Humboldt County, California Genealogy Guide
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Humboldt County, California (Map It) was created on May 12, 1853 from Trinity County . Humboldt County derived its name from Humboldt Bay, which was entered by a sea otter party in 1806, but was not rediscovered until 1849. In 1850, Douglas Ottinger and Hans Buhne entered the bay, naming it Humboldt in honor of the great naturalist and world explorer, Baron Alexander von Humboldt. Learn More About State of California History
Humboldt County Cities and Towns include Eureka, Arcata, Fortuna, Rio Dell, Ferndale, Blue Lake, Trinidad .
Since its creation Humboldt County boundries have changed to include these:
- Most of its territory was in Trinity County until the 1853 transfer to Humboldt County.
- A large territory in Trinity County from 1850 to 1851, was in Klamath County from 1851 to 1875 when Klamath County was disbanded and part of that county transferred to Humboldt County.
- Territory in Trinity County from 1850 to 1851, and in Klamath County from 1851 to 1857, was then in Del Norte County from 1857 to 1901 when it was added to Humboldt County.
- Territory in Trinity County from 1850 to 1851, in Klamath County from 1851 until its death in 1875, and in Siskiyou County from 1875 to 1887, was in Del Norte County from 1887 to 1901 when it was added to Humboldt County.
- Territory in Trinity County from 1850 to 1853, and in Humboldt County from 1853 to 1859, was in Mendocino County from 1859 to 1860 when it was added to Humboldt County.
- Territory which at one time was in Humboldt County is now in Del Norte County.
Humboldt County, California Courthouse Records
Humboldt County, CA Courthouse
Old Humboldt County Courthouse
The Humboldt County Courthouse is located in Eureka, California. Land was later added from counties Mendocino (1860), Klamath (1875), and Del Norte (1901). Learn More About State of California Court, Tax, Land and Probate Records.
Courthouse History - Thirteen zinc statues adorned the perimeter of the roof and the tower of this grand Italianate building in Eureka. Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, was placed at the top of the tower, surrounded by four statues of Justice and others representing Flora, Ceres, Fortuna, and Juno. Minerva tilted in the 1906 earthquake, after which the statues were removed. The courthouse survived a fire in 1924, but another quake in 1954 cracked the building and the courthouse was vacated. In 1956, the condemned courthouse was demolished to make room for a more modern facility.
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 Humboldt 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.
- Humboldt County Recorder-Clerk has Birth / Death Records from 1873, Marriage Records from 1864 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.
- Humboldt County Clerk of Superior Court has Probate Records from 1853 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.
- Humboldt County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
- Local Registrar of Births and Deaths,
Humboldt 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
Humboldt 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 or Social Security Death Index
- Vital Records by Mail: Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Divorce Certificate, Death Certificate Applications.
Humboldt County, California Resources
- Humboldt County Historical Society
- Humboldt Family History Society
- Humboldt County Genealogical Society, 2336 G Street, Eureka 95501
- Redwood Genealogical Society, Po Box 645, Fortuna, California 95540-0645
- Humboldt County, California Message Boards
- Humboldt County, California Genealogy Forum
- Humboldt County, California Mailing lists