El Dorado County, California Genealogy Guide
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El Dorado County, California (Map It) was created on February 18, 1850 as one of the original 27 counties . El Dorado County was named for the meaning “the gilded one” in Spanish, appears at the beginning of the 16th century as that of a mythical Indian chief who was said to have been covered with gold dust during the performance of religious rites. When the discovery of gold by James W. Marshall at Coloma in January 1848 became known to the world, California, and particularly that section where gold was discovered, was called “El Dorado.” From this fact the county received its name . Learn More About State of California History
El Dorado County Cities and Towns include Placerville, South Lake Tahoe .
Since its creation El Dorado County boundries have changed to include these:
- Most of its territory has been in El Dorado County since 1850.
- Territory was in Placer County from 1850 to 1863 when it was added to El Dorado County.
- Territory which at one time was in El Dorado County is now in Alpine County, Amador County, and Placer County.
El Dorado County, California Courthouse Records
El Dorado County, CA Courthouse
Old El Dorado County Courthouse
The El Dorado County Courthouse is located in Placerville, California. Land from Placer County was added in 1863. A fire in 1910 & 1920 destroyed most courthouse records. For probate records prior to 1951, write County Nuseum, 100 Placerville Drive, Placerville, California 95667; for probate after 1951, write to Judicial Section, 495 Main Street, Placerville, California 95667. Learn More About State of California Court, Tax, Land and Probate Records.
Courthouse History - After several unsuccessful electoral efforts to move the county seat from Coloma to their town, citizens of Placerville in 1857 successfully lobbied the state Legislature to order the move. This two-story building was constructed in Placerville, which prior to 1853 was known as Hangtown because of its reputation for lynchings. The building and its additions burned in 1910, and a new concrete-and-steel courthouse was built on the site.
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 El Dorado 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.
- El Dorado County Recorder-Clerk has Birth / Death Records from 1878 / 1907, Marriage Records from 1851 and Land Records from 1851. 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.
- El Dorado 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.
- El Dorado County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
- Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 931 Spring Street, Placerville, CA 95667; Office (530) 621-6121, FAX (530) 295-2715
El Dorado 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
El Dorado 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.
El Dorado County, California Resources
- El Dorado County Historical Museum
- Heritage Association of El Dorado County
- El Dorado County Library
- El Dorado County, California Message Boards
- El Dorado County, California Genealogy Forum
- El Dorado County, California Mailing lists