California, San Mateo County Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: California, San Mateo County Records, 1851-1991 .
- 1 Record Description
- 2 Record Content
- 3 How to Use the Record
- 4 Related Websites
- 5 Related Wiki Articles
- 6 Contributions to This Article
- 7 Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
The collection primarily includes land records – deeds, patents, and homesteads. However, the following various county records may also be intermixed within the land records:
- Marriage intentions (1856 to 1943)
- Naturalization (1856 to 1930)
- Military service discharges (1856 to 1965)
The Collection includes records from 1851 to 1991.
For a list of records by date or locality currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- "California, San Mateo County Records, 1855-1991." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing County Clerk, Redwood City.
Key genealogical facts found in this collection may include:
- Dates when the transaction occurred, was written up, and was recorded with the county
- Names of the grantors (sellers), grantees (buyers), witnesses, and sometimes neighbors
- Ages are seldom given, but a person might be mentioned as a minor
- Exact relationships (may be included if property was sold or given to heirs during a person’s lifetime)
- Residences of the grantor and grantee (usually included)
- Occupations of the grantor and grantee (usually included)
- Signature or mark (usually an X) of the grantor
- Legal description of the parcel
- Amount of consideration (included until the late 1800s)
How to Use the Record
To begin your search it is helpful to know:
- The names of the primary individuals
- The approximate date of the transaction
- Other identifying information such as the location of the property or names of other interested individuals
Search the Collection
To search the collection image by image select:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "County"
⇒Select the "Record Type, Date Range and Volume" which takes you to the images
Look at the images 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.
Indexes are available on some of these groups of images. If indexes are available, check these for the name first. The indexes are located in individual folders. Find your ancestors name and look for the locator information next to the name (such as page, entry, or certificate number). This will help you find the record you are looking for in the collection.
Using the Information
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example, use the residence and names of the individuals to locate church and census records.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
- Search for records of people in the county who shared a surname. These may have been the couple’s parents, uncles, or other relatives. Your ancestor may have been an heir who sold inherited land that had belonged to parents or grandparents.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
- Witnesses and neighbors, even those with a different surname, may have been relatives, in-laws, or even a widowed mother who has remarried. You may want to check the records of these witnesses and neighbors, especially if they are frequently found in your ancestor’s land records.
- The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1900.
- There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
Unable to Find Your Ancestor?
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Check for an index. Local historical and genealogical groups often have indexes to local records. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned. In addition, some entries from earlier years may have been missed.
- Make a list of all residences mentioned in the records within a year or two of when your ancestors came to the county—regardless of surname. Then search the records of places that seem likely or that occur frequently.
- Create a database for other people with the same surname who lived in the county. Doing this may help you identify which individuals were related. If your ancestor’s records do not contain the information you need, a county database might give you a more complete picture.
- Some counties were subdivided or the boundaries may have changed. Consider searching the “parent” county to find the original purchase of a parcel of land. You may also need to search a neighboring county since that courthouse may have been more convenient for the person to record the deed.
Related Wiki Articles
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
"California, San Mateo County Records, 1856-1967," images, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org: accessed 4 April 2012), San Mateo > Deed records 1949 vol 1640 > image 5 of 751, entry for Lee T. Ross and Hall C. Ross, Trustees, purchased land 23 March 1949; citing California, San Mateo County Records, 1856-1967, San Meteo County Accessor-Recorder-Clerks Office, Redwood City, California.