San Bernardino County, California Genealogy Guide
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San Bernardino County, California (Map It) was created on April 26, 1853 from Los Angeles County . San Bernardino County was named for the Saint Bernard is the patron saint of mountain passes. The name Bernardino means “bold as a bear.” The Spanish gave the name San Bernardino to the snowcapped peak in southern California, in honor of the saint; from him the county derived its name. Learn More About State of California History
San Bernardino County is bordered by Inyo County (north), Clark County, Nevada (northeast), Mohave County, Arizona (east), La Paz County, Arizona (southeast), Riverside County (south), Orange County (southwest), Los Angeles County (west), Kern County (west) .
San Bernardino County Cities and Towns include Adelanto, Apple Valley, Barstow, Big Bear Lake, Chino, Chino Hills, Colton, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Hesperia, Highland, Loma Linda, Montclair, Needles, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Rialto, San Bernardino, Twentynine Palms, Upland, Victorville, Yucaipa, Yucca Valley .
Since its creation San Bernardino County boundries have changed to include these:
- Most of San Bernardino County territory had been in San Diego County from 1850 to 1851 and then in Los Angeles County from 1851 to 1853 when it was moved to the new county.
- A smaller territory was in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1851, then in Los Angeles County from 1851 to 1853 when it was moved to San Bernardino County.
- A third territory had been in Los Angeles County from 1850 to 1853 when it was moved to the new county.
- Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1851, was in Los Angeles County from 1851 to 1878*, when it was added to San Bernardino County.
- Territory in Los Angeles County from 1850 to 1878* was added to San Bernardino County.
- Territory which at one time was in San Bernardino County is now in Inyo County and Riverside County
San Bernardino County, California Courthouse Records
San Bernardino County, CA Courthouse
Old San Bernardino County Courthouse
The San Bernardino County Courthouse is located in San Bernardino, California. Land was added from Los Angeles County in 1878. Learn More About State of California Court, Tax, Land and Probate Records.
Courthouse History - After supervisors approved a $40,000 tax to construct a new Hall of Records in the late 1880s, south county residents voted to separate from San Bernardino and formed Riverside County in 1893. Undeterred, San Bernardino supervisors approved another tax to finance the construction of this Romanesque Revival building, which was demolished in 1928 after the construction of the current courthouse. The clock in this photo was removed and stored for more than 40 years until it was reinstalled in a new tower a half block from the site of the old courthouse.
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 San Bernardino 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.
- San Bernardino County Recorder-Clerk has Birth / Death Records from 1854 / 1873, Marriage Records from 1854 and Land Records from 1854. 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.
- San Bernardino County Clerk of Superior Court has Probate Records from 1856 and Court Records from 1853. 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.
- San Bernardino County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
- Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 340 North Mountain View Avenue, San Bernardino, CA 92415-0038; Office (909) 387-4247
San Bernardino 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
San Bernardino 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.
San Bernardino County, California Resources
- The Highland Area Historical Society
- 29 Palms Historical Society and Museum
- The Genealogical Society of the Morongo Basin
- Mohave Historical Society
- Redlands Area Historical Society
- Redlands Chapter, California Society Sons of the American Revolution
- San Bernardino Valley Genealogical Society
- Big Bear Lake History Museum
- Big Bear Valley Historical Society
- San Bernadino Historical and Pioneer Society
- San Bernardino Valley Genealogical Society
- San Bernardino County, California Message Boards
- San Bernardino County, California Genealogy Forum
- San Bernardino County, California Mailing lists