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Mendocino County, California

Mendocino County

Mendocino County was founded on February 18, 1850 as one of the original 27 counties . This county derived its name from Cape Mendocino, which was probably named in honor of either Antonio de Mendoza, Viceroy of New Spain, 1535-1542 (who sent the Juan Cabrillo Expedition to this coast in 1542), or Lorenzo Suarez de Mendoza, Viceroy from 1580 to 1583. Mendocino is an adjective form of the family name of Mendoza.

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

Areas bordering to Mendocino County are Sonoma County (south), Lake County (east), Glenn County (east), Tehama County (northeast), Trinity County (north), Humboldt County (north) .

Cities and towns located in Mendocino County include Fort Bragg, Point Arena, Ukiah, Willits .

Other Communities in Mendocino County include Albion, Boonville, Branscomb, Calpella, Caspar, Elk, Gualala, Hopland, Little River, Philo, Redwood Valley, Potter Valley .

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

  1. Most of Mendocino County has been in the county since 1850.
  2. Territory was in Sonoma County from 1850 to 1855 when it was added to Mendocino County.
  3. Territory was in Sonoma County from 1850 to 1859 when it was added to Mendocino County.
  4. Territory in Mendocino County from 1850 to 1855, was in Sonoma County from 1855 to 1859 when it was returned to Mendocino County.
  5. Territory which at one time was in Mendocino County is now in Glenn County, Humboldt County, Lake County, Sonoma County, and Trinity County.

Mendocino 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 Mendocino 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.

Mendocino 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.

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

Mendocino County Societies and Family History Resources

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

Mendocino County Courthouse and Government Records

Mendocino County Courthouse

Researchers often overlook the advantages of Mendocino 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 Mendocino 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 winning out over rival cities for designation as the county seat, Ukiah built its first courthouse, a simple two-story brick building, in 1860. As the county prospered, officials commissioned a much grander building with two-story columns and a dome. Among the court's more dramatic trials was one in 1905 during which a man brought before the court on an insanity charge apparently was not searched and fatally shot the sheriff. The courthouse was demolished in 1950 to make way for a more modern building.

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 Mendocino County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county. Attached to Sonoma County for administrative purposes until 1859.

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.
  • Mendocino County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
  • Mendocino 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: 501 Low Gap Road, No.1020, Ukiah, CA 95482
    • Phone: (707) 463-4376
    • Birth / Death Records: 1859
    • Marriage Records: 1859
    • Land Records: 1852
  • Mendocino 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: 1854 
    • Court Records: 1858 
  • Mendocino County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
  • Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 1120 S. Dora Street, Room 196, Ukiah, CA 95482; Office (707) 472-2772

Mendocino County Links

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

Mendocino Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Mendocino Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Mendocino Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Mendocino Co. CA Census Records

Mendocino Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards

Mendocino Co. CA Church & Bible Records

Mendocino Co. CA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Mendocino Co. CA General and History Websites

Mendocino Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Mendocino Co. CA Military Records

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