San Francisco County, California Genealogy Guide
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San Francisco County, California (Map It) was created on February 18, 1850 as one of the original 27 counties . San Francisco County was named for the sixth mission in California was established here by Padre Junipero Serra on October 9, 1776, and was named Mission San Francisco de Asis a la Laguna de los Dolores (Saint Francis of Assisi at the Lagoon of Sorrows). The mission is now known as “Mission Dolores.” Learn More About State of California History
San Francisco County is bordered by Alameda County (east), Contra Costa County (east), Marin County (north), Napa County (northeast), San Mateo County (south), Santa Clara County (southeast), Solano County (east), Sonoma County (north) .
San Francisco County Cities and Towns include San Francisco . Cities and towns (100k-250k pop) Include Antioch, Berkeley, Concord, Daly City, Fairfield, Fremont, Hayward, Richmond, Santa Clara, Santa Rosa, Sunnyvale and Vallejo. Cities and towns (25k-99k pop) include Alameda, Belmont, Benicia, Burlingame, Campbell, Castro Valley, Cupertino, Danville, Dublin, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Gilroy, Livermore, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Martinez, Menlo Park, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Napa, Newark, Novato, Oakley, Pacifica, Palo Alto, Petaluma, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, Pleasanton, Redwood City, Rohnert Park, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Leandro, San Mateo, San Pablo, San Rafael, San Ramon, Saratoga, South San Francisco, Suisun City, Union City, Vacaville and Walnut Creek. Cities and towns (10k-25k pop) include Alamo, Albany, Alum Rock, Ashland, Bay Point, Blackhawk-Camino Tassajara, Brentwood, Cherryland, Clayton, Dixon, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Half Moon Bay, Healdsburg, Hercules, Hillsborough, Lafayette, Larkspur, Millbrae, Mill Valley, Moraga, North Fair Oaks, Orinda, Piedmont, Pinole, San Anselmo, San Lorenzo, Stanford, Tamalpais-Homestead Valley and Windsor.
Since its creation San Francisco County boundries have changed to include these:
- Territory which at one time was in San Francisco County is now in San Mateo County.
- Some of the water of San Francisco Bay which at one time was in San Francisco County is now in Marin County.
San Francisco County, California Courthouse Records
San Francisco County, CA Courthouse
Old San Francisco County Courthouse
The San Francisco County Courthouse is located in San Francisco, California. Courthouse and all records were destroyed in the great earthquake and fire of 1906. Extensive record loss caused by the 1906 earthquake; some records re-registered. Learn More About State of California Court, Tax, Land and Probate Records.
Courthouse History - The great earthquake and fire of 1906 demolished both San Francisco's Hall of Justice and City Hall, where the civil courts were located. A new Hall of Justice was completed on Portsmouth Square near Chinatown in 1911, while the civil courts returned to the new City Hall, now part of a grand Civic Center complex, in 1916. The monumental beaux-arts structure was damaged in the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 and closed for retrofitting. The civil courts returned to the newly built Civic Center Courthouse adjacent to City Hall in December 1997. City Hall was completed in late 1998 and reopened to the public in January 1999. The Civic Center 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 San Francisco 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.
- San Francisco County Recorder-Clerk has Birth / Death Records from 1906 / 1865, Marriage Records from 1860 and Land Records from 1838. 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.
- San Francisco 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.
- San Francisco County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
- Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 101 Grove Street, Room 105, San Francisco, CA 94102; Office (415) 701-2802
San Francisco 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
San Francisco 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.
San Francisco County, California Resources
- San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society
- San Francisco History Association
- San Francisco Museum & Historical Society
- San Francisco Public Library; Branches & Main Directory
- San Francisco County, California Message Boards
- San Francisco County, California Genealogy Forum
- San Francisco County, California Mailing lists
San Francisco County, California External Links
- California Historical Newspapers - Newspapers.com
- San Francisco County, California Books - Amazon
- California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1835-1931
- San Francisco Co., California - FindaGrave
- California Indexed Historical Records - Familysearch
- California Pioneer Project
- The Beginnings of San Francisco from the Expedition of Anza, 1774