Imperial County, California Genealogy Guide
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Imperial County, California (Map It) was created on August 6, 1907 from San Diego County. Imperial County derived its name from the Imperial Valley and is the “youngest” of California’s counties. The valley was named for the Imperial Land Company, a subsidiary of the California Development Company, which at the turn of the century had reclaimed the southern portion of the Colorado desert for agriculture. Learn More About State of California History
Imperial County Cities and Towns include El Centro, Calexico, Brawley, Imperial, Calipatria, Holtville, Heber, Westmorland, Seeley, Niland, Salton City, Desert Shores, Winterhaven, Salton Sea Beach, Bombay Beach, Ocotillo, Palo Verde, Bard, California, Glamis, California, Plaster City .
Imperial County, California Courthouse Records
Imperial County, CA Courthouse
Old Imperial County Courthouse
Courthouse History - Formed in 1907 from the eastern part of San Diego County, Imperial is the youngest of California's 58 counties. Despite claims by government surveyors that the surrounding desert "was so desolate, barren, and hot that human habitation would never be possible within its confines," Imperial County residents in the 1920s pressed on in establishing a county government. The courts occupied these offices on the second floor of a bank building until 1924, when the county built a new courthouse on donated land in El Centro. The county, which has since grown into one of the state's richest agricultural regions, still occupies the El Centro 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 Imperial 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.
- Imperial County Recorder-Clerk has Birth / Death Records from 1900, Marriage Records from 1903 and Land Records from 1851. 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.
- Imperial County Clerk of Superior Court has Probate Records from 1907 and Court Records from 1907. 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.
- Imperial County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
- Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 935 Broadway, El Centro, CA 92243; Office (760) 482-4438
Imperial County, California Census Records
- Learn More: State of California Census Records
- U.S. Federal Population Schedules: 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940
- State Population Schedules: Voter Registrations, 1900-1968
- U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules: None
- Selected U.S. Federal Census Agriculture Schedules: None
- Selected U.S. Federal Census Industry Schedules: None
- Union Veterans Schedules: None
Imperial 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.
Imperial County, California Resources
- IVC Desert Museum & Southeastern Information Center
- Pioneers Museum and Cultural Center of the Imperial Valley
- Imperial County Free Library System
- Imperial County, California Message Boards
- Imperial County, California Genealogy Forum
- Imperial County, California Mailing lists