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Madera County, California

Madera County

Madera County was founded on March 11, 1893 from Fresno County . This county was named for the Spanish word that means “timber.” The county derived its name from the town of Madera, named when the California Lumber Company built a flume to carry lumber to the railroad there in 1876.

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

Areas bordering to Madera County are Fresno County (south & west), Merced County (northwest), Mariposa County (north), Tuolumne County (northeast), Mono County (northeast) .

Cities and towns located in Madera County include Ahwahnee, Bass Lake, Bonadelle Ranchos-Madera Ranchos, Chowchilla, Coarsegold, Fairmead, Knowles, La Vina, Madera, Madera Acres, Nipinnawasee, North Fork, O'Neals, Oakhurst, Parksdale, Parkwood, Raymond, Ripperdan, Rolling Hills, Sugar Pine, Yosemite Lakes .

Other Communities in Madera County include Ahwahnee, Coarsegold, Fish Camp, North Fork, Raymond .

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

  1. Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1856, was in Fresno County from 1856 to 1893 when it was separated to create Madera County.
  2. Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1855, and in Merced County from 1855 to 1856, was in Fresno County from 1856 to 1893 when it was separated to create Madera County.
  3. Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1856, in Fresno County from 1856 to 1870, back in Mariposa County from 1870 to 1872, was back in Fresno County from 1872 to 1893 when it was moved to the new Madera County.

Madera 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 Madera 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.

Madera County consists of Federal Census Schedules to guide in looking into your family tree. Federal Population Schedules can be found for 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

One can find free online and printable census forms to help you with your research.

Madera County Societies and Family History Resources

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

Madera County Courthouse and Government Records

Madera County Courthouse

Researchers often overlook the advantages of Madera 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 Madera 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 Madera was created from the northern section of Fresno County in 1893, the first superior court was located on the upper floor of a drugstore while plans were made for a courthouse to be built of local granite. Just five years after the completion of the courthouse, a fire on Christmas Eve 1906 destroyed the upper floors and tower, which were quickly rebuilt. The courts and county offices moved out of the building in 1957, and it remained vacant until 1971, when it was renovated as the Madera County Historical Society Museum. The courthouse 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 Madera County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county. Courthouse fire on Christmas Eve 1906 destroyed the upper floors and tower.

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.
  • Madera County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
  • Madera 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: (559) 675-7724
    • Birth / Death Records: 1883 / 1892
    • Marriage Records: 1893
    • Land Records: 1893
  • Madera 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: 1893 
    • Court Records: 1893 
  • Madera County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
  • Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 14215 Road 28, Madera, CA 93638; Office (559) 675-7893

Madera County Links

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

Madera Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Madera Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Madera Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Madera Co. CA Census Records

Madera Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards

Madera Co. CA Church & Bible Records

Madera Co. CA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Madera Co. CA General and History Websites

Madera Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Madera Co. CA Military Records

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