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San Mateo County, California
Genealogy, History & Facts

San Mateo County, California Facts

San Mateo County

When was San Mateo County, CA Created?
San Mateo County was established on April 19, 1856 from the southern portion of San Francisco County . This county bears the Spanish name for Saint Matthew. As a place name, St. Matthew appears as early as 1776, and the arroyo, the point and the settlement at the unofficial San Mateo Mission are all so designated on the early maps. Until about 1850, the name appeared as San Matheo. .

What is the County Seat of San Mateo County, CA?
The County Seat is located in Redwood City also, the county government website is

What counties are adjacent to San Mateo County, CA?
Bordering Counties are San Francisco County (north), Alameda County (east), Santa Clara County (southeast), Santa Cruz County (south) .

What cities and towns are in San Mateo County, CA?
Cities and towns located in the County include Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, Burlingame, Colma, Daly City, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Hillsborough, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Pacifica, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, South San Francisco, Woodside .

San Mateo County, CA Vital Records

Where can find San Mateo County Birth, marriage, Divorce and Death Records?
San Mateo County vital records can be found at the California Office of Vital Records has copies of birth and death records from July 1905, marriage records that occurred from 1949-1986 and 1998-1999, divorce records that occurred between 1962 and June, 1984. 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 Mateo 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.

Vital Records can also be found in the Local Registrar of Births and Death, 225 West 37th Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94403; Office (650) 573-2395

San Mateo County, CA Census Records

What San Mateo County, CA census records are available?
There are many types of census records for San Mateo County guide you in researching your family tree. Federal Population Schedules are available for 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

San Mateo Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1860, 1870 and 1880. San Mateo Co. Industry and Agriculture can be obtained for 1860, 1870 and 1880. San Mateo Co. Union Veterans Schedules is available for 1890.

Another California census is the California State Census in 1852. One can find free online and printable census forms to help you with your research. See Also California Census Records Research Guide.

San Mateo County, CA Courthouse and Government Records

SanMateo County Courthouse

What genealogical records can I find in the San Mateo County Courthouse?
The below facts shows exactly what death, marriage, birth, property, wills, and court records are typically in San Mateo County. The years listed below are the first noted records with this county. 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. See Also California Corthouse Records Research Guide.

Old San Mateo County Courthouse
  • San Mateo County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
  • San Mateo 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: 555 County Center, 1st Floor, Redwood City, CA 94063-1665
    • Phone: (650) 363-4500
    • Birth / Death Records: 1865
    • Marriage Records: 1853
    • Land Records: 1856
  • San Mateo 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: 1856 
    • Court Records: 1871 
  • Early California Wills
  • BLM Land Records

San Mateo County, CA Societies and Family History Resources

What genealogical and historical societies, archives, museums, associations and libraries are available for San Mateo County, CA?
A list of San Mateo County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Libraries, Archives. See also list of Statewide Californiia Archives, Historical & Genealogical Societies.

Where can I connect with other San Mateo County, CA Researchers through message boards and forums?

What other genealogical resources are available in San Mateo County, CA?
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources pertaining to San Mateo 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.

San Mateo Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications

San Mateo Co. CA Cemeteries & Church Records

San Mateo Co. CA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

San Mateo Co. CA General and History Websites

San Mateo Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

San Mateo Co. CA Military Records

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