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Monterey County was founded on February 18, 1850 as one of the original 27 counties . This county was named for the Bay of Monterey. The word itself is composed of the Spanish words monte and rey, and literally means “king of the forest.” The bay was named by Sebastian Vizcaino in 1602, in honor of the Conde de Monterey, the Viceroy of New Spain.
Other Communities in Monterey County include Carmel Highlands, Gorda, Jolon, Lucia, Parkfield, Pebble Beach .
Since its creation Monterey County boundries have changed to include these:
Monterey 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 Monterey 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.
Monterey 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.
Monterey Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Monterey Co. Industry and Agriculture can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Monterey 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 Monterey County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
Researchers often overlook the advantages of Monterey 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 Monterey 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 - The military and social capital of Alta California during Spanish and Mexican rule, the town of Monterey naturally became the county seat when the 27 original counties were formed in 1850. But when it was learned that the railroad was to go through the valley and not along the coast, the government center was moved to Salinas. After the house used as a courthouse burned, this much larger brick Victorian building was commissioned. The courthouse remained in use while the current one was being constructed around it, and then was demolished. Today, a courtyard, lily pond, and commemorative sculpture occupy the site.
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 indicates what vital, land, probate, and court records are in Monterey county. The dates indicated below are the first known records for this county which may include records of land, estates, taxes, vital records, divorces, naturalizations, voter registration, court records, and so forth. Alcalde records from 1781 (See Land Records) Land from San Luis Obispo County was added in 1863 and 1872.
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Monterey 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 Monterey County genealogy or family history associated sites.