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Imperial County, California

Imperial County

Imperial County was founded on August 6, 1907 from San Diego County (was the last formed, the 58th of the existing 58 counties). This county derived its name from the Imperial Valley and is the “youngest” of California’s counties. The valley was named for the Imperial Land Company, a subsidiary of the California Development Company, which at the turn of the century had reclaimed the southern portion of the Colorado desert for agriculture.

The Imperial County Seat is located in El Centro also, the county government website is

Areas bordering to Imperial County are Riverside County (north), Yuma County, Arizona (southeast), La Paz County, Arizona (northeast), San Diego County (west) .

Cities and towns located in Imperial County include El Centro, Calexico, Brawley, Imperial, Calipatria, Holtville, Heber, Westmorland, Seeley, Niland, Salton City, Desert Shores, Winterhaven, Salton Sea Beach, Bombay Beach, Ocotillo, Palo Verde, Bard, California, Glamis, California, Plaster City .

Other Communities in Imperial County include Mount Signal, Ogilby, Plaster City .

Imperial 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 Imperial 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.

Imperial County consists of Federal Census Schedules to guide in looking into your family tree. Federal Population Schedules can be found for 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940. One can find free online and printable census forms to help you with your research.

Imperial County Societies and Family History Resources

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

Imperial County Courthouse and Government Records

Imperial County Courthouse

Researchers often overlook the advantages of Imperial 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 Imperial 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 - Formed in 1907 from the eastern part of San Diego County, Imperial is the youngest of California's 58 counties. Despite claims by government surveyors that the surrounding desert "was so desolate, barren, and hot that human habitation would never be possible within its confines," Imperial County residents in the 1920s pressed on in establishing a county government. The courts occupied these offices on the second floor of a bank building until 1924, when the county built a new courthouse on donated land in El Centro. The county, which has since grown into one of the state's richest agricultural regions, still occupies the El Centro building.

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 Imperial 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.
  • Imperial County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
  • Imperial 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:  (760) 482-4272
    • Birth / Death Records: 1900
    • Marriage Records: 1903
    • Land Records: 1851
  • Imperial 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: 1907 
    • Court Records: 1907 
  • Imperial County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
  • Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 935 Broadway, El Centro, CA 92243; Office (760) 482-4438

Imperial County Links

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

Imperial Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Imperial Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Imperial Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Imperial Co. CA Census Records

Imperial Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards

Imperial Co. CA Church & Bible Records

Imperial Co. CA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Imperial Co. CA General and History Websites

Imperial Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Imperial Co. CA Military Records

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