Orange County, California Genealogy Guide
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Orange County Cities and Towns include Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster, Yorba Linda .
Since its creation Orange County boundries have changed to include all of Orange County territory was in Los Angeles County from 1850 to 1889 when it was moved to Orange County
Orange County, California Courthouse Records
Orange County, CA Courthouse
Old Orange County Courthouse
Courthouse History - One of Southern California's oldest court buildings, the Old Orange County Courthouse is also one of the state's few surviving Romanesque Revival-style buildings. The courts occupied the building until 1969, when they moved to more modern facilities on Civic Center Drive. Restoration of the old courthouse began in 1983 and was completed in 1992. The building now houses the Orange County History Center as well as county offices and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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 Orange 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.
- Orange County Recorder-Clerk has Birth / Death Records from 1887 / 1889, Marriage Records from 1889 and Land Records from 1889. 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.
- Orange County Clerk of Superior Court has Probate Records from 1889 and Court Records from 1889. 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.
- Orange County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
- Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 1200 N. Main St. #100-A, Santa Ana, CA 92701; Phone (714) 480-6710
Orange County, California Census Records
- Learn More: State of California Census Records
- U.S. Federal Population Schedules: 1890 (fragmented), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940
- State Population Schedules: Voter Registers, 1866-1898, 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: 1890
Orange 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.
Orange County, California Resources
- Garden Grove Historical Society
- Orange County Genealogical Society
- Orange County Historical Commission
- South Orange County Genealogical Society
- Leisure World Genealogical Workshop
- Brea Historical Society
- Orange County Archives
- Santa Ana Historical Society
- Orange County, California Message Boards
- Orange County, California Genealogy Forum
- Orange County, California Mailing lists