San Mateo County, California Facts
San Mateo County, California genealogy and family history research page. Identify links to record collections, history, and genealogy resources to help you locate your own San Mateo Co., ancestors. Get going by constructing a Free Family Tree.
San Mateo County Facts
- Government Website: http://www.co.sanmateo.ca.us
- County Seat: Redwood City
- Created Date / Origin: April 19, 1856 from the southern portion of San Francisco County
- Boundary Changes:
- Most of San Mateo County is territory which was in San Francisco County from 1850 to 1856 when it was moved to San Mateo County.
- Territory of significant size was in Santa Cruz from 1850 until 1868 when it was added to San Mateo County.
- Named After: The county bears the Spanish name for Saint Matthew. As a place name, St. Matthew appears as early as 1776, and the arroyo, the point and the settlement at the unofficial San Mateo Mission are all so designated on the early maps. Until about 1850, the name appeared as San Matheo.
- Bordering Counties: San Francisco County (north), Alameda County (east), Santa Clara County (southeast), Santa Cruz County (south)
- Cities & Towns: Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, Burlingame, Colma, Daly City, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Hillsborough, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Pacifica, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, South San Francisco, Woodside
- CDPs ( census-designated place) Include Broadmoor, El Granada, Emerald Lake Hills, Highlands-Baywood Park, Montara, Moss Beach, North Fair Oaks, West Menlo Park.
- Other Communities: Kings Mountain, La Honda, Ladera, Loma Mar, Los Trancos Woods, Middleton Tract, Pescadero, Princeton-by-the-Sea, San Gregorio, Sky Londa
San Mateo County Societies and Family History Resources
A list of San Mateo County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- California State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- San Mateo County Genealogical Society, PO Box 5569, Redwood City, CA 94063-5569; Phone: 650.306.3423
- Belmont Historical Society, 1225 Ralston Avenue Belmont, CA 94002-1902
- Burlingame Historical Society, PO Box 144, Burlingame CA 94011
- Millbrae Historical Society, P.O. Box 511, 420 Poplar Avenue, Millbrae, CA 94030; (650) 692-5786
- San Mateo History Museum, 2200 Broadway, Redwood City, CA 94063; Phone: 650.299.0104
- San Mateo County Historical Association, 777 Hamilton Street, Redwood City, CA 94063
- Spanishtown Historical Society, 505 Johnston Street, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019; (650) 726-7084
- San Mateo County, California Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in San Mateo County
- San Mateo County, California Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for San Mateo County
- USGenWeb Archives for San Mateo County (usgwarchives.net)
San Mateo County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers often overlook the advantages of San Mateo 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 Mateo 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 fourth and grandest of San Mateo's courthouses was built on the site of the second and third, which were destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. It was here in Redwood City in 1931 that the colorful jurist George H. Buck decided the Flood Estate case, a battle over the estate of a wealthy financier and philanthropist that gained national attention. The Roman Renaissance building was turned over to the San Mateo County Historical Association in 1997 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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 Mateo County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county. Land from Santa Cruz County was added in 1868.
- San Mateo County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- San Mateo 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: 555 County Center, 1st Floor, Redwood City, CA 94063-1665
- Phone: (650) 363-4500
- Birth / Death Records: 1865
- Marriage Records: 1853
- Land Records: 1856
- San Mateo 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: 1856
- Court Records: 1871
- San Mateo 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 Mateo County Links
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to San Mateo 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 Mateo County genealogy or family history associated sites.
San Mateo Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications
- Times (San Mateo, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- San Mateo Times And Daily News Leader (San Mateo, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- San Mateo Times (San Mateo, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- Post (San Mateo, California) (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 Mateo 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 Mateo County California Genealogy Books (books.google.com)
San Mateo Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records
San Mateo Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
San Mateo Co. CA Census Records
San Mateo Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards
San Mateo Co. CA Church & Bible Records
San Mateo 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 Mateo Co. CA General and History Websites
San Mateo Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
San Mateo 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 Mateo County genealogists, researchers, historians and more.