Search For Your Ancestors in Historical Documents




San Diego County, California

San Diego County

San Diego County was founded on February 18, 1850 as one of the original 27 counties . This county was named for San Diego Bay, which had been rechristened by Vizcaino in 1602, in honor of the Franciscan, San Diego de Alcala de Henares, whose name was borne by his flagship.

The San Diego County Seat is located in San Diego also, the county government website is

Areas bordering to San Diego County are Imperial County (east), Orange County (northwest), Riverside County (north) .

Cities and towns located in San Diego County include Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City, Oceanside, Poway, San Diego, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach, Vista .

Other Communities in San Diego County include 4S Ranch, Boulevard, Campo, Descanso, Dulzura, Jacumba, Jesmond Dene, Lincoln Acres, Mount Laguna, Ocotillo Wells, Pala, Potrero, Tecate, Santa Ysabel. CDPs ( census-designated place) include Alpine, Bonita, Bonsall, Borrego Springs, Bostonia, Camp Pendleton North, Camp Pendleton South, Casa de Oro-Mount Helix, Crest, Fairbanks Ranch, Fallbrook, Granite Hills, Harbison Canyon, Hidden Meadows, Jamul, Julian, La Presa, Lake San Marcos, Lakeside, Pine Valley, Rainbow, Ramona, Rancho San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego Country Estates, Spring Valley, Valley Center, Winter Gardens.

Since its creation San Diego County boundries have changed to include Territory which at one time was in San Diego County is now in Imperial County, Inyo County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County.

San Diego 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 San Diego 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.

San Diego 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.

San Diego Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. San Diego Co. Industry and Agriculture can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. San Diego Co. Union Veterans Schedules is available for 1890. One can find free online and printable census forms to help you with your research.

San Diego County Societies and Family History Resources

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

San Diego County Courthouse and Government Records

SanDiego County Courthouse

Researchers often overlook the advantages of San Diego 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 San Diego 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 42 stained-glass windows from the clerestory of the 19th-century building, which was razed in 1959, are now displayed in county courthouses around San Diego, including 12 in the central atrium of the Hall of Justice. The elaborate windows depict the Great Seals of all the states then in the Union and were recovered from a rented storage area in 1978.

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 San Diego 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.
  • San Diego County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
  • San Diego 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: 1600 Pacific Highway, Room 260, San Diego, CA 92101; Mail to: P.O. Box 12150, San Diego, CA 92112-4750
    • Phone: (619) 237-0502
    • Birth / Death Records: 1860 / 1851
    • Marriage Records: 1850
    • Land Records: 1850
  • San Diego 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: 1848 
    • Court Records: 1855 
  • San Diego County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
  • Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, HHSA Office of Public Health, 3851 Rosecrans Street, Suite 802, San Diego, CA 92110; (619) 692-5733

San Diego County Links

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

San Diego Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications

San Diego Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

San Diego Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

San Diego Co. CA Census Records

San Diego Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards

San Diego Co. CA Church & Bible Records

San Diego Co. CA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

San Diego Co. CA General and History Websites

San Diego Co. CA Immigration & Naturalization

San Diego Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

San Diego Co. CA Military Records

San Diego Co. CA Schools & Directories

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