Inyo County, California
Genealogy and Facts

Inyo County

Inyo County was founded on March 22, 1866 from Mono County and Tulare County . This county derived its name from the Indian name for the mountains in its area. The meaning of the word inyo is “dwelling place of the great spirit.”

The Inyo County Seat is located in Independence also, the county government website is www.inyocounty.us/

Areas bordering to Inyo County are San Bernardino County (south), Kern County (southwest), Tulare County (west), Fresno County (west), Mono County (north), Esmeralda County, Nevada (northeast), Nye County, Nevada (east), Clark County, Nevada (southeast). .

Cities and towns located in Inyo County include Big Pine, Bishop, Calavada Springs, Cartago, Darwin, Deep Springs, Dixon Lane-Meadow Creek, Furnace Creek, Homewood Canyon, Independence, Keeler, Lone Pine, Mesa, Olancha, Pearsonville, Round Valley, Shoshone, Tecopa, Valley Wells, West Bishop, Wilkerson .

Other Communities in Inyo County include Ballarat, Death Valley Junction, Laws, Panamint Springs .

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

  1. Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1856, and in Fresno County from 1856 to 1861, was in Mono County from 1861 to 1870, when it was moved to Inyo County.
  2. Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1852, in Tulare County from 1852 to 1856, and in Fresno County from 1856 to 1861, was in Mono County from 1861 to 1870 when it was added to Inyo County.
  3. Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1852, in Tulare County from 1852 to 1856, and in Fresno County from 1856 to 1861, was in Mono County from 1861 to 1866 when it was moved to Inyo County.
  4. Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1852, and in Tulare County from 1852 to 1861, was in Mono County from 1861 to 1870, when it was added to Inyo County.
  5. Much of the county was in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1852, then in Tulare County from 1852 to 1866 when it was moved to Inyo County.
  6. Territory in San Diego County from 1850 to 1851, and in Mariposa County from 1851 to 1852, was in Tulare County from 1852 to 1866 when it was moved to Inyo County.
  7. Territory in San Diego County from 1850 to 1851, and in Los Angeles County from 1851 to 1853, was in San Bernardino County from 1853 to 1872, when it was added to Inyo County.
  8. Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1851, and in Los Angeles County from 1851 to 1853, was in San Bernardino County from 1853 to 1872, when it was added to Inyo County.
  9. Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1851, and in Los Angeles County from 1851 to 1866, was in Kern County from 1866 to 1872 when it was added to Inyo County.

Inyo 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 Inyo 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.

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

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

Inyo County Societies and Family History Resources

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

Inyo County Courthouse and Government Records


Inyo County Courthouse

Researchers often overlook the advantages of Inyo 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 Inyo 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 three previous courthouses were lost to earthquake and fire, Inyo's fourth and current courthouse was built to resist both. The region's only example of monumental Neoclassical Revival public architecture, this courthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998 in recognition of its "integrity of feeling and association." It was here in Independence that 24 members of the Manson Family were jailed in 1969 for possession of stolen vehicles and property. Within days of his preliminary hearing, Charles Manson was indicted in the Tate murders and transferred to Los Angeles.

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 Inyo County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county. Land was later added from counties Mono (1870), San Bernardino (1872), and Kern (1872). Courthouse was destroyed by an earthquake March 26, 1872. On June 30, 1886 a fire broke out in a vacant building in Independence and destroyed thirty-eight buildings. Although the county records and most of the furniture were saved, the courthouse was one of the buildings destroyed.

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.
  • Inyo County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
  • Inyo 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) 878-0222
    • Birth / Death Records: 1905
    • Marriage Records: 1873
    • Land Records: 1866
  • Inyo 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: 1866 
    • Court Records: 1866 
  • Inyo County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
  • Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 155 East Market Street, Mail to: P.O. Drawer H, Independence, CA 93526; Office (760) 878-0242

Inyo County Links

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

Inyo Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Inyo Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Inyo Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Inyo Co. CA Census Records

Inyo Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards

Inyo Co. CA Church & Bible Records

Inyo Co. CA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Inyo Co. CA General and History Websites

Inyo Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Inyo Co. CA Military Records

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