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Lake County, California

Lake County

Lake County was founded on May 20, 1861 from Napa County . This county derived its name because of the many charming lakes in the area, most prominently Clear Lake.

The Lake County Seat is located in Lakeport also, the county government website is

Areas bordering to Lake County are Napa County (south), Sonoma County (southwest), Mendocino County (west & northwest), Glenn County (northeast), Colusa County (east), Yolo County (southeast) .

Cities and towns located in Lake County include Clearlake, Clearlake Oaks, Clearlake Riviera, Cobb, Hidden Valley Lake, Kelseyville, Lakeport, Loch Lomond, Lower Lake, Lucerne, Middletown, Nice, North Lakeport, Parramore Springs, Soda Bay, Spring Valley, Upper Lake, Whispering Pines .

Census-designated places in Lake County include Clearlake Oaks, Cobb, Hidden Valley Lake, Kelseyville, Lower Lake, Lucerne, Middletown, Nice, North Lakeport, Upper Lake. Communities Include Loch Lomond, Whispering Pines .

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

  1. Territory had been in Napa County from 1850 to 1861 when it was moved to Lake County.
  2. Territory in Mendocino County from 1850 to 1852, was in Napa County from 1852 to 1861 when it was moved to Lake County.
  3. Territory in Mendocino County from 1850 to 1855, was in Napa County from 1855 to 1861 when it was moved to Lake County.
  4. Territory was in Mendocino County from 1850 to 1864 when it was added to Lake County.
  5. Territory in Yolo County from 1850 to 1851, was in Colusa County from 1851 to 1868 when it was added to Lake County.
  6. Territory which at one time was in Lake County is now in Napa County.

Lake 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 Lake 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.

Lake 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.

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

Lake County Societies and Family History Resources

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

Lake County Courthouse and Government Records

Lake County Courthouse

Researchers often overlook the advantages of Lake 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 Lake 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 the first courthouse in Lakeport burned down in 1867, Lake County residents narrowly voted to move the county seat to Lower Lake. Three years later, before the construction of a new courthouse, the county seat was moved back to Lakeport and this Georgian-style courthouse was built on the site of the first. After more modern facilities were completed in 1968, the building was saved from demolition and today serves as the Lake County Museum. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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 Lake County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county. Land was later added from counties Mendocino (1864) and Colusa (1868). Courthouse in Lakeport burned down in 1867. All earlier records were 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.
  • Lake County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
  • Lake 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.
    • Birth / Death Records: 1867
    • Marriage Records: 1867
    • Land Records: 1867
  • Lake 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: 1867 
    • Court Records: 1867 
  • Lake County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
  • Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 225 North Forbes Street, Lakeport, CA 95453; Office (707) 263-2293

Lake County Links

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

Lake Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Lake Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Lake Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Lake Co. CA Census Records

Lake Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards

Lake Co. CA Church & Bible Records

Lake Co. CA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Lake Co. CA General and History Websites

Lake Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Lake Co. CA Military Records

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