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Butte County, California

Butte County

Butte County was founded on February 18, 1850 as an original county . This county was derived from the Marysville or Sutter Buttes, which lay within the boundaries when it was created. The word butte is derived from the Teutonic word meaning “a blunt extension or elevation.” In the French language, it signifies “a small hill or mound of earth detached from any mountain range.” .

The Butte County Seat is located in Oroville also, the county government website is

Areas bordering to Butte County are Yuba County (south), Sutter County (south), Colusa County (southwest), Glenn County (west), Tehama County (north), Plumas County (east) .

Cities and towns located in Butte County include Biggs, Chico, Gridley, Oroville, Paradise .

Other Communities in Butte County include Bangor, Berry Creek, Butte Meadows, Camp Eighteen, Centerville, Cherokee, Cohasset, Dayton, DeSabla, East Biggs, Feather Falls, Forbestown, Forest Ranch, Inskip, Merrimac, Nord, Oregon City, Pulga, Richvale, Stirling City .

Since its creation Butte County boundries have changed to include these:

  1. Most of its territory has been in Butte County since 1850.
  2. Territory in Butte County from 1850 to 1856, was moved to Tehama County when that county was formed in 1856, then returned in 1859 to Butte County.
  3. Territory in Butte County from 1850 to 1856, was moved to Colusa County in 1856, then returned in 1872 to Butte County.

Butte County vital records can be found at the 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.

You can search online for Butte County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also Order Electronically Online or can download an application for California Birth Certificate, Marriage or Divorce Certificate, Death Certificate Applications to mail.

Butte County consists of Federal Census Schedules to guide in looking into your family tree. Federal Population Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

Butte Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Butte Co. Industry and Agriculture can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Butte Co. Union Veterans Schedules is available for 1890. One can find free online and printable census forms to help you with your research.

Butte County Societies and Family History Resources

A list of Butte County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.

Butte County Courthouse and Government Records

Butte County Courthouse

Researchers often overlook the advantages of Butte 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 Butte 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 courts occupied a brick building in downtown Oroville for the duration of the “Courthouse Wars”–a century-old contest between Oroville and Chico for the county seat. It was here in 1911 that Ishi, regarded as the last member of the Yahi tribe, stayed before traveling to San Francisco, where for several years he lived on the campus of the University of California. The courts moved to a new county center in 1965, and the original court building was demolished after it sustained damage in a 1975 earthquake.

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 Butte County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county.

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.
  • Butte County Courthouse (Completed 1856, all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
  • Butte 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: 1859
    • Marriage Records: 1851
    • Land Records: 1846
  • Butte 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 
  • Butte County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
  • Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 202 Mira Loma Drive, Room 133, Oroville, CA 95965-3500; Office (530) 538-7581, FAX (530) 538-7023

Butte County Links

The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Butte 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 Butte County genealogy or family history associated sites.

Butte Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Butte Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Butte Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Butte Co. CA Census Records

Butte Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards

Butte Co. CA Church & Bible Records

Butte Co. CA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Butte Co. CA General and History Websites

Butte Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Butte Co. CA Military Records

Butte Co. CA Schools & Directories

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