Lake County, California Genealogy Guide
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Lake County, California (Map It) was created on May 20, 1861 from Napa County . Lake County derived its name because of the many charming lakes in the area, most prominently Clear Lake. Learn More About State of California History
Lake County Cities and Towns include Clearlake, Clearlake Oaks, Clearlake Riviera, Cobb, Hidden Valley Lake, Kelseyville, Lakeport, Loch Lomond, Lower Lake, Lucerne, Middletown, Nice, North Lakeport, Parramore Springs, Soda Bay, Spring Valley, Upper Lake, Whispering Pines .
Since its creation Lake County boundries have changed to include these:
- Territory had been in Napa County from 1850 to 1861 when it was moved to Lake County.
- Territory in Mendocino County from 1850 to 1852, was in Napa County from 1852 to 1861 when it was moved to Lake County.
- Territory in Mendocino County from 1850 to 1855, was in Napa County from 1855 to 1861 when it was moved to Lake County.
- Territory was in Mendocino County from 1850 to 1864 when it was added to Lake County.
- Territory in Yolo County from 1850 to 1851, was in Colusa County from 1851 to 1868 when it was added to Lake County.
- Territory which at one time was in Lake County is now in Napa County.
Lake County, California Courthouse Records
Lake County, CA Courthouse
Old Lake County Courthouse
The Lake County Courthouse is located in Lakeport, California. Land was later added from counties Mendocino (1864) and Colusa (1868). Courthouse in Lakeport burned down in 1867. All earlier records were destroyed. Learn More About State of California Court, Tax, Land and Probate Records.
Courthouse History - After the first courthouse in Lakeport burned down in 1867, Lake County residents narrowly voted to move the county seat to Lower Lake. Three years later, before the construction of a new courthouse, the county seat was moved back to Lakeport and this Georgian-style courthouse was built on the site of the first. After more modern facilities were completed in 1968, the building was saved from demolition and today serves as the Lake County Museum. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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 Lake 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.
- Lake County Recorder-Clerk has Birth / Death Records from 1867, Marriage Records from 1867 and Land Records from 1867. 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.
- Lake County Clerk of Superior Court has Probate Records from 1867 and Court Records from 1867. 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.
- Lake County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
- Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 225 North Forbes Street, Lakeport, CA 95453; Office (707) 263-2293
Lake County, California Census Records
- Learn More: State of California Census Records
- U.S. Federal Population Schedules: 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: 1870 and 1880
- Selected U.S. Federal Census Agriculture Schedules: 1870 and 1880
- Selected U.S. Federal Census Industry Schedules: 1870 and 1880
- Union Veterans Schedules: 1890
Lake 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.
Lake County, California Resources
- Lake County Historical Society
- Lake County Genealogical Society
- Lake County Library
- Lake County, California Message Boards
- Lake County, California Genealogy Forum
- Lake County, California Mailing lists