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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.
Other Communities in Merced County include Ballico, Cressey, El Nido, Santa Nella, Snelling .
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.
A list of Merced County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
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.
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.