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Modoc County, California
Genealogy, History & Facts

Modoc County, California Facts

Modoc County

When was Modoc County, CA Created?
Modoc County was established on April 19, 1855 from Siskiyou County . This county derived its name from a fierce Indian tribe that lived at the Pit River headwaters. One historian suggests that the word modoc means “the head of the river.” Another states that the word is derived from the Klamath word moatakni meaning “southerners,” i.e., the people living south of the Klamath tribe.

What is the County Seat of Modoc County, CA?
The County Seat is located in Alturas also, the county government website is

What counties are adjacent to Modoc County, CA?
Bordering Counties are Lassen County, Shasta County, Siskiyou County, Klamath County, Oregon, Lake County, Oregon, Washoe County, Nevada. .

What cities and towns are in Modoc County, CA?
Cities and towns located in the County include Adin, Alturas, California Pines, Canby, Cedarville, Daphnedale Park, Davis Creek, Eagleville, Ft. Bidwell, Lake City, Likely, Lookout, Newell, New Pine Creek, Stronghold, Tionesta .

Modoc County, CA Vital Records

Where can find Modoc County Birth, marriage, Divorce and Death Records?
Modoc County vital records can be found at the California Office of Vital Records has copies of birth and death records from July 1905, marriage records that occurred from 1949-1986 and 1998-1999, divorce records that occurred between 1962 and June, 1984. 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 Modoc 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.

Vital Records can also be found in the Local Registrar of Births and Death, 204 South Court Street, Alturas, CA 96101; Office (530) 233-6205

Modoc County, CA Census Records

What Modoc County, CA census records are available?
There are many types of census records for Modoc County guide you in researching your family tree. Federal Population Schedules are available for 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

Modoc Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1860, 1870 and 1880. Modoc Co. Industry and Agriculture can be obtained for 1860, 1870 and 1880. Modoc Co. Union Veterans Schedules is available for 1890.

Another California census is the California State Census in 1852. One can find free online and printable census forms to help you with your research. See Also California Census Records Research Guide.

Modoc County, CA Courthouse and Government Records

Modoc County Courthouse

What genealogical records can I find in the Modoc County Courthouse?
The below facts shows exactly what death, marriage, birth, property, wills, and court records are typically in Modoc County. The years listed below are the first noted records with this county. 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. See Also California Corthouse Records Research Guide.

Old Modoc County Courthouse
  • Modoc County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
  • Modoc 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: 204 South Court Street, Room 107, Alturas, CA 96101-4020
    • Phone: 530-233-6205
    • Birth / Death Records: 1894 / 1882
    • Marriage Records: 1874
    • Land Records: 1874
  • Modoc 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: 1874 
    • Court Records: 1874 
  • Early California Wills
  • BLM Land Records

Modoc County, CA Societies and Family History Resources

What genealogical and historical societies, archives, museums, associations and libraries are available for Modoc County, CA?
A list of Modoc County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Libraries, Archives. See also list of Statewide Californiia Archives, Historical & Genealogical Societies.

Where can I connect with other Modoc County, CA Researchers through message boards and forums?

What other genealogical resources are available in Modoc County, CA?
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources pertaining to Modoc 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.

Modoc Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Modoc Co. CA Cemeteries & Church Records

Modoc Co. CA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Modoc Co. CA General and History Websites

Modoc Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Modoc Co. CA Military Records

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