California, San Mateo County Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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California, San Mateo County Records, 1851-1991 .
CID1878749
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
San Mateo, California, United States
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Flag of California
US locator map California San Mateo.png
Location of San Mateo, California
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Location of California
Record Description
Record Type County Records
Collection years 1851-1991
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection?

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.

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California, San Mateo County Records, 1851-1991.

What Can these Records Tell Me?

The records 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)

Collection Content

Coverage Map

To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of California marriages, click here.

Sample Images

Click on images for a larger view.

Image Visibility

Some records, previously available, have been removed from publication to comply with the 1945 year cut-off restriction on all U.S. Army Discharge Records.

How Do I Search the Collection?

Search the Index

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page then:

  1. Fill in the search boxes with the information you know.
  2. Click Search. This will provide possible a list of matches.
  3. Compare the information in the lists to what you already know to determine if you found the correct person.

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page then:

  1. Select the "County"
  2. Select the "Record Type, Date Range and Volume"

Compare the information on the image to what you already know to determine if it is the correct person.


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

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?

  • Use the residence and names of the individuals to locate other records such as birth, marriage, death and census records.
  • Use Occupations to find military records.
  • 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, United States Genealogy.
  • Search in the California Archives and Libraries.
  • Search in the FamilySearch Catalog

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, San Mateo County Records, 1851-1991." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. County Clerk, Redwood City.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for California, San Mateo County Records, 1851-1991.


Image Citation

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California, San Mateo County Records, 1851-1991.


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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.