Lake County, California Facts
Lake County, California genealogy and family history research page. Identify links to record collections, history, and genealogy resources to help you locate your own Lake Co., ancestors. Get going by constructing a Free Family Tree.
Lake County Facts
- Government Website: http://www.co.lake.ca.us/
- County Seat: Lakeport
- Created Date / Origin: May 20, 1861 from Napa County
- Boundary Changes:
- Territory had been in Napa County from 1850 to 1861 when it was moved to Lake County.
- Territory in Mendocino County from 1850 to 1852, was in Napa County from 1852 to 1861 when it was moved to Lake County.
- Territory in Mendocino County from 1850 to 1855, was in Napa County from 1855 to 1861 when it was moved to Lake County.
- Territory was in Mendocino County from 1850 to 1864 when it was added to Lake County.
- Territory in Yolo County from 1850 to 1851, was in Colusa County from 1851 to 1868 when it was added to Lake County.
- Territory which at one time was in Lake County is now in Napa County.
- Named After: derived its name because of the many charming lakes in the area, most prominently Clear Lake.
- Bordering Counties: Napa County (south), Sonoma County (southwest), Mendocino County (west & northwest), Glenn County (northeast), Colusa County (east), Yolo County (southeast)
- Cities & Towns: Clearlake, Clearlake Oaks, Clearlake Riviera, Cobb, Hidden Valley Lake, Kelseyville, Lakeport, Loch Lomond, Lower Lake, Lucerne, Middletown, Nice, North Lakeport, Parramore Springs, Soda Bay, Spring Valley, Upper Lake, Whispering Pines
- CDPs ( census-designated place) Include Clearlake Oaks, Cobb, Hidden Valley Lake, Kelseyville, Lower Lake, Lucerne, Middletown, Nice, North Lakeport, Upper Lake. Communities Include Loch Lomond, Whispering Pines
- Other Communities:
Lake County Societies and Family History Resources
A list of Lake County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- California State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Lake County Historical Society, PO Box 1011, Lakeport, CA 95453
- Lake County Genealogical Society, PO Box 1323, 6110 E Hwy 20, Lakeport, California 95453
- Lake County Library, 1425 N. High Street, Lakeport, CA 95453; Phone: (707) 263-8816
- Lake County, California Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Lake County
- Lake County, California Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Lake County
- USGenWeb Archives for Lake County (usgwarchives.net)
Lake County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers often overlook the advantages of Lake 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 Lake 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 the first courthouse in Lakeport burned down in 1867, Lake County residents narrowly voted to move the county seat to Lower Lake. Three years later, before the construction of a new courthouse, the county seat was moved back to Lakeport and this Georgian-style courthouse was built on the site of the first. After more modern facilities were completed in 1968, the building was saved from demolition and today serves as the Lake County Museum. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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 Lake County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county. Land was later added from counties Mendocino (1864) and Colusa (1868). Courthouse in Lakeport burned down in 1867. All earlier records were destroyed.
- Lake County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Lake 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: 1867
- Marriage Records: 1867
- Land Records: 1867
- Lake 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: 1867
- Court Records: 1867
- Lake 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.
Lake County Links
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Lake 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 Lake County genealogy or family history associated sites.
Lake 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!
- Lake 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.
- Lake County California Genealogy Books (books.google.com)
Lake Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Lake Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Lake Co. CA Census Records
Lake Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards
Lake Co. CA Church & Bible Records
Lake 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.
Lake Co. CA General and History Websites
Lake Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Lake 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 Lake County genealogists, researchers, historians and more.