Modoc County, California Facts
Modoc County, California genealogy and family history research page. Identify links to record collections, history, and genealogy resources to help you locate your own Modoc Co., ancestors. Get going by constructing a Free Family Tree.
Modoc County Facts
- Government Website: http://www.modoccounty.us/
- County Seat: Alturas
- Created Date / Origin: April 19, 1855 from Siskiyou County
- Boundary Changes:
- Territory was in Shasta County from 1850 to 1852 and then in Siskiyou County from 1852 until 1874 when the territory was moved to Modoc County.
- Named After: derived its name from a fierce Indian tribe that lived at the Pit River headwaters. One historian suggests that the word modoc means “the head of the river.” Another states that the word is derived from the Klamath word moatakni meaning “southerners,” i.e., the people living south of the Klamath tribe.
- Bordering Counties: Lassen County (south), Shasta County (southwest), Siskiyou County (west), Klamath County, Oregon (north), Lake County, Oregon (north), Washoe County, Nevada (east).
- Cities & Towns: Adin, Alturas, California Pines, Canby, Cedarville, Daphnedale Park, Davis Creek, Eagleville, Ft. Bidwell, Lake City, Likely, Lookout, Newell, New Pine Creek, Stronghold, Tionesta
- Other Communities: Adin, Canby, Cedarville, Davis Creek, Eagleville, Fort Bidwell, Newell, Stronghold, Tionesta
Modoc County Societies and Family History Resources
A list of Modoc County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
Modoc County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers often overlook the advantages of Modoc 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 Modoc 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 - The dome of this Neoclassic courthouse, Modoc's third since the county was formed from part of Siskiyou in 1874, can be seen from miles around Alturas. The dome was traditionally painted copper but was repainted gold in 1974, some say to reflect the "Golden State" name while others believe it was the result of a mix-up of paint cans. The basement, which was once used as the jail, no longer houses prisoners but was remodeled and is home to the Public Guardian, the Veterans Service Officer, and other county offices.
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 Modoc County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county.
- Modoc County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Modoc 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: 204 South Court Street, Room 107, Alturas, CA 96101-4020
- Phone: 530-233-6205
- Birth / Death Records: 1894 / 1882
- Marriage Records: 1874
- Land Records: 1874
- Modoc 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: 1874
- Court Records: 1874
- Modoc 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.
Modoc County Links
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Modoc 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 Modoc County genealogy or family history associated sites.
Modoc 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!
- Modoc 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.
- Modoc County California Genealogy Books (books.google.com)
Modoc Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Modoc Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Modoc Co. CA Census Records
Modoc Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards
Modoc Co. CA Church & Bible Records
Modoc 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.
Modoc Co. CA General and History Websites
Modoc Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Modoc 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 Modoc County genealogists, researchers, historians and more.