Santa Clara County, California Facts
Santa Clara County, California genealogy and family history research page. Identify links to record collections, history, and genealogy resources to help you locate your own Santa Clara Co., ancestors. Get going by constructing a Free Family Tree.
Santa Clara County Facts
- Government Website: http://www.sccgov.org
- County Seat: San Jose
- Created Date / Origin: February 18, 1850 as one of the original 27 counties
- Boundary Changes:
- Territory which at one time was in Santa Clara County is now in Alameda County
- Named After: Mission Santa Clara, which was established in 1777, and named for Saint Clara of Assisi, Italy. The name Clara means “clear” or “bright.”
- Bordering Counties: San Benito County (south), Santa Cruz County (south & southwest), San Mateo County (northwest), Alameda County (north), Stanislaus County (east), Merced County (southeast)
- Cities & Towns: San Jose, Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, Saratoga, Sunnyvale
- CDPs ( census-designated place) Include Alum Rock, Buena Vista, Burbank, East Foothills, Fruitdale, Lexington Hills, Loyola, San Martin, Seven Trees, Stanford, Sunol-Midtown.
- Other Communities: Bell Station, Casa Loma, Chemeketa Park, Holy City, Loma Chiquita, Redwood Estates, Rucker, San Antonio, Sargent, Sveadal
Santa Clara County Societies and Family History Resources
A list of Santa Clara County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- California State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Santa Clara County Historical & Genealogical Society, 2635 Homestead Rd, Santa Clara, CA 95051-5387
- Los Altos History Museum, 51 South San Antonio Road, Los Altos, CA 94022; (650) 948-9427
- Milpitas Historical Society, 160 N Main St, Milpitas, CA 95035; (408) 320-9587
- Palo Alto Historical Society,P.O. Box 193, Palo Alto, CA 94302; (650) 326-3355
- Santa Clara County Archives, 1875 Senter Rd, San Jose, CA 95112; PHONE NUMBER: (408) 755-7895
- Sunnyvale Historical Society, PO Box 2187, 570 East Remington Drive, Sunnyvale, CA 94087; (408) 749-0220
- Santa Clara County, California Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Santa Clara County
- Santa Clara County, California Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Santa Clara County
- USGenWeb Archives for Santa Clara County (usgwarchives.net)
Santa Clara County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers often overlook the advantages of Santa Clara 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 Santa Clara 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 - During California's first 15 years of statehood, Santa Clara had no fewer than five courthouses, beginning with an adobe juzgado, or Mexican courthouse, and ending with this Roman Corinthian landmark on St. James Park. The building withstood numerous earthquakes and fires, including a disastrous blaze in 1931 that gutted the building. Damage sustained in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake nearly led to its demolition, but after a $12.4 million seismic retrofit and restoration project the building was reopened in 1994 and is still in use today.
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 Santa Clara County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county. On May 18, 1931, a fire quickly spread through the courthouse, causing extensive damage.
- Santa Clara County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Santa Clara 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: County Government Center, East Wing, First Floor, 70 West Hedding Street, San Jose, CA 95110
- Phone: Office (408) 299-2481 (General), Office (408) 299-5669 (Recording)
- Birth / Death Records: 1873
- Marriage Records: 1846
- Land Records: 1850
- Santa Clara 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: 1850
- Court Records: 1850
- Santa Clara 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.
Santa Clara County Links
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Santa Clara 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 Santa Clara County genealogy or family history associated sites.
Santa Clara 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!
- Santa Clara 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.
- Santa Clara County California Genealogy Books (books.google.com)
Santa Clara Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Santa Clara Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Santa Clara Co. CA Census Records
Santa Clara Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards
Santa Clara Co. CA Church & Bible Records
Santa Clara Co. CA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories
Santa Clara Co. CA General and History Websites
- See Also State History for California
- Silicon Valley History Online (siliconvalleyhistory.org)
- History San Jose (historysanjose.org)
- Santa Clara County History (rootsweb.ancestry.com) Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated, 1888
- History of Santa Clara County, California : with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been (search.ancestry.com)
- History of Santa Clara County, California : including its geography, geology, topography, climatography and description (search.ancestry.com)
- Pen pictures from the garden of the world, or, Santa Clara County, California : containing a history of the county of Santa Cla (search.ancestry.com)
- History of San Jose, California : narrative and biographical (search.ancestry.com)
- Santa Clara County, California Wikipedia (wikipedia.org)
- Santa Clara County, California Wiki (familysearch.org)
- Santa Clara Co. CA Genealogy (kindredtrails.com)
- Family History Library (familysearch.org)
- Santa Clara County, California (linkpendium.com)
- Cyndi's List - United States - California - Counties - Santa Clara (cyndislist.com)
- Santa Clara County California (genealogytrails.com)
- Santa Clara Co. CAGenweb (cagenweb.com)
- Santa Clara County Genealogy Queries (cousinconnect.com)
- Santa Clara Co. Data Collections (search.ancestry.com)
Santa Clara Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Santa Clara 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 Santa Clara County genealogists, researchers, historians and more.