Mendocino County, California Facts
Mendocino County, California genealogy and family history research page. Identify links to record collections, history, and genealogy resources to help you locate your own Mendocino Co., ancestors. Get going by constructing a Free Family Tree.
Mendocino County Facts
- Government Website: http://www.co.mendocino.ca.us/
- County Seat: Ukiah
- Created Date / Origin: February 18, 1850 as one of the original 27 counties
- Boundary Changes:
- Most of Mendocino County has been in the county since 1850.
- Territory was in Sonoma County from 1850 to 1855 when it was added to Mendocino County.
- Territory was in Sonoma County from 1850 to 1859 when it was added to Mendocino County.
- Territory in Mendocino County from 1850 to 1855, was in Sonoma County from 1855 to 1859 when it was returned to Mendocino County.
- Territory which at one time was in Mendocino County is now in Glenn County, Humboldt County, Lake County, Sonoma County, and Trinity County.
- Named After: derived its name from Cape Mendocino, which was probably named in honor of either Antonio de Mendoza, Viceroy of New Spain, 1535-1542 (who sent the Juan Cabrillo Expedition to this coast in 1542), or Lorenzo Suarez de Mendoza, Viceroy from 1580 to 1583. Mendocino is an adjective form of the family name of Mendoza.
- Bordering Counties: Sonoma County (south), Lake County (east), Glenn County (east), Tehama County (northeast), Trinity County (north), Humboldt County (north)
- Cities & Towns: Fort Bragg, Point Arena, Ukiah, Willits
- CDPs ( census-designated place) Include Covelo, Laytonville, Mendocino, Talmage
- Other Communities: Albion, Boonville, Branscomb, Calpella, Caspar, Elk, Gualala, Hopland, Little River, Philo, Redwood Valley, Potter Valley
Mendocino County Societies and Family History Resources
A list of Mendocino County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- California State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Anderson Valley Historical Society, P.O. Box 676, 12340 Hwy 128, Boonville, CA 95415; Phone: (707) 895-3207
- Mendocino County Historical Society, 603 W. Perkins Street, Ukiah, CA 95482-4726; Phone: (707) 462-6969
- Mendocino Historical Research Kelley House Museum, ~ Repository ~, 45007 Albion Street, P.O. Box 922, Mendocino, CA 95460; Phone: (707) -937-5791
- Mendocino Coast Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 762, Ft. Bragg 95437
- Mendocino County Heritage Network
- Mendocino County Library, Fort Bragg Branch, 499 Laurel Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437;
Phone: (707) 964-2020
- Mendocino County Museum, 400 East Commercial Street, Willits, California 95490; PHONE: (707) 459-2736
- Mendocino County, California Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Mendocino County
- Mendocino County, California Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Mendocino County
- USGenWeb Archives for Mendocino County (usgwarchives.net)
Mendocino County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers often overlook the advantages of Mendocino 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 Mendocino 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 winning out over rival cities for designation as the county seat, Ukiah built its first courthouse, a simple two-story brick building, in 1860. As the county prospered, officials commissioned a much grander building with two-story columns and a dome. Among the court's more dramatic trials was one in 1905 during which a man brought before the court on an insanity charge apparently was not searched and fatally shot the sheriff. The courthouse was demolished in 1950 to make way for a more modern 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 Mendocino County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county. Attached to Sonoma County for administrative purposes until 1859.
- Mendocino County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Mendocino 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: 501 Low Gap Road, No.1020, Ukiah, CA 95482
- Phone: (707) 463-4376
- Birth / Death Records: 1859
- Marriage Records: 1859
- Land Records: 1852
- Mendocino 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: 1854
- Court Records: 1858
- Mendocino 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.
Mendocino County Links
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Mendocino 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 Mendocino County genealogy or family history associated sites.
Mendocino 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!
- Mendocino 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.
- Mendocino County California Genealogy Books (books.google.com)
Mendocino Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Mendocino Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Mendocino Co. CA Census Records
Mendocino Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards
Mendocino Co. CA Church & Bible Records
Mendocino 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.
Mendocino Co. CA General and History Websites
Mendocino Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Mendocino 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 Mendocino County genealogists, researchers, historians and more.