroll down to "Kern County Obituaries & Death Certificates" (CAGenWeb Project)
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 - Kern - 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
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
- Bakersfield California Family History Center
- Bakersfield California East Family History Center
- Bakersfield California South Family History Center
- Delano California Family History Center
- Frazier Park California Family History Center
- Kern Valley California Family History Center (Mountain Mesa)
- North Edwards California Family History Center
- Taft California Family History Center
- Tehachapi California Family History Center
- Wasco California Family History Center
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
- 1812 - 1988 - California Births and Christenings, 1812-1988 at FamilySearch — index
- 1905 - 1995 - California Birth Index, 1905-1995 at FamilySearch — index
- 1905 - Kern County Births, 1905 (Genealogy Trails)
- 1906 - Kern County Births, 1906 (Genealogy Trails)
- Kern County Births (USGenWeb Archives)
- 1850 - 1945 - California Marriages, 1850-1945 at FamilySearch — index
- 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
- Kern County Marriage Notices (Genealogy Trails)
- 1880 - 1900 - Kern County Coroner's Reports, 1885-1900 (CAGenWeb Project)
- 1905 - 1939 - California Death Index, 1905-1939 at FamilySearch — index
- 1940 - 1997 - California Death Index, 1940-1997 at FamilySearch — index
- Index to Kern County Deaths and Death Notices (USGenWeb Archives)
- Pre-1905 - Kern County Death Index (CAGenWeb Project)
Genealogy Societies, Archives and Libraries
Kern County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 2214
Bakersfield, CA 93303-2214
Kern County Historical Society
P.O. Box 141
Bakersfield, CA 93302
Kern River Valley Historical Society
49 Big Blue Rd.
P.O. Box 651
Kernville, California 93238-0651
Phone: (760) 376-6683
Kern-antelope Historical Society
P.O. Box 325
Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert
100 E. Las Floras Avenue
Ridgecrest CA 93555
Indian Wells Valley Genealogical Society
131 Los Flores
Ridgecrest CA 93555
Kern River Valley Historical Society
PO Box 651
Kernville CA 93239
Saint Ives Historical Society
8648 Lupine Loop Dr., #5
California City, CA 93505
Shafter Historical Society
PO Box 1088
Shafter, CA 93263
Taft Genealogical Society
PO Box 7411
Taft, CA 93268
Ridge Route Communites Historical Societies and Museum
Frazier Park, CA 93225
- Kern County, CA History, Records, Facts and Genealogy
- California Genealogy Network Community on Google+
- California Genealogy Network Group on Facebook
- Kern County CAGenWeb
- FamilySearch Catalog
- Kern County, California Genealogy Trails
- Kern County, CA Genealogy
- Kern County Research, California State Genealogical Alliance
- 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), Kern County, California. Page 85 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- Wikipedia contributors, "Kern County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kern_County,_California 5/03/2017.
- Genealogy Trails History Group, “Kern County, California Genealogy and History”, http://genealogytrails.com/cal/kern/ 5/03/2017.