Marin County, California Facts
Marin County, California genealogy and family history research page. Identify links to record collections, history, and genealogy resources to help you locate your own Marin Co., ancestors. Get going by constructing a Free Family Tree.
Marin County Facts
- Government Website: http://www.marincounty.org/
- County Seat: San Rafael
- Created Date / Origin: February 18, 1850 as one of the original 27 counties
- Named After: One story says that the county was named for Chief Marin, of the Licatiut tribe of Indians who inhabited that section and waged fierce battle against the early Spanish military explorers. The other version is that the bay between San Pedro and San Quentin points was named Bahia de Nuestra Senora del Rosario la Marinera by Ayala in 1775, and it is quite possible that Marin is simply an abbreviation of this name.
- Bordering Counties: San Francisco County (south), Contra Costa County (east), Sonoma County (north)
- Cities & Towns: Belvedere, Corte Madera, Fairfax, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Novato, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, Tiburon
- CDPs ( census-designated place) Include Black Point-Green Point, Bolinas, Dillon Beach, Inverness, Kentfield, Lagunitas-Forest Knolls, Lucas Valley-Marinwood, Muir Beach, Point Reyes Station, San Geronimo, Santa Venetia, Stinson Beach, Strawberry, Tamalpais-Homestead Valley, Tomales, Woodacre
- Other Communities: Bel Marin Keys, Dogtown, Greenbrae, Inverness Park, Marin City, Marshall, Nicasio, Olema, Paradise Cay, San Quentin, Sleepy Hollow
Marin County Societies and Family History Resources
A list of Marin County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- California State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Fairfax Historical Society, P.O. Box 662, Fairfax, CA 94978-0622
- Marin County Genealogical Society, Marin Family History Center at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, (415) 479-2200, 220 North San Pedro Rd, San Rafael, CA 94903
- Marin History Museum, 1125 B. Street, San Rafael 94901
- Mill Valley Historical Society, 375 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941
- Nicasio Historical Society, P.O. Box 111 , Nicasio, CA 94946; Phone: (415) 381-8564
- Novato Historical Guild, 900 Sherman Avenue, Novato, CA 94945; Phone: (415) 897-4320
- Ross Historical Society, Marin Art & Garden Center, 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Ross, CA 94957; Phone: (415) 258-9595
- Sausalito Historical Society, 420 Lithos Street, Sausalito, CA 94965; Phone: (415) 289-4117
- Anne T. Kent California Room, 3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 427, San Rafael, CA 94903; Phone: (415) 499-7419
- Marin County, California Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Marin County
- Marin County, California Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Marin County
- USGenWeb Archives for Marin County (usgwarchives.net)
Marin County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers often overlook the advantages of Marin 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 Marin 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 - Marin's first civic center was a converted group of adobe buildings situated in downtown San Rafael. A bond issue for a new courthouse was finally passed in 1872, and construction was begun. The new, Neoclassical courthouse accommodated all of the county offices for nearly a century. By the 1950s, the growth of the county, spurred since 1937 by the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, required the construction of a new complex. The county retained Frank Lloyd Wright to design the Marin County Civic Center, the famed architect's last project.
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 Marin County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county.
- Marin County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Marin 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: 3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 232, San Rafael, CA 94903
- Phone: (415) 499-6092
- Birth / Death Records: 1868 / 1873
- Marriage Records: 1857
- Land Records: 1834
- Marin 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: 1850
- Court Records: 1850
- Marin 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.
Marin County Links
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Marin 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 Marin County genealogy or family history associated sites.
Marin Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications
- Daily Independent Journal (San Rafael, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- Independent Journal (San Rafael, 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!
- Marin 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.
- Marin County California Genealogy Books (books.google.com)
Marin Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Marin Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Marin Co. CA Census Records
Marin Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards
Marin Co. CA Church & Bible Records
Marin 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.
Marin Co. CA General and History Websites
Marin Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Marin 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 Marin County genealogists, researchers, historians and more.