Modoc County, California Genealogy Guide
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Modoc County, California (Map It) was created on April 19, 1855 from Siskiyou County . AAAAA County derived its name from a fierce Indian tribe that lived at the Pit River headwaters. One historian suggests that the word modoc means “the head of the river.” Another states that the word is derived from the Klamath word moatakni meaning “southerners,” i.e., the people living south of the Klamath tribe. Learn More About State of California History
Modoc County Cities and Towns include Adin, Alturas, California Pines, Canby, Cedarville, Daphnedale Park, Davis Creek, Eagleville, Ft. Bidwell, Lake City, Likely, Lookout, Newell, New Pine Creek, Stronghold, Tionesta .
Since its creation Modoc County boundries have changed to include Territory was in Shasta County from 1850 to 1852 and then in Siskiyou County from 1852 until 1874 when the territory was moved to Modoc County.
Modoc County, California Courthouse Records
Modoc County, CA Courthouse
Old Modoc County Courthouse
Courthouse History - The dome of this Neoclassic courthouse, Modoc's third since the county was formed from part of Siskiyou in 1874, can be seen from miles around Alturas. The dome was traditionally painted copper but was repainted gold in 1974, some say to reflect the "Golden State" name while others believe it was the result of a mix-up of paint cans. The basement, which was once used as the jail, no longer houses prisoners but was remodeled and is home to the Public Guardian, the Veterans Service Officer, and other county offices.
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 Modoc 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.
- Modoc County Recorder-Clerk has Birth / Death Records from 1894 / 1882, Marriage Records from 1874 and Land Records from 1874. 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.
- Modoc County Clerk of Superior Court has Probate Records from 1874 and Court Records from 1874. 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.
- Modoc County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
- Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 204 South Court Street, Alturas, CA 96101; Office (530) 233-6205
Modoc 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
Modoc 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.
Modoc County, California Resources
- Modoc County Historical Society & Museum
- Modoc County, California Message Boards
- Modoc County, California Genealogy Forum
- Modoc County, California Mailing lists