Alameda County, California Genealogy Guide

Alameda County, California (Map It) was created on March 25, 1853 from Contra Costa County and Santa Clara County . Alameda County was named for the Spanish for "avenue shaded by trees" or "cottonwood grove." The name was applied both to the southern portion of the county (La Alameda) and to the stream running through it (Rio de la Alameda) as early as 1795. . Learn More About State of California History

Alameda County is bordered by Santa Clara County (south), San Mateo County (west), San Francisco County (west), Contra Costa County (north), San Joaquin County (east).

Alameda County Cities and Towns include Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Oakland, Piedmont, Pleasanton, San Leandro, Union City .

Since its creation Alameda County boundries have changed to include these:

Alameda County, California Courthouse Records

Alameda County, California Courthouse
Alameda County, CA Courthouse
Old Alameda County, California Courthouse
Old Alameda County Courthouse

The Alameda County Courthouse is located in Oakland, California. Learn More About State of California Court, Tax, Land and Probate Records.

Courthouse History - Alameda's Victorian courthouse was built on Oakland's Washington Square after the county seat was moved from Alvarado (part of present-day Union City) to San Leandro and finally to Oakland. The ornate brick building had fallen into disrepair by the mid-1920s (judges called it a "vermin-infested menace to health and records"). During heavy winter rains in its final years, bailiffs held umbrellas over the bench to shield judges from leaks. In 1936, a new county center on Lake Merritt replaced the old courthouse, which county supervisors voted to demolish in 1949.

Please contact the each clerk's department to confirm mailing address, hours, fees and other information before visiting or requesting information because contact information sometimes changes.  The Clerk's Office DOES NOT DO RESEARCH.  The documents are available to interested parties, barring confidential issues.  Most staff will assist people in finding the materials, but it is up to the individual to do the research. Some early court records from the various courts may have been sent to the California State Archives. Besides court minutes and judgements, these records include tax lists, wills, deeds, estate inventories, and marriage bonds. The California State Archives has microfilm of selected county records, 1850–1919.

The following dates indicates what vital, land, probate, and court records are in Alameda county. The date listed for each category of record is usually the earliest registration filed. The earliest date does not indicate that there are numerous records for that year and does not mean that all such events were actually registered. Some counties encompass land settled in the eighteenth century; their records pre-date county formation. Land transactions and vital records recorded in the county are at the county recorder's office. The county clerk general has probate books and files from the county's superior court, civil court records, and naturalizations. Divorces may be in either place, depending on how filed.

  • Alameda County Recorder-Clerk has Birth / Death Records from 1873 / 1859, Marriage Records from 1853 and Land Records from 1853. The County Recorder-Clerk is s responsible for examination and recording of all documents presented for recording that deal with establishing ownership of land in the County or as required by statute; administers the real property transfer tax law and maintains a permanent record and indexes of all documents for public viewing plus providing certified copies requested by the public; recording of all lawful documents such as deeds, deeds of trust, judgments, liens, affidavits, Uniform Commercial Code Financial Statements, etc; and the filing of Births, Deaths, and Marriages.
  • Alameda County Clerk of Superior Court has Probate Records from 1853 and Court Records from 1853. The County Clerk of Superior Court has probate books and files from the county's superior court, civil court records, and naturalizations. Divorces may be here or in the Recorders Office, depending on how it was filed.
  • Alameda County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
  • California Office of Vital Records has copies of birth, marriage, divorce and death records. There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in California for current fees and application process. Birth, marriage, and death records are connected with central life events.

Alameda County, California Census Records

Alameda County, California Vital Records

Alameda County, California Resources

Alameda County, California External Links