California, Alameda County, Land Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at

Record Description

This collection contains deed records and indexes that are located at the Clerk-Recorder Offices in Oakland. Land records are primarily used to learn where an individual lived and when he or she lived there. They often reveal other family information, such as the name of a spouse, heir, other relatives, or neighbors. They may also include information about previous residences, occupations, military service, citizenship, and so forth. Most of the states in the United States are public domain states, which means the federal government controls the land. In state-land states, however, the state government appropriates all land within its borders. Alabama is a public domain state. People who lived in the area that is now Alabama were governed by several different countries, states, and territories during various time periods: France (1710–1763) England (1763–1783) Spain (1783–1795, north of the 31st parallel, the mouth of the Yazoo River) Georgia (1795–1803, north of the 31st parallel) Spain (1783–1813, south of the 31st parallel, including Mobile) South Carolina (about 1783, until claim was given up in 1787) Mississippi Territory (1798–1817) Alabama Territory (1817–1819) Federal Government Land Sales beginning in 1806

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

Clerk-Recorder Offices. California, Alameda County, Land Records. Administration Building, Oakland, California, United States.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

Key genealogical facts found in this collection may include:

  • Name of buyer
  • Name of seller
  • Name of spouse, heirs, other relatives, or neighbors
  • Place of residence at time of purchase
  • Occupation

How to Use the Record

Once a parcel of land was transferred from government to private ownership, it may have stayed in the family for generations or for only a few months. It may have been subdivided, sold, and resold, with each transaction requiring new records. It is likely that one of your ancestors was recorded in person-to-person transactions like these. These records may offer clues such as the given name of a spouse, a previous residence, names of children, or death information. Land records also offer clues to maiden names if a father deeded property to his daughter upon marriage. Witnesses and neighbors may be in-laws or relatives. It is important to trace the purchase and sale (or the acquisition and disposition) of each parcel of land your ancestor owned. Beginning Your Search To begin your search, it would be helpful if you knew the following information:

  • Name of ancestor
  • Place of residence before purchase

Searching the Images 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 " category
⇒ Select the "Record Type, Volume, and Date Range" category which will take you to the images.
Look at each image one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

Alabama Land and Property

Contributions to This Article

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.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

“Argentina, Buenos Aires, Catholic Church Records, 1635-1981,” images, FamilySearch ( accessed 28 February, 2012), La Plata  > San Ponciano > Matrimonios 1884-1886 >  image 71 of 389 images, Artemio Avendano and Clementina Peralta, 1884; citing Parroquia de San Ponciano en la Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Matrimonios. San Ponciano, La Plata, Buenos Aires.