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Santa Clara County, California

Santa Clara County

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.”

The Santa Clara County Seat is located in San Jose also, the county government website is

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.

Santa Clara County Societies and Family History Resources

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

Santa Clara County Courthouse and Government Records

SantaClara County Courthouse

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.

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.
  • Santa Clara County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
  • Santa Clara 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: County Government Center, East Wing, First Floor, 70 West Hedding Street, San Jose, CA 95110
    • Phone: Office (408) 299-2481 (General), Office (408) 299-5669 (Recording)
    • Birth / Death Records: 1873
    • Marriage Records: 1846
    • Land Records: 1850
  • Santa Clara 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: 1850 
  • Santa Clara County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
  • Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 976 Lenzen Ave., Suite 1300, San Jose, CA 95126; Office (408) 885-2010

Santa Clara County Links

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.

Santa Clara Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Santa Clara Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Santa Clara Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Santa Clara Co. CA Census Records

Santa Clara Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards

Santa Clara Co. CA Church & Bible Records

Santa Clara Co. CA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Santa Clara Co. CA General and History Websites

Santa Clara Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Santa Clara Co. CA Military Records

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