Calaveras County, California Genealogy Guide
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Calaveras County, California (Map It) was created on February 18, 1850 as an original county . Calaveras County was named from the Calaveras River which was reportedly so designated by an early explorer when he found, on the banks of the stream, many skulls of Indians who had either died of famine or had been killed in tribal conflicts over hunting and fishing grounds. The meaning of the word calaveras is “skulls.” Learn More About State of California History
Calaveras County Cities and Towns include Angels Camp, Arnold, Avery, Copperopolis, Dorrington, Forest Meadows, Glencoe, Mokelumne Hill, Mountain Ranch, Murphys, Rail Road Flat, Rancho Calaveras, San Andreas, Sheep Ranch, Vallecito, Valley Springs, Wallace, West Point .
Since its creation Calaveras County boundries have changed to include these:
- Territory which at one time was in Calaveras County is now in Alpine County, Amador County, and Mono County
Calaveras County, California Courthouse Records
Calaveras County, CA Courthouse
Old Calaveras County Courthouse
Old Calaveras County Courthouse
Courthouse History - Local history has it that the county seat was "captured" from Double Springs, a cattle ranch-cum-mining town, when residents of nearby Jackson invited county officials for a few rounds of drinks and then made off with the county records. The remains of this building, made of camphor panels shipped from China, can still be seen in Double Springs, making it one of the oldest surviving structures once used as a courthouse in California.
In 1866, after the government was finally moved to San Andreas, Calaveras's fifth and current county seat, officials designated a local theater for use as the first courthouse. This two-story brick building was used as the center of county government for nearly 100 years, and it was here in 1883 that Judge C. V. Gottschalk tried and sentenced the notorious highwayman Black Bart. In 1966, the courthouse was replaced by a more modern facility and turned over to the Calaveras County Historical Society. The old courthouse, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is still used occasionally for overflow cases and visiting judges.
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 Calaveras 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.
- Calaveras County Recorder-Clerk has Birth / Death Records from 1858, Marriage Records from 1854 and Land Records from 1850. 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.
- Calaveras County Clerk of Superior Court has Probate Records from 1866 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.
- Calaveras County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
- Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, Government Center, 891 Mountain Ranch Road, San Andreas, CA 95249; Office (209) 754-6372, FAX (209) 754-6733
Calaveras 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
Calaveras 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.
Calaveras County, California Resources
- Calaveras County Archives
- Calaveras County Historical Society
- Calaveras Genealogical Society
- Calaveras Heritage Council
- San Andreas Central Library
- Calaveras County, California Message Boards
- Calaveras County, California Genealogy Forum
- Calaveras County, California Mailing lists