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Merced County, California

Merced County

Merced County was founded on April 19, 1855 from Mariposa County. This county name derived its name from the Merced River of El Rio de Nuestra Senora de la Merced (River of Our Lady of Mercy); named in 1806 by an expedition, headed by Gabriel Moraga, which came upon it at the end of a hot dusty ride.

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

Areas bordering to Merced County are San Benito County (southwest), Santa Clara County (west), Stanislaus County (north), Mariposa County (east), Madera County (southeast), Fresno County (south) .

Cities and towns located in Merced County include Atwater, Livingston, Los Banos, Merced, Dos Palos, Gustine .

Other Communities in Merced County include Ballico, Cressey, El Nido, Santa Nella, Snelling .

Since its creation Merced County boundries have changed to include Territory which at one time was in Merced County is now in Fresno County, Madera County, San Benito County, and Stanislaus County.

Merced 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 Merced 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.

Merced County consists of Federal Census Schedules to guide in looking into your family tree. Federal Population Schedules can be found for 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

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

Merced County Societies and Family History Resources

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

Merced County Courthouse and Government Records

Merced County Courthouse

Researchers often overlook the advantages of Merced 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 Merced 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 - Merced's first court hearings took place under a tree on a local ranch that had been designated the county seat after the county separated from Mariposa in 1855. Construction was begun in 1874 on this grand Italianate building designed by Albert A. Bennett, one of the architects of the State Capitol Building in Sacramento. The courthouse is adorned with three statues of Justice and topped by a statue of Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom. It was used as the county courthouse until 1950, when the courts moved to more modern offices. Renovation of the building began in 1975, and the courthouse was rededicated as a museum in 1983. It 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 Merced 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.
  • Merced County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
  • Merced 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: 2222 M Street, Merced, CA 95340
    • Phone: (209) 385-7627
    • Birth / Death Records: 1873 / 1889
    • Marriage Records: 1855
    • Land Records: 1856
  • Merced 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: 1855 
    • Court Records: 1855 
  • Merced County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
  • Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 260 East 15th Street, Merced, CA 95341-0471; Office (209) 381-1013

Merced County Links

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

Merced Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Merced Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Merced Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Merced Co. CA Census Records

Merced Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards

Merced Co. CA Church & Bible Records

Merced Co. CA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Merced Co. CA General and History Websites

Merced Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Merced Co. CA Military Records

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