Stanislaus County, California Genealogy Guide

Stanislaus County, California (Map It) was created on April 1, 1854 from the western part of Tuolumne County . Stanislaus County's name is a corruption of Estanislao, the baptismal name of a mission-educated renegade Indian chief who led a band of Indians in a series of battles against Mexican troops. He was finally defeated by General Mariano G. Vallejo in 1826. The county is named for the Stanislaus River, first discovered by Gabriel Moraga in 1806, and later renamed Rio Estanislao for the Indian chief. Learn More About State of California History

Stanislaus County is bordered by Santa Clara County (southwest), San Joaquin County (northwest), Calaveras County (north), Tuolumne County (northeast), Merced County (south).

Stanislaus County Cities and Towns include Modesto, Ceres, Hughson, Newman, Oakdale, Patterson, Riverbank, Turlock, Waterford .

Since its creation Stanislaus County boundries have changed to include these:

  • Most of Stanislaus County was in Tuolumne County from 1850 until 1854 when it was separated to create the new county.
  • Territory in Tuolumne County from 1950 to 1854, and in Stanislaus County from 1854 to 1866, was in Merced County from 1866 to 1868 when it was returned to Stanislaus County.
  • Territory was in San Joaquin County from 1850 to 1860 when it was added to Stanislaus County.

Stanislaus County, California Courthouse Records

Stanislaus County, California Courthouse
Stanislaus County, CA Courthouse
Old Stanislaus County, California Courthouse
Old Stanislaus County Courthouse

The Stanislaus County Courthouse is located in Modesto, California. Land was added from counties San Joaquin (1860) and Merced (1868). Learn More About State of California Court, Tax, Land and Probate Records.

Courthouse History - The first murder in Stanislaus occurred just months after the county was divided from Tuolumne in 1854 and involved a gun duel during a dispute over an election for county judge. Since then, Stanislaus has had five county seats and eight courthouses, the most enduring of which was the first, in Modesto. This building, which was expanded in 1904, served the county for 85 years until it was demolished in 1958 to make room for the current 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 Stanislaus 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.

  • Stanislaus County Recorder-Clerk has Birth / Death Records from 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.
  • Stanislaus County Clerk of Superior Court has Probate Records from 1854 and Court Records from 1854. 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.
  • Stanislaus County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
  • Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 820 Scenic Drive, Modesto, CA 95350; Office (209) 558-8409, 8417

Stanislaus County, California Census Records

Stanislaus County, California Vital Records

Stanislaus County, California Resources

Stanislaus County, California External Links