Imperial County, California Facts
Imperial County, California genealogy and family history research page. Identify links to record collections, history, and genealogy resources to help you locate your own Imperial Co., ancestors. Get going by constructing a Free Family Tree.
Imperial County Facts
- Government Website: http://www.imperialcounty.net/
- County Seat: El Centro
- Created Date / Origin: August 6, 1907 from San Diego County (was the last formed, the 58th of the existing 58 counties)
- Named After: derived its name from the Imperial Valley and is the “youngest” of California’s counties. The valley was named for the Imperial Land Company, a subsidiary of the California Development Company, which at the turn of the century had reclaimed the southern portion of the Colorado desert for agriculture.
- Bordering Counties: Riverside County (north), Yuma County, Arizona (southeast), La Paz County, Arizona (northeast), San Diego County (west)
- Cities & Towns: El Centro, Calexico, Brawley, Imperial, Calipatria, Holtville, Heber, Westmorland, Seeley, Niland, Salton City, Desert Shores, Winterhaven, Salton Sea Beach, Bombay Beach, Ocotillo, Palo Verde, Bard, California, Glamis, California, Plaster City
- CDPs ( census-designated place) Include Bombay Beach, Desert Shores, Heber, Niland, Ocotillo, Palo Verde, Salton City, Salton Sea Beach, Seeley, Winterhaven.
- Other Communities: Mount Signal, Ogilby, Plaster City
Imperial County Societies and Family History Resources
A list of Imperial County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- California State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- IVC Desert Museum & Southeastern Information Center, PO Box 430, Ocotillo, CA 92259; Phone: (760) 358-7016
- Pioneers Museum and Cultural Center of the Imperial Valley, 373 East Aten Road, Imperial, Ca. 92251
- Imperial County Free Library System, 1125 Main Street, El Centro, California 92243; Phone: (760) 482-4791, Fax: (760) 482-4792
- Imperial County, California Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Imperial County
- Imperial County, California Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Imperial County
- USGenWeb Archives for Imperial County (usgwarchives.net)
Imperial County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers often overlook the advantages of Imperial 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 Imperial 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 - Formed in 1907 from the eastern part of San Diego County, Imperial is the youngest of California's 58 counties. Despite claims by government surveyors that the surrounding desert "was so desolate, barren, and hot that human habitation would never be possible within its confines," Imperial County residents in the 1920s pressed on in establishing a county government. The courts occupied these offices on the second floor of a bank building until 1924, when the county built a new courthouse on donated land in El Centro. The county, which has since grown into one of the state's richest agricultural regions, still occupies the El Centro building.
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 Imperial County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county.
- Imperial County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Imperial 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: (760) 482-4272
- Birth / Death Records: 1900
- Marriage Records: 1903
- Land Records: 1851
- Imperial 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: 1907
- Court Records: 1907
- Imperial 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.
Imperial County Links
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Imperial 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 Imperial County genealogy or family history associated sites.
Imperial 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!
- Imperial 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.
- Imperial County California Genealogy Books (books.google.com)
Imperial Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Imperial Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Imperial Co. CA Census Records
Imperial Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards
Imperial Co. CA Church & Bible Records
Imperial 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.
Imperial Co. CA General and History Websites
Imperial Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Imperial 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 Imperial County genealogists, researchers, historians and more.