Los Angeles County was founded on February 18, 1850 as one of the original 27 counties . This county was named for the words los angeles literally mean “the angels” and are a contraction of the original name Pueblo del Rio de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula (the Town of the River of Our Lady, Queen of the Angeles). In 1781, Governor Felipe de Neve issued orders for the establishment of the pueblo on El Rio Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles. The pueblo in time became known as the Ciudad de Los Angeles (City of the Angels), and it is from this contraction that the present name is derived.
The Los Angeles County Seat is located in Los Angeles also, the county government website is http://www.lacounty.info
Areas bordering to Los Angeles County are Ventura County (west), Kern County (north), San Bernardino County (east), Orange County (southeast) .
Cities and towns located in Los Angeles County include Los Angeles .
Other Communities in Los Angeles County include Agoura, Agua Dulce, Antelope Acres, Athens, Bassett, Castaic, City Terrace, Del Sur, Florence, Gorman, Juniper Hills, Kinneloa Mesa, Lake Hughes, Leona Valley, Llano, Neenach, Pearblossom, Topanga, Two Harbors, Universal City, Valyermo .
Since its creation Los Angeles County boundries have changed to include these:
- Most of its present territory has been in the county since 1850.
- A large territory was in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1851, when it was added to Los Angeles County.
- Territory was in Santa Barbara County from 1850 to 1851 when it was added to Los Angeles County.
- Territory which at one time was in Los Angeles County is now in six counties: Inyo County, Kern County, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, and Ventura County.
Los Angeles 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 Los Angeles 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.
Los Angeles County consists of Federal Census Schedules to guide in looking into your family tree. Federal Population Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.
Los Angeles Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Los Angeles Co. Industry and Agriculture can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Los Angeles Co. Union Veterans Schedules is available for 1890. One can find free online and printable census forms to help you with your research.
Los Angeles County Societies and Family History Resources
A list of Los Angeles County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- California Genealogy Community (plus.google.com)
- RAOGK Volunteers for California (raogk.org)
- California State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Antelope Valley Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1049, Lancaster, CA, 93584-1049
- Chatsworth Historical Society, Homestead Acre, 10385 Shadow Oak Drive, Chatsworth, CA ; (818) 882-5614
- Chinese Historical Society of Southern California, 411 Bernard St. , Los Angeles, CA 90012; 323.222.0856
- Duarte Historical Society, 777 Encanto Parkway, Duarte, California
- Jewish Genealogical Society Los Angeles, P.O. Box 55443, Sherman Oaks, CA 91413; 818-433-6599
- Little Landers Historical Society, P. O. Box 203, 10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042; Phone: (818) 352-3420
- Long Beach Historical Society, 4260 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach, California 90807; 562.424.2220
- Los Angeles Westside Genealogical Society, Post Office Box 10447, Marina del Rey, CA 90295-6447
- Manhattan Beach Historical Society and Museum, Post Office Box 3355, 1601 Manhattan Beach Boulevard, Manhattan Beach, California 90266; Phone: (310) 374-7575
- Mar Vista Historical Society, 12310 Venice Boulevard
- Pomona Valley Genealogical Society, PO Box 286, Pomona, CA 91769
- Pomona Valley Historical Society, 585 East Holt Avenue, Pomona, CA 91767; (909) 623-2198
- Questing Heirs Genealogical Society, P. O. Box 15102, Long Beach, California 90815
- Redondo Beach Historical Society, P.O. Box 978, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
- San Fernando Valley Genealogical Society, PO Box 3486 Winnetka, CA 91396-3486
- Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society, P.O. Box 221925 Newhall, CA 91322-1925 Phone: (661) 254-1275
- Santa Monica Historical Society Museum, 1350 7th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401; (310) 395-2290
- San Marino Historical Society, P.O. Box 80222, San Marino, CA 91108; 626-304-9375
- South Bay Cities Genealogical Society, Post Office Box 11069 Torrance, California 90510-1069
- The Southern Pacific Historical & Technical Society , 1523 Howard Access Rd Suite A, Upland, CA 91786-2582
- Southern California Genealogical Society, 417 Irving Drive, Burbank, CA. 91504; (818) 843-7247 or (818) THE-SCGS
- Venice Historical Society, P.O. Box 12844, Venice, California 90295; (310) 967-5170
- Whittier Area Genealogical Society P.O. Box 4367, Whittier, CA 90607-4367
- Los Angeles County, California Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Los Angeles County
- Los Angeles County, California Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Los Angeles County
- USGenWeb Archives for Los Angeles County (usgwarchives.net)
Los Angeles County Courthouse and Government Records
LosAngeles County Courthouse
Researchers often overlook the advantages of Los Angeles 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 Los Angeles 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 - Los Angeles' first building to be built as a courthouse was considered at the time to be one of the West's finest examples of Romanesque architecture. The "Red Sandstone Courthouse" was built at Spring and Temple Streets on what was then known as Poundcake Hill. An outside elevator with windows that was later added to the building became a sightseeing attraction of the city. Damage sustained in the 1933 earthquake made the building unsafe, and it was demolished in 1936. The site is now occupied by the current courthouse.
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 Los Angeles County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county.
Land was later added from counties Mariposa (1851) and Santa Barbara (1851).
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.
- Los Angeles County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Los Angeles 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.
- Address: 12400 East Imperial Highway, Room 1002, Norwalk, CA 90650
- Phone: (562) 462-2137
- Birth / Death Records: 1849 / 1874
- Marriage Records: 1850
- Land Records: 1850
- Los Angeles 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: 1850
- Court Records: 1850
- Los Angeles County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
- Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 313 North Figueroa Street, Room Lobby-1, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Birth (213) 240-7812, Death (213) 240-7816
Los Angeles County Links
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Los Angeles 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 Los Angeles County genealogy or family history associated sites.
Los Angeles Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications
- California Newspapers Books & Publications Research Guide (raogk.org)
- Historical Newspapers from California (1813 - 1978) (genealogybank.com) Easily identify names and keywords in over 450 million articles, obituaries, marriage notices, birth announcements along with other items written in over 2,800 historical U.S. newspapers. Completely new content added each month!
- Los Angeles County, California Books (amazon.com)
- Star-News (Pasadena, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- Press-Telegram (Long Beach, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- Independent (Long Beach, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- Independent Press-Telegram (Long Beach, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- Long Beach Independent (Long Beach, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- Valley News (Van Nuys, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- The Van Nuys News (Van Nuys, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- Independent Star News (Pasadena, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- Pasadena Independent (Pasadena, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- The Independent (Pasadena, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- La Verne Leader (La Verne, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- Progress Bulletin (Pomona, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- Arcadia Tribune (Arcadia, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- Pasadena Independent Topic (Pasadena, California) (search.ancestry.com)
- California Newspapers
- Search California Obituaries (1985 to current) (genealogybank.com) Over 28 million obituaries containing helpful information such as names, dates, places of birth, death, marriage and family information make this the most complete collection from the 20th and 21st centuries - 1,100 U.S. newspapers.
- Los Angeles County California Genealogy Books (books.google.com)
Los Angeles Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Los Angeles Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Los Angeles Co. CA Census Records
Los Angeles Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards
Los Angeles Co. CA Church & Bible Records
Los Angeles Co. CA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories
- Create a Free Family Tree (ancestry.com)
- California Pioneer Project - The California Pioneer List (CPL) is a list of settlers to California who migrated to or were born in California prior to 1880 (included in the 1880 California Census) and obtained from those sent (e-mailed) directly from individuals doing genealogical research.
Los Angeles Co. CA General and History Websites
Los Angeles Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Los Angeles Co. CA Military Records
Los Angeles Co. CA Schools & Directories