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Napa County was founded on February 18, 1850 as one of the original 27 counties . This county was named for Napa Valley. The word napa is of Indian derivation and has been variously translated as “grizzly bear,” “house,” “motherland” or “fish.” Of the many explanations of the names’s origin, the most plausible seems to be that it is derived from the Patwin word napo meaning house.
Other Communities in Napa County include Circle Oaks, Oakville, Pope Valley, Rutherford, Vichy Springs, Zinfandel. CDPs ( census-designated place) include Angwin, Deer Park.
Since its creation Napa County boundries have changed to include these:
Napa 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 Napa 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.
Napa 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.
Napa Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Napa Co. Industry and Agriculture can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Napa 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 Napa County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
Researchers often overlook the advantages of Napa 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 Napa 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 distinctive cupola on Napa's third courthouse, which combined Russian, Gothic, and Victorian styles, withstood the 1906 earthquake, during which a chimney crashed into a judge's chambers. At the time it was constructed, a local newspaper reported that "all the brick used in the construction of the courthouse and jail were made at the old brick yard on the Sonoma Road. About 90,000 were made, which were pronounced by competent judges to be of excellent quality." The courthouse, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is still in use. The cupola was removed after another earthquake in 1964.
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 Napa County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county. Land was later added from counties Lake (1872) and Solano (1855).
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Napa 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 Napa County genealogy or family history associated sites.