San Luis Obispo County, California Genealogy Guide
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San Luis Obispo County, California (Map It) was created on February 18, 1850 as one of the original 27 counties . San Luis Obispo County was named for the Mission San Luis Obispo was established here in 1772 by Padre Junipero Serra and named for Saint Luis, the Bishop of Toulouse. San Luis Obispo County’s name comes from the mission. Learn More About State of California History
San Luis Obispo County Cities and Towns include Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo .
Since its creation San Luis Obispo County boundries have changed to include these:
- Most of San Luis Obispo County has been in the county since 1850.
- Territory in San Luis Obispo County from 1850 to 1854, was in Santa Barbara County from, 1854 to 1872 when it was returned to San Luis Obispo County.
- Territory in San Luis Obispo County from 1850 to 1851, was in Monterey County from 1851 to 1861 when it was returned to San Luis Obispo County.
- Territory was in Monterey County from 1850 to 1861 when it was added to San Luis Obispo County.
- Territory was in Santa Barbara County from 1850 to 1854 when it was added to San Luis Obispo County.
- Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1852, and in Tulare County from 1852 to 1866, was in Kern County from 1866 to 1885 when it was added to San Luis Obispo County.
- Territory which at one time was in San Luis Obispo County is now in Kern County, Monterey County, Santa Barbara County, and Ventura County.
San Luis Obispo County, California Courthouse Records
San Luis Obispo County, CA Courthouse
Old San Luis Obispo County Courthouse
The San Luis Obispo County Courthouse is located in San Luis Obispo, California. Land was later added from counties Santa Barbara (1854 and 1872), Monterey (1861), and Kern (1885). Learn More About State of California Court, Tax, Land and Probate Records.
Courthouse History - San Luis Obispo officials agreed to construct a new courthouse after the district attorney pronounced the adobe used for county business since 1851 "a marvel of repulsiveness, and the courtroom with its wretched appointment a disgrace to the county." This classic Greek Revival building was welcomed by new residents as a break from the colonial past and became the center of the growing town. The courthouse was demolished in 1940.
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 Luis Obispo 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 Luis Obispo County Recorder-Clerk has Birth / Death Records from 1857 / 1873, Marriage Records from 1850 and Land Records from 1881. 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 Luis Obispo County Clerk of Superior Court has Probate Records from 1854 and Court Records from 1854. 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 Luis Obispo County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
- Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 2191 Johnson Avenue, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401; Office (805) 781-5514
San Luis Obispo 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 Luis Obispo 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 Luis Obispo County, California Resources
- San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society
- San Luis Obispo County Historical Society, 696 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401; PHONE NUMBER: 8055430638
- San Luis Obispo Genealogical Library, San Luis Obispo Public Library
- Arroyo Grande Genealogical Library, Arroyo Grande Public Library
- South County Historical Society
- San Luis Obispo County, California Message Boards
- San Luis Obispo County, California Genealogy Forum
- San Luis Obispo County, California Mailing lists