California Biography

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The California State Library and the Bancroft Library at the University of California-Berkeley have major collections of California biographies. Between 1929 and 1962 the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) prepared a 26-volume biographical collection, Records of the Families of California Pioneers. It is found at the DAR Library in Washington, D.C., and at the Family History Library (films 844436-46). Each volume has an every-name index. An index to the principal persons in each biography is Robert L. Davignon, Pioneers of California Index (Salt Lake City, Utah: Family History Library, 1986; FHL book 979.4 D32pi 1986; film 1421606 item 7; fiche 6051447).

There are many published statewide, regional, and county biographical collections. A representative biographical encyclopedia is Alonzo Phelps, Contemporary Biography of California— Representative Men, Two Volumes. (San Francisco, California: A.L. Bancroft and Co., 1881; FHL film 468754 item 2).

An index of biographies published in 61 county histories from 1855 to 1898 is J. Carlyle Parker, An Index to the Biographies in the 19th Century California County Histories, Gale Genealogy and Local History Series, Volume 7 (Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Company, 1979; FHL book 979.4 D32p).

Web Sites

http://history.sloco.net/CABio/

http://www.californiagenealogy.org/bio.htm

http://geneasearch.com/biography/states/california.htm

http://www.sandiegohistory.org/bio/biographies.htm