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Calaveras County was founded on February 18, 1850 as an original county . This county was named from the Calaveras River which was reportedly so designated by an early explorer when he found, on the banks of the stream, many skulls of Indians who had either died of famine or had been killed in tribal conflicts over hunting and fishing grounds. The meaning of the word calaveras is “skulls.”
Cities and towns located in Calaveras County include Angels Camp, Arnold, Avery, Copperopolis, Dorrington, Forest Meadows, Glencoe, Mokelumne Hill, Mountain Ranch, Murphys, Rail Road Flat, Rancho Calaveras, San Andreas, Sheep Ranch, Vallecito, Valley Springs, Wallace, West Point .
Other Communities in Calaveras County include Altaville, Calaveritas, Campo Seco, Cave City, Douglas Flat, Fourth Crossing, Glencoe, Jenny Lind, Jesus Maria, Milton, Paloma, Sandy Gulch, The Shores of Poker Flat .
Since its creation Calaveras County boundries have changed to include these:
Calaveras 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 Calaveras 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.
Calaveras 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.
Calaveras Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Calaveras Co. Industry and Agriculture can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Calaveras Co. Union Veterans Schedules is available for 1890. One can find free online and printable census forms to help you with your research.
A list of Calaveras County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
Researchers often overlook the advantages of Calaveras 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 Calaveras 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 - Local history has it that the county seat was "captured" from Double Springs, a cattle ranch-cum-mining town, when residents of nearby Jackson invited county officials for a few rounds of drinks and then made off with the county records. The remains of this building, made of camphor panels shipped from China, can still be seen in Double Springs, making it one of the oldest surviving structures once used as a courthouse in California.
In 1866, after the government was finally moved to San Andreas, Calaveras's fifth and current county seat, officials designated a local theater for use as the first courthouse. This two-story brick building was used as the center of county government for nearly 100 years, and it was here in 1883 that Judge C. V. Gottschalk tried and sentenced the notorious highwayman Black Bart. In 1966, the courthouse was replaced by a more modern facility and turned over to the Calaveras County Historical Society. The old courthouse, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is still used occasionally for overflow cases and visiting judges.
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 Calaveras County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county.
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Calaveras 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 Calaveras County genealogy or family history associated sites.