San Benito County, California Genealogy
San Benito County, California genealogy and family history research page. Find links to record collections, history, and genealogy resources to help you trace your California ancestors. Get started by building a Free Family Tree.
San Benito County Quick Facts
- Government Website: http://www.cosb.us/
- County Seat: Hollister
- Created Date / Origin: February 12, 1874 from Monterey County
- Boundary Changes:
- Most of San Benito County territory had been in Monterey County from 1850 to 1874 when it was separated to create the new county.
- Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1855, and in Merced County from 1855 to 1856, was in Fresno County from 1856 to 1887, when it was added to San Benito County.
- Territory in Mariposa County from 1850 to 1855, was in Merced County from 1855 to 1887, when it was added to San Benito County.
- Named After: San Benito Valley. In his expedition in 1772, Crespi named a small river in honor of San Benidicto (Saint Benedict), the patron saint of the married, and it is from the contraction of this name that the county took its name.
- Bordering Counties: Santa Clara County (north & northwest), Merced County (northeast), Fresno County (east & southeast), Monterey County (southwest & west), Santa Cruz County (northwest)
- Cities & Towns: Hollister, San Juan Bautista
- CDPs ( census-designated place) Include Aromas, Ridgemark
- Other Communities: New Idria, Paicines, Panoche, Tres Piños
San Benito County Genealogical & Historical Societies and Family History Resources
A list of San Benito County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives. See Also California Archives, Genealogical and Historical Societies for statewide Addresses and links.
San Benito County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers often overlook the importance of San Benito County court, probate, and land records as a source of genealogy and family history information. Buried away in California courthouses and archives everywhere are the dreams and frustrations of many California citizens. The chances are great that your ancestors have left a detailed record of at least some aspects of their lives in the San Benito County court records. Even if your ancestor is not mentioned in a Court case, consider all of the other procedures which could have lead to him or her appearing in court records.
Courthouse History - San Benito's third courthouse was a lavishly decorated building with an exterior modeled on the Farnese Palace in Rome and elaborate balustrades of polished red cedar within. The Hollister landmark withstood many earthquakes but was structurally damaged in a 1961 quake. The courts were moved into a quickly remodeled library while a new courthouse was constructed. The old courthouse was razed the following year.
Please call the clerk's department to confirm hours, mailing address, fees and other specifics before visiting or requesting information because of sometimes changing contact information. The Clerk's Office DOES NOT DO RESEARCH. The documents are available to interested parties, barring confidential issues. Most staff will assist people in finding the materials, but it is up to the individual to do the research.
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 whatvital, land, probate, and court records are in San Benito 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. Land was later added from counties Fresno (1887) and Merced (1887).
- San Benito County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- San Benito 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.
- Birth / Death Records: 1850 / 1874
- Marriage Records: 1874
- Land Records: 1850
- San Benito 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
- San Benito County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
- 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. Birth, marriage, and death records are connected with central life events. They are prime sources for genealogical information.
California Historical Records
- Databases include California Court, Land, Wills & Financial Records; California Birth, Marriage & Death Records; California Voter Lists & Census Records; California Immigration & Emigration Records; California Obituary Records; California Military Records; California Family Tree Records; California Pictures; California Stories, Memories & Histories; California Directories & Member Lists and much more....
San Benito County Genealogy Links
The following are links to Genealogy, Records and Resources relating to San Benito County. These genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Commercial Sites, Personal Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some require a payment. This is just a list that has been collected or submitted. I do not endorse or promote one genealogy site above another. Feel free to submit your own favorite genealogy or family history related sites.
San Benito Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications
- See Also Statewide Newspapers, Books & Publications Links for California
- Historical Newspapers from California (1813 - 1978) (genealogybank.com) Quickly find names and keywords in over 450 million articles, obituaries, marriage notices, birth announcements and other items published in over 2,800 historical U.S. newspapers. New content added monthly!
- San Benito County, California Books (amazon.com)
- California Newspapers
- Search California Obituaries (1985 to current) (genealogybank.com) Over 28 million obituaries containing helpful information such as names, dates, places of birth, death, marriage and family information make this the most complete collection from the 20th and 21st centuries - 1,100 U.S. newspapers.
- San Benito County California Genealogy Books (books.google.com)
San Benito Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records
San Benito Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
San Benito Co. CA Census Records
San Benito Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards
San Benito Co. CA Church & Bible Records
San Benito Co. CA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories
- California Pioneer Project - The California Pioneer List (CPL) is a list of settlers to California who migrated to or were born in California prior to 1880 (included in the 1880 California Census) and obtained from those sent (e-mailed) directly from individuals doing genealogical research.
San Benito Co. CA General and History Websites
San Benito Co. CA Immigration & Naturalization
San Benito Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
San Benito Co. CA Military Records
San Benito Co. CA Schools & Directories