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Santa Clara County was founded on February 18, 1850 as one of the original 27 counties . This county was named for the Mission Santa Clara, which was established in 1777, and named for Saint Clara of Assisi, Italy. The name Clara means “clear” or “bright.”
Areas bordering to Santa Clara County are San Benito County (south), Santa Cruz County (south & southwest), San Mateo County (northwest), Alameda County (north), Stanislaus County (east), Merced County (southeast) .
Cities and towns located in Santa Clara County include San Jose, Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, Saratoga, Sunnyvale .
Other Communities in Santa Clara County include Bell Station, Casa Loma, Chemeketa Park, Holy City, Loma Chiquita, Redwood Estates, Rucker, San Antonio, Sargent, Sveadal. CDPs ( census-designated place) include Alum Rock, Buena Vista, Burbank, East Foothills, Fruitdale, Lexington Hills, Loyola, San Martin, Seven Trees, Stanford, Sunol-Midtown.
Since its creation Santa Clara County boundries have changed to include Territory which at one time was in Santa Clara County is now in Alameda County.
Santa Clara 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 Santa Clara 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.
Santa Clara 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.
Santa Clara Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Santa Clara Co. Industry and Agriculture can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Santa Clara Co. Union Veterans Schedules is available for 1890. One can find free online and printable census forms to help you with your research.
A list of Santa Clara County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
Researchers often overlook the advantages of Santa Clara 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 Santa Clara 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 - During California's first 15 years of statehood, Santa Clara had no fewer than five courthouses, beginning with an adobe juzgado, or Mexican courthouse, and ending with this Roman Corinthian landmark on St. James Park. The building withstood numerous earthquakes and fires, including a disastrous blaze in 1931 that gutted the building. Damage sustained in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake nearly led to its demolition, but after a $12.4 million seismic retrofit and restoration project the building was reopened in 1994 and is still in use today.
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 Santa Clara County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county. On May 18, 1931, a fire quickly spread through the courthouse, causing extensive damage.
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Santa Clara 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 Santa Clara County genealogy or family history associated sites.