El Dorado County, California Facts
El Dorado County, California genealogy and family history research page. Identify links to record collections, history, and genealogy resources to help you locate your own El Dorado Co., ancestors. Get going by constructing a Free Family Tree.
El Dorado County Facts
- Government Website: http://www.co.el-dorado.ca.us
- County Seat: Placerville
- Created Date / Origin: February 18, 1850 as one of the original 27 counties
- Boundary Changes:
- Most of its territory has been in El Dorado County since 1850.
- Territory was in Placer County from 1850 to 1863 when it was added to El Dorado County.
- Territory which at one time was in El Dorado County is now in Alpine County, Amador County, and Placer County.
- Named After: The name, meaning “the gilded one” in Spanish, appears at the beginning of the 16th century as that of a mythical Indian chief who was said to have been covered with gold dust during the performance of religious rites. When the discovery of gold by James W. Marshall at Coloma in January 1848 became known to the world, California, and particularly that section where gold was discovered, was called “El Dorado.” From this fact the county received its name.
- Bordering Counties: Alpine County (southeast), Amador County (south), Sacramento County (west), Placer County (north), Douglas County, Nevada (northeast)
- Cities & Towns: Placerville, South Lake Tahoe
- Other Communities: Cameron Park, Diamond Springs, El Dorado Hills, Georgetown, Pollock Pines, Shingle Springs, Camino, Coloma, Cool, El Dorado
El Dorado County Societies and Family History Resources
A list of El Dorado County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- California State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- El Dorado County Historical Museum,104 Placerville Drive, Placerville, CA 95667; (530) 621-5865
- Heritage Association of El Dorado County, P.O. Box 62, Placerville CA 95667; Phone: (530) 622-0712
- El Dorado County Library, 345 Fair Lane, Placerville, CA; Phone: (530) 621-5540
- El Dorado County, California Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in El Dorado County
- El Dorado County, California Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for El Dorado County
- USGenWeb Archives for El Dorado County (usgwarchives.net)
El Dorado County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers often overlook the advantages of El Dorado 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 El Dorado 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 - After several unsuccessful electoral efforts to move the county seat from Coloma to their town, citizens of Placerville in 1857 successfully lobbied the state Legislature to order the move. This two-story building was constructed in Placerville, which prior to 1853 was known as Hangtown because of its reputation for lynchings. The building and its additions burned in 1910, and a new concrete-and-steel courthouse was built on the site.
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 El Dorado County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county. Land from Placer County was added in 1863. A fire in 1910 & 1920 destroyed most courthouse records. For probate records prior to 1951, write County Nuseum, 100 Placerville Drive, Placerville, California 95667; for probate after 1951, write to Judicial Section, 495 Main Street, Placerville, California 95667.
- El Dorado County Courthouse (Completed 1861, all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- El Dorado 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.
- Address: 360 Fair Lane, Placerville, CA 95667
- Phone: (530) 621-5490
- Birth / Death Records: 1878 / 1907
- Marriage Records: 1851
- Land Records: 1851
- El Dorado 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.
- Address: 2850 Fairlane Court, Bldg C, Placerville, CA 95667
- Phone: (530) 621-7454
- Probate Records: 1850
- Court Records: 1850
- El Dorado 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.
El Dorado County Links
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to El Dorado 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 El Dorado County genealogy or family history associated sites.
El Dorado Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications
- Mountain Democrat, The (Placerville, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- Weekly Mountain Democrat (Placerville, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- The Mountain Democrat and Placerville Times (Placerville, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- 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!
- El Dorado 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.
- El Dorado County California Genealogy Books (books.google.com)
El Dorado Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records
El Dorado Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
El Dorado Co. CA Census Records
El Dorado Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards
El Dorado Co. CA Church & Bible Records
El Dorado 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.
El Dorado Co. CA General and History Websites
El Dorado Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
El Dorado 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 El Dorado County genealogists, researchers, historians and more.