Santa Clara County, California Genealogy Guide
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Santa Clara County, California (Map It) was created on February 18, 1850 as one of the original 27 counties . Santa Clara County was named for the Mission Santa Clara, which was established in 1777, and named for Saint Clara of Assisi, Italy. The name Clara means “clear” or “bright.” Learn More About State of California History
Santa Clara County is bordered by San Benito County (south), Santa Cruz County (south & southwest), San Mateo County (northwest), Alameda County (north), Stanislaus County (east), Merced County (southeast) .
Santa Clara County Cities and Towns include San Jose, Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, Saratoga, Sunnyvale .
Since its creation Santa Clara County boundries have changed to include Territory which at one time was in Santa Clara County is now in Alameda County.
Santa Clara County, California Courthouse Records
Santa Clara County, CA Courthouse
Old Santa Clara County Courthouse
The Santa Clara County Courthouse is located in San Jose, California. On May 18, 1931, a fire quickly spread through the courthouse, causing extensive damage. Learn More About State of California Court, Tax, Land and Probate Records.
Courthouse History - During California's first 15 years of statehood, Santa Clara had no fewer than five courthouses, beginning with an adobe juzgado, or Mexican courthouse, and ending with this Roman Corinthian landmark on St. James Park. The building withstood numerous earthquakes and fires, including a disastrous blaze in 1931 that gutted the building. Damage sustained in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake nearly led to its demolition, but after a $12.4 million seismic retrofit and restoration project the building was reopened in 1994 and is still in use today.
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 Santa Clara 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.
- Santa Clara County Recorder-Clerk has Birth / Death Records from 1873, Marriage Records from 1846 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.
- Santa Clara 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.
- Santa Clara County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
- Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 976 Lenzen Ave., Suite 1300, San Jose, CA 95126; Office (408) 885-2010
Santa Clara 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
Santa Clara 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.
Santa Clara County, California Resources
- Santa Clara County Historical & Genealogical Society
- Los Altos History Museum
- Milpitas Historical Society
- Palo Alto Historical Society
- Santa Clara County Archives
- Sunnyvale Historical Society
- Santa Clara County, California Message Boards
- Santa Clara County, California Genealogy Forum
- Santa Clara County, California Mailing lists
Santa Clara County, California External Links
- California Historical Newspapers - Newspapers.com
- Santa Clara County, California Books - Amazon
- Santa Clara Co., California - FindaGrave
- California Indexed Historical Records - Familysearch
- Early Settlers of Santa Clara County Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World, Santa Clara County, California, Published 1888
- California Pioneers of Santa Clara County
- California Pioneer Project
- Silicon Valley History Online
- History San Jose
- Santa Clara County History