Madera County, California Facts
Madera County, California genealogy and family history research page. Identify links to record collections, history, and genealogy resources to help you locate your own Madera Co., ancestors. Get going by constructing a Free Family Tree.
Madera County Facts
- Government Website: http://www.madera-county.com
- County Seat: Madera
- Created Date / Origin: March 11, 1893 from Fresno County
- Boundary Changes:
- Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1856, was in Fresno County from 1856 to 1893 when it was separated to create Madera County.
- Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1855, and in Merced County from 1855 to 1856, was in Fresno County from 1856 to 1893 when it was separated to create Madera County.
- Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1856, in Fresno County from 1856 to 1870, back in Mariposa County from 1870 to 1872, was back in Fresno County from 1872 to 1893 when it was moved to the new Madera County.
- Named After: Madera in Spanish signified “timber.” The county derived its name from the town of Madera, named when the California Lumber Company built a flume to carry lumber to the railroad there in 1876.
- Bordering Counties: Fresno County (south & west), Merced County (northwest), Mariposa County (north), Tuolumne County (northeast), Mono County (northeast)
- Cities & Towns: Ahwahnee, Bass Lake, Bonadelle Ranchos-Madera Ranchos, Chowchilla, Coarsegold, Fairmead, Knowles, La Vina, Madera, Madera Acres, Nipinnawasee, North Fork, O'Neals, Oakhurst, Parksdale, Parkwood, Raymond, Ripperdan, Rolling Hills, Sugar Pine, Yosemite Lakes
- CDPs ( census-designated place) Include Bonadelle Ranchos-Madera Ranchos, Madera Acres, Oakhurst, Parksdale, Parkwood, Yosemite Lakes
- Other Communities: Ahwahnee, Coarsegold, Fish Camp, North Fork, Raymond
Madera County Societies and Family History Resources
A list of Madera County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- California State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Madera County Genealogical Society, (now defunct as of 2006)
- Madera County Historical Society, P.O. Box 478, 210 West Yosemite Avenue, Madera, CA; (559) 673-0291
- Madera County Library, 121 North G Street, Madera CA 93637; 559-675-7871
- Coarsegold Historical Society, P.O. Box 117, Coarsegold, CA 93614 • Phone (559) 642-4448
- Fresno Flats Historical Research Museum, P.O. Box 451, Oakhurst, CA 93644; 559.683.6570
- Madera County, California Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Madera County
- Madera County, California Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Madera County
- USGenWeb Archives for Madera County (usgwarchives.net)
Madera County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers often overlook the advantages of Madera 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 Madera 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 Madera was created from the northern section of Fresno County in 1893, the first superior court was located on the upper floor of a drugstore while plans were made for a courthouse to be built of local granite. Just five years after the completion of the courthouse, a fire on Christmas Eve 1906 destroyed the upper floors and tower, which were quickly rebuilt. The courts and county offices moved out of the building in 1957, and it remained vacant until 1971, when it was renovated as the Madera County Historical Society Museum. The courthouse 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 Madera County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county. Courthouse fire on Christmas Eve 1906 destroyed the upper floors and tower.
- Madera County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Madera 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: (559) 675-7724
- Birth / Death Records: 1883 / 1892
- Marriage Records: 1893
- Land Records: 1893
- Madera 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: 1893
- Court Records: 1893
- Madera 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.
Madera County Links
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Madera 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 Madera County genealogy or family history associated sites.
Madera 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!
- Madera 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.
- Madera County California Genealogy Books (books.google.com)
Madera Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Madera Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Madera Co. CA Census Records
Madera Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards
Madera Co. CA Church & Bible Records
Madera 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.
Madera Co. CA General and History Websites
Madera Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Madera 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 Madera County genealogists, researchers, historians and more.