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El Dorado County, California

El Dorado County

El Dorado County was founded on February 18, 1850 as one of the original 27 counties . This county was named for the meaning “the gilded one” in Spanish, appears at the beginning of the 16th century as that of a mythical Indian chief who was said to have been covered with gold dust during the performance of religious rites. When the discovery of gold by James W. Marshall at Coloma in January 1848 became known to the world, California, and particularly that section where gold was discovered, was called “El Dorado.” From this fact the county received its name .

The El Dorado County Seat is located in Placerville also, the county government website is

Areas bordering to El Dorado County are Alpine County (southeast), Amador County (south), Sacramento County (west), Placer County (north), Douglas County, Nevada (northeast) .

Cities and towns located in El Dorado County include Placerville, South Lake Tahoe .

Other Communities in El Dorado County include Cameron Park, Diamond Springs, El Dorado Hills, Georgetown, Pollock Pines, Shingle Springs, Camino, Coloma, Cool, El Dorado .

Since its creation El Dorado County boundries have changed to include these:

  1. Most of its territory has been in El Dorado County since 1850.
  2. Territory was in Placer County from 1850 to 1863 when it was added to El Dorado County.
  3. Territory which at one time was in El Dorado County is now in Alpine County, Amador County, and Placer County.

El Dorado 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 El Dorado 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.

El Dorado 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.

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

El Dorado County Societies and Family History Resources

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

El Dorado County Courthouse and Government Records

ElDorado County Courthouse

Researchers often overlook the advantages of El Dorado 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 El Dorado 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 - After several unsuccessful electoral efforts to move the county seat from Coloma to their town, citizens of Placerville in 1857 successfully lobbied the state Legislature to order the move. This two-story building was constructed in Placerville, which prior to 1853 was known as Hangtown because of its reputation for lynchings. The building and its additions burned in 1910, and a new concrete-and-steel courthouse was built on the site.


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 El Dorado County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county. Land from Placer County was added in 1863. A fire in 1910 & 1920 destroyed most courthouse records. For probate records prior to 1951, write County Nuseum, 100 Placerville Drive, Placerville, California 95667; for probate after 1951, write to Judicial Section, 495 Main Street, Placerville, California 95667.

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.
  • El Dorado County Courthouse (Completed 1861, all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
  • El Dorado 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: 360 Fair Lane, Placerville, CA 95667
    • Phone: (530) 621-5490
    • Birth / Death Records: 1878 / 1907
    • Marriage Records: 1851
    • Land Records: 1851
  • El Dorado 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.
    • Address: 2850 Fairlane Court, Bldg C, Placerville, CA 95667
    • Phone: (530) 621-7454
    • Probate Records: 1850 
    • Court Records: 1850 
  • El Dorado County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
  • Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 931 Spring Street, Placerville, CA 95667; Office (530) 621-6121, FAX (530) 295-2715

El Dorado County Links

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

El Dorado Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications

El Dorado Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

El Dorado Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

El Dorado Co. CA Census Records

El Dorado Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards

El Dorado Co. CA Church & Bible Records

El Dorado Co. CA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

El Dorado Co. CA General and History Websites

El Dorado Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

El Dorado Co. CA Military Records

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