Mendocino County, California Genealogy Guide
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Mendocino County, California (Map It) was created on February 18, 1850 as one of the original 27 counties . AAAAA County derived its name from Cape Mendocino, which was probably named in honor of either Antonio de Mendoza, Viceroy of New Spain, 1535-1542 (who sent the Juan Cabrillo Expedition to this coast in 1542), or Lorenzo Suarez de Mendoza, Viceroy from 1580 to 1583. Mendocino is an adjective form of the family name of Mendoza. Learn More About State of California History
Mendocino County Cities and Towns include Fort Bragg, Point Arena, Ukiah, Willits .
Since its creation Mendocino County boundries have changed to include these:
- Most of Mendocino County has been in the county since 1850.
- Territory was in Sonoma County from 1850 to 1855 when it was added to Mendocino County.
- Territory was in Sonoma County from 1850 to 1859 when it was added to Mendocino County.
- Territory in Mendocino County from 1850 to 1855, was in Sonoma County from 1855 to 1859 when it was returned to Mendocino County.
- Territory which at one time was in Mendocino County is now in Glenn County, Humboldt County, Lake County, Sonoma County, and Trinity County.
Mendocino County, California Courthouse Records
Mendocino County, CA Courthouse
Old Mendocino County Courthouse
The Mendocino County Courthouse is located in Ukiah, California. Attached to Sonoma County for administrative purposes until 1859. Learn More About State of California Court, Tax, Land and Probate Records.
Courthouse History - After winning out over rival cities for designation as the county seat, Ukiah built its first courthouse, a simple two-story brick building, in 1860. As the county prospered, officials commissioned a much grander building with two-story columns and a dome. Among the court's more dramatic trials was one in 1905 during which a man brought before the court on an insanity charge apparently was not searched and fatally shot the sheriff. The courthouse was demolished in 1950 to make way for a more modern building.
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 Mendocino 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.
- Mendocino County Recorder-Clerk has Birth / Death Records from 1859, Marriage Records from 1859 and Land Records from 1852. 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.
- Mendocino County Clerk of Superior Court has Probate Records from 1854 and Court Records from 1858. 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.
- Mendocino County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
- Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 1120 S. Dora Street, Room 196, Ukiah, CA 95482; Office (707) 472-2772
Mendocino 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
Mendocino 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.
Mendocino County, California Resources
- Anderson Valley Historical Society
- Mendocino County Historical Society
- Mendocino Historical Research Kelley House Museum
- Mendocino Coast Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 762, Ft. Bragg 95437
- Mendocino County Heritage Network
- Mendocino County Library
- Mendocino County Museum
- Mendocino County, California Message Boards
- Mendocino County, California Genealogy Forum
- Mendocino County, California Mailing lists