Calaveras County, California Facts
Calaveras County, California genealogy and family history research page. Identify links to record collections, history, and genealogy resources to help you locate your own Calaveras Co., ancestors. Get going by constructing a Free Family Tree.
Calaveras County Facts
- Government Website: http://calaverasgov.us/
- County Seat: San Andreas
- Created Date / Origin: February 18, 1850 as an original county
- Boundary Changes: Territory which at one time was in Calaveras County is now in Alpine County, Amador County, and Mono County
- Named After: This county takes its name from the Calaveras River which was reportedly so designated by an early explorer when he found, on the banks of the stream, many skulls of Indians who had either died of famine or had been killed in tribal conflicts over hunting and fishing grounds. The meaning of the word calaveras is “skulls.”
- Bordering Counties: Stanislaus County (southwest), San Joaquin County (west), Amador County (north), Alpine County (northeast), Tuolumne County (south & southeast)
- Cities & Towns: Angels Camp, Arnold, Avery, Copperopolis, Dorrington, Forest Meadows, Glencoe, Mokelumne Hill, Mountain Ranch, Murphys, Rail Road Flat, Rancho Calaveras, San Andreas, Sheep Ranch, Vallecito, Valley Springs, Wallace, West Point
- Other Communities: Altaville, Calaveritas, Campo Seco, Cave City, Douglas Flat, Fourth Crossing, Glencoe, Jenny Lind, Jesus Maria, Milton, Paloma, Sandy Gulch, The Shores of Poker Flat
Calaveras County Societies and Family History Resources
A list of Calaveras County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- California State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Calaveras County Archives, 891 Mountain Ranch Road, San Andreas, CA 95249; Office: (209) 754-3918
- Calaveras County Historical Society, P.O. Box 721, 30 N. Main St., San Andreas, CA 95249; phone: (209) 754-1058
- Calaveras Genealogical Society, PO Box 184, Angels Camp, CA 95222
- Calaveras Heritage Council, PO Box 836, Altaville, CA 95221
- San Andreas Central Library, 891 Mountain Ranch Rd, San Andreas, CA 95249;
- Calaveras County, California Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Calaveras County
- Calaveras County, California Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Calaveras County
- USGenWeb Archives for Calaveras County (usgwarchives.net)
Calaveras County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers often overlook the advantages of Calaveras 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 Calaveras 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 - Local history has it that the county seat was "captured" from Double Springs, a cattle ranch-cum-mining town, when residents of nearby Jackson invited county officials for a few rounds of drinks and then made off with the county records. The remains of this building, made of camphor panels shipped from China, can still be seen in Double Springs, making it one of the oldest surviving structures once used as a courthouse in California.
In 1866, after the government was finally moved to San Andreas, Calaveras's fifth and current county seat, officials designated a local theater for use as the first courthouse. This two-story brick building was used as the center of county government for nearly 100 years, and it was here in 1883 that Judge C. V. Gottschalk tried and sentenced the notorious highwayman Black Bart. In 1966, the courthouse was replaced by a more modern facility and turned over to the Calaveras County Historical Society. The old courthouse, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is still used occasionally for overflow cases and visiting judges.
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 Calaveras County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county.
- Calaveras County Courthouse (Completed 1867, all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Calaveras 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.
- Birth / Death Records: 1858
- Marriage Records: 1854
- Land Records: 1850
- Calaveras 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: 1866
- Court Records: 1850
- Calaveras 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.
Calaveras County Links
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Calaveras 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 Calaveras County genealogy or family history associated sites.
Calaveras 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!
- Calaveras 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.
- Calaveras County California Genealogy Books (books.google.com)
Calaveras Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Calaveras Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Calaveras Co. CA Census Records
Calaveras Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards
Calaveras Co. CA Church & Bible Records
Calaveras 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.
Calaveras Co. CA General and History Websites
Calaveras Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Calaveras 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 Calaveras County genealogists, researchers, historians and more.