Fresno County, California
Genealogy and Facts

Fresno County

Fresno County was founded on April 19, 1856 from Mariposa County, Merced County, and Tulare County . This county was named for Fresno in Spanish signifies “ash tree” and it was because of the abundance of mountain ash or ash trees in the county that it received its name.

The Fresno County Seat is located in Fresno also, the county government website is http://www.co.fresno.ca.us/

Areas bordering to Fresno County are Tulare County (south), Kings County (south), Monterey County (southwest), San Benito County (west), Merced County (northwest), Madera County (north), Mono County (northeast), Inyo County (east) .

Cities and towns located in Fresno County include  Auberry, Big Creek, Biola, Bowles, Calwa, Cantua Creek, Caruthers, Centerville, Clovis, Coalinga, Del Rey, Dunlap, Easton, Firebaugh, Fort Washington, Fowler, Fresno, Friant, Highway City, Huron, Kerman, Kingsburg, Lanare, Laton, Malaga, Mayfair, Mendota, Mercey Hot Springs, Minkler, Monmouth, Old Fig Garden, Orange Cove, Parlier, Prather, Raisin City, Reedley, Riverdale, Rolinda, San Joaquin, Sanger, Selma, Shaver Lake, Squaw Valley, Sunnyside, Tarpey Village, Three Rocks, Tollhouse, Tranquillity, West Park .

Other Communities in Fresno County include Auberry, Biola, Bowles, Calwa, Cantua Creek, Caruthers, Del Rey, Easton, Friant, Lanare, Laton, Raisin City, Riverdale, Shaver Lake, Squaw Valley, Tranquillity, Big Creek, Dunlap, Mercey Hot Springs, Pinedale, Rolinda, Tollhouse .

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

  1. Territory was in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1856 when it was moved to Fresno County.
  2. Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1855, was in Merced County from 1855 to 1856 when it was moved to Fresno County.
  3. Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1852, was in Tulare County from 1852 to 1856 when it was moved to Fresno County.
  4. Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1852, in Tulare County from 1852 to 1856, and in Fresno County from 1856 to 1874, was back in Tulare County from 1874 to 1876 when it was returned to Fresno County.
  5. Territory which at one time was in Fresno County is now in Inyo County, Kings County, Madera County, Mono County, San Benito County, and Tulare County.

Fresno 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 Fresno 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.

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

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

Fresno County Societies and Family History Resources

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

Fresno County Courthouse and Government Records


Fresno County Courthouse

Researchers often overlook the advantages of Fresno 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 Fresno 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 - Hailed at a cornerstone ceremony as "the grandest and noblest edifice that has ever been planned and contemplated in this valley," Fresno's courthouse could barely keep up with the county's booming population. By the turn of the century, the relatively modest brick building with its slender cupola had been expanded to an imposing structure with several wings, granite steps, and an enormous dome. A structural survey conducted in 1961 reported the many weaknesses of the old building, which was demolished following the construction of a new courthouse in 1966.

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 Fresno County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county. Land was later added from counties Merced (1856) and Tulare (1856).

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.
  • Fresno County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
  • Fresno 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.
    • Phone: (559) 600-3476
    • Birth / Death Records: 1873
    • Marriage Records: 1856
    • Land Records: 1856
  • Fresno 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: 1100 Van Ness Avenue, Fresno, CA 93724-0002
    • Phone: (559) 457-2000
    • Probate Records: 1880 
    • Court Records: 1856 
  • Fresno County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
  • Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 1221 Fulton Mall , First Floor, Fresno, CA 93721; Mail to: P.O. Box 11867; Fresno, CA 93775; Office (559) 445-3310

Fresno County Links

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

Fresno Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Fresno Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Fresno Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Fresno Co. CA Census Records

Fresno Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards

Fresno Co. CA Church & Bible Records

Fresno Co. CA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Fresno Co. CA General and History Websites

Fresno Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Fresno Co. CA Military Records

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