San Diego County, California Facts
San Diego County, California genealogy and family history research page. Identify links to record collections, history, and genealogy resources to help you locate your own San Diego Co., ancestors. Get going by constructing a Free Family Tree.
San Diego County Facts
- Government Website: http://sdpublic.sdcounty.ca.gov/
- County Seat: San Diego
- Created Date / Origin: February 18, 1850 as one of the original 27 counties
- Boundary Changes:
- Territory which at one time was in San Diego County is now in Imperial County, Inyo County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County.
- Named After: San Diego Bay, which had been rechristened by Vizcaino in 1602, in honor of the Franciscan, San Diego de Alcala de Henares, whose name was borne by his flagship.
- Bordering Counties: Imperial County (east), Orange County (northwest), Riverside County (north)
- Cities & Towns: Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City, Oceanside, Poway, San Diego, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach, Vista
- CDPs ( census-designated place) Include Alpine, Bonita, Bonsall, Borrego Springs, Bostonia, Camp Pendleton North, Camp Pendleton South, Casa de Oro-Mount Helix, Crest, Fairbanks Ranch, Fallbrook, Granite Hills, Harbison Canyon, Hidden Meadows, Jamul, Julian, La Presa, Lake San Marcos, Lakeside, Pine Valley, Rainbow, Ramona, Rancho San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego Country Estates, Spring Valley, Valley Center, Winter Gardens.
- Other Communities: 4S Ranch, Boulevard, Campo, Descanso, Dulzura, Jacumba, Jesmond Dene, Lincoln Acres, Mount Laguna, Ocotillo Wells, Pala, Potrero, Tecate, Santa Ysabel
San Diego County Societies and Family History Resources
A list of San Diego County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- California State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS), P. O. Box 3024, Chula Vista, CA 91909
- Escondido Genealogical Society (EGS), P.O. Box 2190, Escondido, CA 92033-2190
- Escondido Historical Society, 321 N. Broadway, Escondido CA 92025; Phone: 760 743-8207
- North San Diego County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 581, Carlsbad, CA 92018-0581
- San Diego African-American Genealogy Research Group (SDAAGRG), P.O. Box 741956, San Diego, CA 92174-1956
- San Diego Genealogical Society, 7343 Ronson Road, Suite O, San Diego, CA 92111-1430; (858) 279-7347
- San Diego County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 422, Ramona, CA 92065
- San Diego Historical Society, PO Box 81825, San Diego, CA 92138-1825; (619) 232-6203 ext 102
- San Diego Jewish Genealogical Society (SDJGS), P.O. Box 927089, San Diego, CA 92192-7089
- Temecula Valley Genealogical Society (TVGS), 7475 Ynez Road, #291, Temecula, CA 92591
- San Diego County, California Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in San Diego County
- San Diego County, California Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for San Diego County
- USGenWeb Archives for San Diego County (usgwarchives.net)
San Diego County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers often overlook the advantages of San Diego 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 Diego 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 42 stained-glass windows from the clerestory of the 19th-century building, which was razed in 1959, are now displayed in county courthouses around San Diego, including 12 in the central atrium of the Hall of Justice. The elaborate windows depict the Great Seals of all the states then in the Union and were recovered from a rented storage area in 1978.
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 Diego County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county.
- San Diego County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- San Diego 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: 1600 Pacific Highway, Room 260, San Diego, CA 92101; Mail to: P.O. Box 12150, San Diego, CA 92112-4750
- Phone: (619) 237-0502
- Birth / Death Records: 1860 / 1851
- Marriage Records: 1850
- Land Records: 1850
- San Diego 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: 1848
- Court Records: 1855
- San Diego 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 Diego County Links
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to San Diego 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 Diego County genealogy or family history associated sites.
San Diego Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications
- San Diego Union-Tribune (California) Obituaries, 1993-94 (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!
- San Diego 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 Diego County California Genealogy Books (books.google.com)
San Diego Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records
San Diego Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
San Diego Co. CA Census Records
San Diego Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards
San Diego Co. CA Church & Bible Records
San Diego 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 Diego Co. CA General and History Websites
San Diego Co. CA Immigration & Naturalization
San Diego Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
San Diego 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 Diego County genealogists, researchers, historians and more.
San Diego Co. CA Schools & Directories