Alameda County, California Facts
Alameda County, California genealogy and family history research page. Identify links to record collections, history, and genealogy resources to help you locate your own Alameda Co., ancestors. Get going by constructing a Free Family Tree.
Alameda County Facts
- Government Website: http://www.acgov.org/
- County Seat: Oakland
- Created Date / Origin: March 25, 1853 from Contra Costa County and Santa Clara County
- Boundary Changes:
- Territory was in Contra Costa County from 1850 to 1853 when it was moved to Alameda County.
- Territory was in Santa Clara County from 1850 to 1853 when it was moved to Alameda County.
- Named After: Spanish for "avenue shaded by trees" or "cottonwood grove." The name was applied both to the southern portion of the county (La Alameda) and to the stream running through it (Rio de la Alameda) as early as 1795.
- Bordering Counties: Santa Clara County (south), San Mateo County (west), San Francisco County (west), Contra Costa County (north), San Joaquin County (east).
- Cities & Towns: Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Oakland, Piedmont, Pleasanton, San Leandro, Union City
- Other Communities: Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Fairview, San Lorenzo, Sunol
Alameda County Societies and Family History Resources
A list of Alameda County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- California State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Alameda County Historical Society, 672 11th Street, P.O. Box 13145, Oakland, CA 94661; (510) 238-3234
- Berkeley Historical Society, 1931 Center Street - Berkeley, CA 94704; (510) 848-0181
- California Genealogical Society, 2201 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612
- East Bay Genealogical Society Library, The EBGS Library shares space with The Society of Mayflower Descendants library at: Financial Building (basement), 14th & Franklin Streets, Oakland, CA;
Phone: (510) 451-9599
- Hayward Area Historical Society, 22380 Foothill Boulevard, Hayward, CA 94541; (510) 581-0223
- Surveyors' Historical Society, 31457 Hugh Way, Hayward, CA 94544
- Livermore- Amador Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 901, Livermore, CA 94551 USA
- Livermore Heritage Guild, 2155 3rd Street Livermore, CA 94550; (925) 449-9927
- Biography and Genealogy Resources, The Bancroft Library
- Genealogy & Family History, Alameda County Library
- Family History & Genealogy Resources, Oakland Library
- Albany Library, 1247 Marin Avenue, Albany, CA 94706;
Phone: (510) 526-3720
- Castro Valley Library, 20055 Redwood Road, Castro Valley, CA 94546;
Phone: (510) 670-6280
- Centerville Library, 3801 Nicolet Avenue, Fremont, CA 94536;
Phone: (510) 795-2629
- Dublin Library, 200 Civic Plaza, Dublin, CA 94568;
Phone: (925) 828-1315
- Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd, Fremont, CA 94538;
Phone: (510) 745-1400
- Irvington Library, 41825 Greenpark Drive, Fremont, CA 94538;
Phone: (510) 795-2631
- Newark Library, 6300 Civic Terrace Avenue, Newark, CA 94560;
Phone: (510) 795-2627
- San Lorenzo Library, 395 Paseo Grande, San Lorenzo, CA 94580;
Phone: (510) 670-6283
- San Leandro Historical Commission, 300 Estudillo Avenue, San Leandro, CA 94577
- Union City Library, 34007 Alvarado-Niles Rd, Union City, CA 94587;
Phone: (510) 745-1464
- Alameda County, California Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Alameda County
- Alameda County, California Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Alameda County
- USGenWeb Archives for Alameda County (usgwarchives.net)
Alameda County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers often overlook the advantages of Alameda County court, probate, and land files as a useful resource of genealogical details. Hidden away in California courthouses and archives everywhere tend to be the dreams and frustrations of the many California inhabitants.
The possibilities are great that your potential forefathers have left a detailed document of at least a number of facets of their lives in the Alameda County court records. Even if your ancestors is not mentioned in a Court case, contemplate all of the other methods that could have lead to her or him showing up in court records.
Courthouse History - Alameda's Victorian courthouse was built on Oakland's Washington Square after the county seat was moved from Alvarado (part of present-day Union City) to San Leandro and finally to Oakland. The ornate brick building had fallen into disrepair by the mid-1920s (judges called it a "vermin-infested menace to health and records"). During heavy winter rains in its final years, bailiffs held umbrellas over the bench to shield judges from leaks. In 1936, a new county center on Lake Merritt replaced the old courthouse, which county supervisors voted to demolish in 1949.
Remember to get in touch with the clerk's dept to verify hours, mailing address, fees and other specifics prior to visiting or seeking information because of in some cases changing contact details. The Department Offices DO NOT DO RESEARCH. The data files are readily available to interested parties, barring private issues. A good number of employees will assist persons in obtaining the materials, but it's up to the person to do the research.
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.
The following facts indicates whatever marriage, birth, death, land, wills, and court records will be in Alameda County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county.
- Alameda County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Address: 1221 Oak Street, Suite 536, Oakland, CA 94612
- Phone:(510) 272-6347
- 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. State Archives has microfilm of selected county records, 1850–1919.
- Alameda 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.
- Phone: (510) 272-6362
- Birth / Death Records: 1873 / 1859
- Marriage Records: 1853
- Land Records: 1853
- Alameda 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.
- Probate Records: 1853
- Court Records: 1853
- Alameda County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
- California Office of Vital Records has copies of birth, marriage, divorce and death records. There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in California for current fees and application process. Birth, marriage, and death records are connected with central life events.
Alameda County Links
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Alameda County. A majority of these genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Business Sites, Private Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some require a payment. This is basically a listing which has been gathered or submitted. I do not recommend or promote one genealogy site above another. Feel free to suggest your own preferred Alameda County genealogy or family history associated sites.
Alameda Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications
- Historical Newspapers from California (1813 - 1978) (genealogybank.com) Easily identify names and keywords in over 450 million articles, obituaries, marriage notices, birth announcements along with other items written in over 2,800 historical U.S. newspapers. Completely new content added each month!
- Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- Daily Review (Hayward, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- Hayward Review (Hayward, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- Sunday Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- Oakland Daily Evening Tribune (Oakland, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- Alameda County, California Books (amazon.com)
- California Newspapers
- Search California Obituaries (1985 to current) (genealogybank.com) Over 28 million obituaries containing helpful information such as names, dates, places of birth, death, marriage and family information make this the most complete collection from the 20th and 21st centuries - 1,100 U.S. newspapers.
- Alameda County California Genealogy Books (books.google.com)
Alameda Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Alameda Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Alameda Co. CA Census Records
Alameda Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards
Alameda Co. CA Church & Bible Records
Alameda Co. CA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories
- California Pioneer Project - The California Pioneer List (CPL) is a list of settlers to California who migrated to or were born in California prior to 1880 (included in the 1880 California Census) and obtained from those sent (e-mailed) directly from individuals doing genealogical research.
Alameda Co. CA General and History Websites
- See Also State History for California
- Alameda County History (rootsweb.ancestry.com) Past and Present of Alameda County California
- Alameda County, California Wikipedia (wikipedia.org)
- History of Alameda County, California (search.ancestry.com)
- History of Alameda County, California : including its geology, topography, soil, and productions : together with a full and par (search.ancestry.com)
- Past and present of Alameda County, California (search.ancestry.com)
- Oakland, 1852-1938 (search.ancestry.com)
- The centennial year book of Alameda County, California : containing a summary of the discovery and settlement of California, a (search.ancestry.com)
- Alameda County, California Wiki (familysearch.org)
- Alameda Co. CA Genealogy (kindredtrails.com)
- Family History Library (familysearch.org)
- Alameda County, California (linkpendium.com)
- Cyndi's List - United States - California - Counties - Alameda (cyndislist.com)
- Alameda County California (genealogytrails.com)
- Alameda Co. CAGenweb (sites.google.com)
- Alameda County Genealogy Queries (cousinconnect.com)
- Alameda Co. Data Collections (search.ancestry.com)
Alameda Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Alameda Co. CA Military Records
- California Military Records (fold3.com) gives you easy access to military records, stories, photos, and personal documents of the California individuals that served. Great for Alameda County genealogists, researchers, historians and more.
Alameda Co. CA Schools & Directories