Butte County, California Genealogy Guide
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Butte County, California (Map It) was created on February 18, 1850 as an original county . Butte County was derived from the Marysville or Sutter Buttes, which lay within the boundaries when it was created. The word butte is derived from the Teutonic word meaning “a blunt extension or elevation.” In the French language, it signifies “a small hill or mound of earth detached from any mountain range.” . Learn More About State of California History
Butte County Cities and Towns include Biggs, Chico, Gridley, Oroville, Paradise .
Since its creation Butte County boundries have changed to include these:
- Most of its territory has been in Butte County since 1850.
- Territory in Butte County from 1850 to 1856, was moved to Tehama County when that county was formed in 1856, then returned in 1859 to Butte County.
- Territory in Butte County from 1850 to 1856, was moved to Colusa County in 1856, then returned in 1872 to Butte County.
Butte County, California Courthouse Records
Butte County, CA Courthouse
Old Butte County Courthouse
Courthouse History - The courts occupied a brick building in downtown Oroville for the duration of the “Courthouse Wars”–a century-old contest between Oroville and Chico for the county seat. It was here in 1911 that Ishi, regarded as the last member of the Yahi tribe, stayed before traveling to San Francisco, where for several years he lived on the campus of the University of California. The courts moved to a new county center in 1965, and the original court building was demolished after it sustained damage in a 1975 earthquake.
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 Butte 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.
- Butte County Recorder-Clerk has Birth / Death Records from 1859, Marriage Records from 1851 and Land Records from 1846. 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.
- Butte County Clerk of Superior Court has Probate Records from 1850 and Court Records from 1850. 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.
- Butte County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
- Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 202 Mira Loma Drive, Room 133, Oroville, CA 95965-3500; Office (530) 538-7581, FAX (530) 538-7023
Butte County, California Census Records
- Learn More: State of California Census Records
- U.S. Federal Population Schedules: 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragmented), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940
- State Population Schedules: 1852, Voter Registers, 1866-1898, Voter Registrations, 1900-1968
- U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules: 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Selected U.S. Federal Census Agriculture Schedules: 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Selected U.S. Federal Census Industry Schedules: 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Union Veterans Schedules: 1890
Butte County, California Vital Records
- Learn More: State of California Vital Records
- Birth Records: from July 1905 to present.
- Marriage Records: Indexes from 1949-1986 and 1998-1999.
- Death Records: from July 1905 to present. See Local County Recorder
- Divorce Records: from 1962 and June, 1984. See local County Circuit or County Chancery Clerk.
- Locations: California Department of Public Health, Vital Records, – MS 5103, 1501 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95814; PH (916) 445-1719 or (916) 445-2684
- Vital Records Online: USAVital, VitalChek or Social Security Death Index
- Vital Records by Mail: Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Divorce Certificate, Death Certificate Applications.