Fresno County, California Genealogy Guide
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Fresno County, California (Map It) was created on April 19, 1856 from Mariposa County, Merced County, and Tulare County . Fresno County was named for Fresno in Spanish signifies “ash tree” and it was because of the abundance of mountain ash or ash trees in the county that it received its name. Learn More About State of California History
Fresno County is bordered by Tulare County (south), Kings County (south), Monterey County (southwest), San Benito County (west), Merced County (northwest), Madera County (north), Mono County (northeast), Inyo County (east) .
Fresno County Cities and Towns include Auberry, Big Creek, Biola, Bowles, Calwa, Cantua Creek, Caruthers, Centerville, Clovis, Coalinga, Del Rey, Dunlap, Easton, Firebaugh, Fort Washington, Fowler, Fresno, Friant, Highway City, Huron, Kerman, Kingsburg, Lanare, Laton, Malaga, Mayfair, Mendota, Mercey Hot Springs, Minkler, Monmouth, Old Fig Garden, Orange Cove, Parlier, Prather, Raisin City, Reedley, Riverdale, Rolinda, San Joaquin, Sanger, Selma, Shaver Lake, Squaw Valley, Sunnyside, Tarpey Village, Three Rocks, Tollhouse, Tranquillity, West Park .
Since its creation Fresno County boundries have changed to include these:
- Territory was in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1856 when it was moved to Fresno County.
- Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1855, was in Merced County from 1855 to 1856 when it was moved to Fresno County.
- Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1852, was in Tulare County from 1852 to 1856 when it was moved to Fresno County.
- Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1852, in Tulare County from 1852 to 1856, and in Fresno County from 1856 to 1874, was back in Tulare County from 1874 to 1876 when it was returned to Fresno County.
- Territory which at one time was in Fresno County is now in Inyo County, Kings County, Madera County, Mono County, San Benito County, and Tulare County.
Fresno County, California Courthouse Records
Fresno County, CA Courthouse
Old Fresno County Courthouse
The Fresno County Courthouse is located in Fresno, California. Land was later added from counties Merced (1856) and Tulare (1856). Learn More About State of California Court, Tax, Land and Probate Records.
Courthouse History - Hailed at a cornerstone ceremony as "the grandest and noblest edifice that has ever been planned and contemplated in this valley," Fresno's courthouse could barely keep up with the county's booming population. By the turn of the century, the relatively modest brick building with its slender cupola had been expanded to an imposing structure with several wings, granite steps, and an enormous dome. A structural survey conducted in 1961 reported the many weaknesses of the old building, which was demolished following the construction of a new courthouse in 1966.
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 Fresno 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.
- Fresno County Recorder-Clerk has Birth / Death Records from 1873, Marriage Records from 1856 and Land Records from 1856. 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.
- Fresno County Clerk of Superior Court has Probate Records from 1880 and Court Records from 1856. 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.
- Fresno County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
- Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 1221 Fulton Mall , First Floor, Fresno, CA 93721; Mail to: P.O. Box 11867; Fresno, CA 93775; Office (559) 445-3310
Fresno County, California Census Records
- Learn More: State of California Census Records
- U.S. Federal Population Schedules: 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragmented), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940
- State Population Schedules: Voter Registers, 1866-1898, Voter Registrations, 1900-1968
- U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules: 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Selected U.S. Federal Census Agriculture Schedules: 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Selected U.S. Federal Census Industry Schedules: 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Union Veterans Schedules: 1890
Fresno 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.
Fresno County, California Resources
- Central Sierra Historical Society
- Fresno County Genealogical Society
- Fresno City & County Historical Society
- Fresno County Public Library
- Fresno County, California Message Boards
- Fresno County, California Genealogy Forum
- Fresno County, California Mailing lists