San Benito County, California Genealogy

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Guide to San Benito County, California ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.


San Benito County, California
Map of California highlighting San Benito County
Location in the state of California
Map of the U.S. highlighting California
Location of California in the U.S.
Founded February 12, 1874
County Seat Hollister
Address San Benito County Court House
440 5 th St 2nd Floor
Hollister, CA 95023
Phone: 831.636.4029 

San Benito County Website

County Information

San Benito County, California Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1905 1905 1905 1850 1874 1874

County Courthouse

County Clerk has birth marriage, death, burial,
land and naturalization records from 1894
Superior Court has divorce, probate and court records[2]

Historical Records

Parent County

12 February 1874: San Benito County was created from Los Angeles and San Diego Counties. County seat: Holllister [3]

Boundary Changes

For animated maps illustrating California county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation California County Boundary Maps" (1850-1925) may be viewed for free at the website.

Records Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties


Bible Records



Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library [1]
CAGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
CAGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
Billion Graves
See California Cemeteries for more information.


For tips on accessing San Benito 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.

Court Records

Crime and Criminals


Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups




The California State Genealogical Alliance serves as a statewide association of independent genealogical societies, individuals and non-profit organizations. The Alliance website provides genealogical resources for all 50 California counties. This is the link for San Benito County.


Local histories are available for San Benito 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



Military History and Records

Naturalization and Citizenship


Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as San Benito County, California Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:



Probate Records

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 - San Benito - Probate records.

Online Probate Records


Archives, Libraries and Museums

County Courthouse

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.



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

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





Voting Registers

Genealogy Societies, Archives and Libraries

San Benito County Historical Society
P.O. Box 357
Hollister 95023
Phone: 831-637-9709

San Benito County Historical Society
498 Fifth Street
Hollister, California 95023
Phone: 831-635-0335

San Juan Bautista Historical Society
PO Box 1
San Juan Bautista, CA 95045

Web Sites


  1. 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
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), San Benito County, California. Page 86 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).