Napa County, California Facts
Napa County, California genealogy and family history research page. Identify links to record collections, history, and genealogy resources to help you locate your own Napa Co., ancestors. Get going by constructing a Free Family Tree.
Napa County Facts
- Government Website: http://www.countyofnapa.org/
- County Seat: Napa
- Created Date / Origin: February 18, 1850 as one of the original 27 counties
- Boundary Changes:
- Most of its territory has been in the county since 1850.
- Territory in Napa County from 1850 to 1964 was moved to Lake County in 1864, but returned to Napa County in 1972.
- Territory in Napa County from 1850 to 1961 was moved to Lake County in 1861, but returned to Napa County in 1972.
- Territory in Napa County from 1850 to 1968 was moved to Lake County in 1868, but returned to Napa County in 1972.
- Territory was in Solano County from 1950 to 1855, when it was added to Napa County.
- Territory was in Sonoma County from 1950 to 1855, when it was added to Napa County.
- Territory which at one time was in Napa County is now in Lake County
- Named After: Napa Valley. The word napa is of Indian derivation and has been variously translated as “grizzly bear,” “house,” “motherland” or “fish.” Of the many explanations of the names’s origin, the most plausible seems to be that it is derived from the Patwin word napo meaning house.
- Bordering Counties: Solano County (south & southeast), Sonoma County (west), Lake County (north), Yolo County (east)
- Cities & Towns: American Canyon, Calistoga, Napa, St. Helena, Yountville
- CDPs ( census-designated place) Include Angwin, Deer Park.
- Other Communities: Circle Oaks, Oakville, Pope Valley, Rutherford, Vichy Springs, Zinfandel
Napa County Societies and Family History Resources
A list of Napa County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
Napa County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers often overlook the advantages of Napa 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 Napa 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 distinctive cupola on Napa's third courthouse, which combined Russian, Gothic, and Victorian styles, withstood the 1906 earthquake, during which a chimney crashed into a judge's chambers. At the time it was constructed, a local newspaper reported that "all the brick used in the construction of the courthouse and jail were made at the old brick yard on the Sonoma Road. About 90,000 were made, which were pronounced by competent judges to be of excellent quality." The courthouse, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is still in use. The cupola was removed after another earthquake in 1964.
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 Napa County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county. Land was later added from counties Lake (1872) and Solano (1855).
- Napa County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Napa 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.
- RECORDER: (707) 253-4105
- CLERK: (707) 253-4247
- Birth / Death Records: 1868 / 1873
- Marriage Records: 1850
- Land Records: 1848
- Napa 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: 1851
- Court Records: 1849
- Napa 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.
Napa County Links
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Napa 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 Napa County genealogy or family history associated sites.
Napa 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!
- Napa 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.
- Napa County California Genealogy Books (books.google.com)
Napa Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Napa Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Napa Co. CA Census Records
Napa Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards
Napa Co. CA Church & Bible Records
Napa 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.
Napa Co. CA General and History Websites
- See Also State History for California
- Amador County History (rootsweb.ancestry.com) A Memorial and Biographical History of Northern California, 1891
- History of Napa and Lake Counties, California : comprising their geography, geology, topography, climatography, springs and tim (search.ancestry.com)
- History of Solano and Napa Counties, California : with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the counties, who (search.ancestry.com)
- Napa County, California Wikipedia (wikipedia.org)
- Napa County, California Wiki (familysearch.org)
- Napa Co. CA Genealogy (kindredtrails.com)
- Family History Library (familysearch.org)
- Napa County, California (linkpendium.com)
- Cyndi's List - United States - California - Counties - Napa (cyndislist.com)
- Napa County California (genealogytrails.com)
- Napa Co. CAGenweb (cagenweb.com)
- Napa County Genealogy Queries (cousinconnect.com)
- Napa Co. Data Collections (search.ancestry.com)
Napa Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Napa 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 Napa County genealogists, researchers, historians and more.