Search For Your Ancestors in Historical Documents




Los Angeles County, California

Los Angeles County

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

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:

  1. Most of its present territory has been in the county since 1850.
  2. A large territory was in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1851, when it was added to Los Angeles County.
  3. Territory was in Santa Barbara County from 1850 to 1851 when it was added to Los Angeles County.
  4. 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.

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

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

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

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