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

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United States Gotoarrow.png California Gotoarrow.pngAlameda County

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This article describes a collection of records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
Alameda, California, United States
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Flag of California
US locator map California Alameda.png
Location of Alameda County, California
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Location of California
Record Description
Record Type Land Records
Collection years 1853-1920
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites



What is in the Collection?

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.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for .

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search, it is helpful to know at least some of the following:

  • The name of you ancestor
  • The approximate date of the land transaction
  • The place residence before purchase
  • Names of family members

Compare the information on the image to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if it is the correct family or person. You may need to compare several images before you find your ancestor.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page then:
⇒ Select the "County "
⇒ Select the "Record Type, Volume, and Date Range"


For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The records generally include:

  • Name of buyer
  • Name of seller
  • Name of spouse, heirs, other relatives, or neighbors
  • Place of residence at time of purchase
  • Occupation
  • Transaction dates
  • Amounts of monies exchanged, paid or assessed


What Do I Do Next?

Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members.


I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Land records may offer clues to maiden names if a father deeded property to his daughter upon marriage.
  • Witnesses and neighbors may be in-laws or relatives.
  • Use the information in each record to help you find other records such as a birth, death, marriage, or census record.
  • Use the information in each record to find additional family members.
  • Repeat this process with additional family member’s records to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.


I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of California.
  • Search in the California Archives and Libraries.



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.


Collection Citation:

"California, Alameda County, Land Records, 1853-1920." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Clerk-Recorder Offices. Administration Building, Oakland.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record will be available with each record once the collection is published.


Image Citation

The image citation will be available once the collection is published.


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.