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Mariposa County, California

Mariposa County

Mariposa County was founded on February 18, 1850 as one of the original 27 counties (is the parent or grandparent of all or parts of twelve other counties, more than was produced by any other California county) . This county was named for Mariposa Creek. The area was so named by Spanish explorers in 1807 when they discovered great clusters of butterflies (“mariposas” in Spanish) in the foothills of the Sierras. Some say these butterflies were really butterfly lilies.

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

Areas bordering to Mariposa County are Tuolumne County (north), Merced County (west), Madera County (south & east) .

Cities and towns located in Mariposa County include Mariposa .

Other Communities in Mariposa County include Buck Meadows, Catheys Valley, Coulterville, Wawona .

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

  1. Most of Mariposa County has been in the county since 1850.
  2. A very small piece in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1856, was in Fresno County from 1856 to 1870 when it was returned to Mariposa County.
  3. Territory which at one time was in Mariposa County is now part or all of twelve other counties: Fresno County, Inyo County, Kern County, Kings County, Los Angeles County, Madera County, Merced County, Mono County, San Benito County, San Bernardino County, San Luis Obispo County, and Tulare County.

Mariposa 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 Mariposa 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.

Mariposa 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.

Mariposa Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Mariposa Co. Industry and Agriculture can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Mariposa Co. Union Veterans Schedules is available for 1890. One can find free online and printable census forms to help you with your research.

Mariposa County Societies and Family History Resources

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

Mariposa County Courthouse and Government Records

Mariposa County Courthouse

Researchers often overlook the advantages of Mariposa 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 Mariposa 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 - Mariposa's landmark remains the state's oldest county courthouse in continuous use. One of the best examples of Greek Revival architecture in the Gold Country, the courthouse still contains many of the original, hand-planed furnishings, and a pot-bellied stove sits in the courtroom. Since there is no jury room, jurors deliberate in the jury box. Among the alterations to the original structure was the addition of the clock tower in 1866. While one newspaper at the time questioned the need "to distinguish the exact time from a mile," the clock, shipped from England around Cape Horn, is today a popular fixture in Mariposa and continues to sound on the quarter-hour. 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 Mariposa County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county.

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.
  • Mariposa County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
  • Mariposa 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: 4982 Tenth Street, Mail to: P.O. Box 35, Mariposa, CA 95338-0035
    • Phone: (209) 966-5719
    • Birth / Death Records: 1873
    • Marriage Records: 1851
    • Land Records: 1850
  • Mariposa 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 
  • Mariposa County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
  • Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 4982 Tenth Street, Mail to: P.O. Box 35, Mariposa, CA 95338-0035; Office (209) 966-5719

Mariposa County Links

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

Mariposa Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Mariposa Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Mariposa Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Mariposa Co. CA Census Records

Mariposa Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards

Mariposa Co. CA Church & Bible Records

Mariposa Co. CA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Mariposa Co. CA General and History Websites

Mariposa Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Mariposa Co. CA Military Records

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