Orange County, California
Genealogy and Facts

Orange County

Orange County was founded on March 11, 1889 from Los Angeles County . This county was named for its extensive orange groves.

The Orange County Seat is located in Santa Ana also, the county government website is egov.ocgov.com

Areas bordering to Orange County are Los Angeles County (north & west), San Bernardino County (northeast), Riverside County (east), San Diego County (southeast) .

Cities and towns located in Orange County include Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster, Yorba Linda .

Other Communities in Orange County include Ladera Ranch, Midway City, Modjeska Canyon, Orange Park Acres, Santa Ana Heights, Santiago Canyon, Silverado, Sunset Beach, Trabuco Canyon. CDPs ( census-designated place) include Coto de Caza, Las Flores, Rossmoor, Tustin Foothills.

Since its creation Orange County boundries have changed to include all of Orange County territory was in Los Angeles County from 1850 to 1889 when it was moved to Orange County

Orange 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 Orange 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.

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

Orange Co. Union Veterans Schedules is available for 1890. One can find free online and printable census forms to help you with your research.

Orange County Societies and Family History Resources

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

Orange County Courthouse and Government Records


Orange County Courthouse

Researchers often overlook the advantages of Orange 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 Orange 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 - One of Southern California's oldest court buildings, the Old Orange County Courthouse is also one of the state's few surviving Romanesque Revival-style buildings. The courts occupied the building until 1969, when they moved to more modern facilities on Civic Center Drive. Restoration of the old courthouse began in 1983 and was completed in 1992. The building now houses the Orange County History Center as well as county offices and 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 Orange 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.
  • Orange County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
  • Orange 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: 12 Civic Center Plaza, Room 101, Santa Ana, CA 92701
    • Birth / Death Records: 1887 / 1889
    • Marriage Records: 1889
    • Land Records: 1889
  • Orange 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: 1889 
    • Court Records: 1889 
  • Orange County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
  • Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 1200 N. Main St. #100-A, Santa Ana, CA 92701; Phone (714) 480-6710

Orange County Links

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

Orange Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Orange Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Orange Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Orange Co. CA Census Records

Orange Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards

Orange Co. CA Church & Bible Records

Orange Co. CA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Orange Co. CA General and History Websites

Orange Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Orange Co. CA Military Records

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