Los Angeles County, California Genealogy Guide
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Los Angeles County, California (Map It) was created on February 18, 1850 as one of the original 27 counties . Los Angeles County was named for the words los angeles literally mean “the angels” and are a contraction of the original name Pueblo del Rio de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula (the Town of the River of Our Lady, Queen of the Angeles). In 1781, Governor Felipe de Neve issued orders for the establishment of the pueblo on El Rio Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles. The pueblo in time became known as the Ciudad de Los Angeles (City of the Angels), and it is from this contraction that the present name is derived. Learn More About State of California History
Los Angeles County Cities and Towns include Los Angeles .
Since its creation Los Angeles County boundries have changed to include these:
- Most of its present territory has been in the county since 1850.
- A large territory was in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1851, when it was added to Los Angeles County.
- Territory was in Santa Barbara County from 1850 to 1851 when it was added to Los Angeles County.
- Territory which at one time was in Los Angeles County is now in six counties: Inyo County, Kern County, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, and Ventura County.
Los Angeles County, California Courthouse Records
Los Angeles County, CA Courthouse
Old Los Angeles County Courthouse
The Los Angeles County Courthouse is located in Los Angeles, California. Land was later added from counties Mariposa (1851) and Santa Barbara (1851). Learn More About State of California Court, Tax, Land and Probate Records.
Courthouse History - Los Angeles' first building to be built as a courthouse was considered at the time to be one of the West's finest examples of Romanesque architecture. The "Red Sandstone Courthouse" was built at Spring and Temple Streets on what was then known as Poundcake Hill. An outside elevator with windows that was later added to the building became a sightseeing attraction of the city. Damage sustained in the 1933 earthquake made the building unsafe, and it was demolished in 1936. The site is now occupied by the current 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 Los Angeles 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.
- Los Angeles County Recorder-Clerk has Birth / Death Records from 1849 / 1874, Marriage Records from 1850 and Land Records from 1850. 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.
- Los Angeles County Clerk of Superior Court has Probate Records from 1850 and Court Records from 1850. 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.
- Los Angeles County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
- Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 313 North Figueroa Street, Room Lobby-1, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Birth (213) 240-7812, Death (213) 240-7816
Los Angeles County, California Census Records
- Learn More: State of California Census Records
- U.S. Federal Population Schedules: 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragmented), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940
- State Population Schedules: 1852, Voter Registers, 1866-1898, Voter Registrations, 1900-1968
- U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules: 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Selected U.S. Federal Census Agriculture Schedules: 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Selected U.S. Federal Census Industry Schedules: 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Union Veterans Schedules: 1890
Los Angeles 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.
Los Angeles County, California Resources
- Antelope Valley Genealogical Society
- Chatsworth Historical Society
- Chinese Historical Society of Southern California
- Duarte Historical Society
- Jewish Genealogical Society Los Angeles
- Little Landers Historical Society
- Long Beach Historical Society
- Los Angeles Westside Genealogical Society
- Manhattan Beach Historical Society and Museum
- Mar Vista Historical Society
- Pomona Valley Genealogical Society
- Pomona Valley Historical Society
- Questing Heirs Genealogical Society
- Redondo Beach Historical Society
- San Fernando Valley Genealogical Society
- Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society
- Santa Monica Historical Society Museum
- San Marino Historical Society
- South Bay Cities Genealogical Society
- The Southern Pacific Historical & Technical Society
- Southern California Genealogical Society
- Venice Historical Society
- Whittier Area Genealogical Society
- Los Angeles County, California Message Boards
- Los Angeles County, California Genealogy Forum
- Los Angeles County, California Mailing lists