Humboldt County, California
Genealogy and Facts

Humboldt County

Humboldt County was founded on May 12, 1853 from Trinity County . This county derived its name from Humboldt Bay, which was entered by a sea otter party in 1806, but was not rediscovered until 1849. In 1850, Douglas Ottinger and Hans Buhne entered the bay, naming it Humboldt in honor of the great naturalist and world explorer, Baron Alexander von Humboldt.

The Humboldt County Seat is located in Eureka also, the county government website is http://co.humboldt.ca.us/

Areas bordering to Humboldt County are  Del Norte County (north), Mendocino County (south), Siskiyou County (northeast), Trinity County (east) .

Cities and towns located in Humboldt County include Eureka, Arcata, Fortuna, Rio Dell, Ferndale, Blue Lake, Trinidad .

Other Communities in Humboldt County include Alderpoint, Alton, Bridgeville, Carlotta, Fernbridge, Fieldbrook, Garberville, Honeydew, Hoopa, Loleta, Miranda, Myers Flat, Orleans, Pepperwood, Petrolia, Phillipsville, Redcrest, Samoa, Scotia, Shelter Cove, Weott, Whitethorn .

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

  1. Most of its territory was in Trinity County until the 1853 transfer to Humboldt County.
  2. A large territory in Trinity County from 1850 to 1851, was in Klamath County from 1851 to 1875 when Klamath County was disbanded and part of that county transferred to Humboldt County.
  3. Territory in Trinity County from 1850 to 1851, and in Klamath County from 1851 to 1857, was then in Del Norte County from 1857 to 1901 when it was added to Humboldt County.
  4. Territory in Trinity County from 1850 to 1851, in Klamath County from 1851 until its death in 1875, and in Siskiyou County from 1875 to 1887, was in Del Norte County from 1887 to 1901 when it was added to Humboldt County.
  5. Territory in Trinity County from 1850 to 1853, and in Humboldt County from 1853 to 1859, was in Mendocino County from 1859 to 1860 when it was added to Humboldt County.
  6. Territory which at one time was in Humboldt County is now in Del Norte County.

Humboldt 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 Humboldt 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.

Humboldt 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.

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

Humboldt County Societies and Family History Resources

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

Humboldt County Courthouse and Government Records


Humboldt County Courthouse

Researchers often overlook the advantages of Humboldt 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 Humboldt 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 - Thirteen zinc statues adorned the perimeter of the roof and the tower of this grand Italianate building in Eureka. Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, was placed at the top of the tower, surrounded by four statues of Justice and others representing Flora, Ceres, Fortuna, and Juno. Minerva tilted in the 1906 earthquake, after which the statues were removed. The courthouse survived a fire in 1924, but another quake in 1954 cracked the building and the courthouse was vacated. In 1956, the condemned courthouse was demolished to make room for a more modern facility.

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 Humboldt County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county. Land was later added from counties Mendocino (1860), Klamath (1875), and Del Norte (1901).

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.
  • Humboldt County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
  • Humboldt 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: (707) 445-7382
    • Birth / Death Records: 1873
    • Marriage Records: 1864
    • Land Records: 1874
  • Humboldt 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: 1853 
    • Court Records: 1853 
  • Humboldt County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
  • Local Registrar of Births and Deaths,

Humboldt County Links

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

Humboldt Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Humboldt Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Humboldt Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Humboldt Co. CA Census Records

Humboldt Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards

Humboldt Co. CA Church & Bible Records

Humboldt Co. CA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Humboldt Co. CA General and History Websites

Humboldt Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Humboldt Co. CA Military Records

Humboldt Co. CA Schools & Directories

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