San Benito County, California Facts
San Benito County, California genealogy and family history research page. Identify links to record collections, history, and genealogy resources to help you locate your own San Benito Co., ancestors. Get going by constructing a Free Family Tree.
San Benito County Facts
- Government Website: http://www.cosb.us/
- County Seat: Hollister
- Created Date / Origin: February 12, 1874 from Monterey County
- Boundary Changes:
- Most of San Benito County territory had been in Monterey County from 1850 to 1874 when it was separated to create the new county.
- Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1855, and in Merced County from 1855 to 1856, was in Fresno County from 1856 to 1887, when it was added to San Benito County.
- Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1855, was in Merced County from 1855 to 1887, when it was added to San Benito County.
- Named After: San Benito Valley. In his expedition in 1772, Crespi named a small river in honor of San Benidicto (Saint Benedict), the patron saint of the married, and it is from the contraction of this name that the county took its name.
- Bordering Counties: Santa Clara County (north & northwest), Merced County (northeast), Fresno County (east & southeast), Monterey County (southwest & west), Santa Cruz County (northwest)
- Cities & Towns: Hollister, San Juan Bautista
- CDPs ( census-designated place) Include Aromas, Ridgemark
- Other Communities: New Idria, Paicines, Panoche, Tres Piños
San Benito County Societies and Family History Resources
A list of San Benito County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
San Benito County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers often overlook the advantages of San Benito 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 San Benito 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 - San Benito's third courthouse was a lavishly decorated building with an exterior modeled on the Farnese Palace in Rome and elaborate balustrades of polished red cedar within. The Hollister landmark withstood many earthquakes but was structurally damaged in a 1961 quake. The courts were moved into a quickly remodeled library while a new courthouse was constructed. The old courthouse was razed the following year.
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 San Benito County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county. Land was later added from counties Fresno (1887) and Merced (1887).
- San Benito County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- San Benito 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.
- Birth / Death Records: 1850 / 1874
- Marriage Records: 1874
- Land Records: 1850
- San Benito 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
- San Benito 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.
San Benito County Links
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to San Benito 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 San Benito County genealogy or family history associated sites.
San Benito 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!
- San Benito 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.
- San Benito County California Genealogy Books (books.google.com)
San Benito Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records
San Benito Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
San Benito Co. CA Census Records
San Benito Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards
San Benito Co. CA Church & Bible Records
San Benito 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.
San Benito Co. CA General and History Websites
San Benito Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
San Benito 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 San Benito County genealogists, researchers, historians and more.