Placer County, California
Genealogy and Facts

Placer County

Placer County was founded on April 25, 1851 from Yuba County and Sutter County . This county name is probably a contraction of the words plaza de oro (the place of gold) and in Spanish means “a place near a river where gold is found.” The county derived its name from the numerous places where the method of extracting gold from the earth, called placer mining, was practiced.

The Placer County Seat is located in Auburn also, the county government website is www.placer.ca.gov/

Areas bordering to Placer County are El Dorado County (south), Sacramento County (southwest), Sutter County (west), Yuba County (northwest), Nevada County (north), Washoe County, Nevada (east), Carson City, Nevada (east), Douglas County, Nevada (southeast) .

Cities and towns located in Placer County include Auburn, Colfax, Lincoln, Rocklin, Roseville .

Other Communities in Placer County include Applegate, Carnelian Bay, Homewood, Newcastle, Olympic Valley (Squaw Valley), Penryn, Weimar. CDPs ( census-designated place) include Dollar Point, Foresthill, Granite Bay, Kings Beach, Meadow Vista, North Auburn, Sunnyside-Tahoe City, Tahoe Vista.

Since its creation Placer County boundries have changed to include these:

  1. Territory was in Sutter County from 1850 to 1851 when it was moved to Placer County.
  2. Most of Placer County territory had been in Yuba County from 1850 to 1851 when it was moved to Placer County.
  3. Territory was in El Dorado County from 1850 to 1913 when it was added to Placer County.
  4. Territory which at one time was in Placer County is now in El Dorado County and Sutter County.

Placer 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 Placer 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.

Placer 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.

Placer Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1860, 1870 and 1880. Placer Co. Industry and Agriculture can be obtained for 1860, 1870 and 1880. Placer Co. Union Veterans Schedules is available for 1890. One can find free online and printable census forms to help you with your research.

Placer County Societies and Family History Resources

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

Placer County Courthouse and Government Records


Placer County Courthouse

Researchers often overlook the advantages of Placer 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 Placer 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 - Once facing an uncertain future, this California landmark was restored in the 1980s and now houses the superior courts, jury rooms, judges' chambers, and court offices. A popular feature of the Auburn courthouse since 1908 is the Neff Fountain, a 15-foot-high water fountain that, according to one local historian, provided "a place where people, horses, and dogs could drink." The fountain is now used as a garden centerpiece in front of the courthouse.

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 Placer County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county. Land was added from El Dorado County in 1913.

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.
  • Placer County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
  • Placer 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.
    • Phone: (530) 886-5600
    • Birth / Death Records: 1873
    • Marriage Records: 1851
    • Land Records: 1851
  • Placer 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: 1850 
    • Court Records: 1852 
  • Placer County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
  • Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 11484 B Avenue, Auburn, CA 95603-2690; Office (530) 889-7158

Placer County Links

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

Placer Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Placer Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Placer Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Placer Co. CA Census Records

Placer Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards

Placer Co. CA Church & Bible Records

Placer Co. CA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Placer Co. CA General and History Websites

Placer Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Placer Co. CA Military Records

Placer Co. CA Schools & Directories

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