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Santa Cruz County was founded on February 18, 1850 as one of the original 27 counties . This county was named for the name of Branciforte after the Spanish pueblo founded there in 1797. Less than two months later, the name was changed to Santa Cruz. Established in 1791 and completed in 1794, the Santa Cruz Mission was destroyed by earthquake in 1857, but a smaller-scale replica was erected in 1931. Santa Cruz signifies “holy cross.”
Other Communities in Santa Cruz County include Bonny Doon, Brookdale, Davenport, Mount Hermon, Swanton. CDPs ( census-designated place) include Amesti, Aptos, Aptos Hills-Larkin Valley, Ben Lomond, Boulder Creek, Corralitos, Day Valley, Felton, Freedom, Interlaken, Live Oak, Opal Cliffs, Rio del Mar, Soquel, Twin Lakes.
Since its creation Santa Cruz County boundries have changed to include Territory which at one time was in Santa Cruz County is now in San Mateo County
Santa Cruz 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 Cruz 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 Cruz 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 Cruz Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Santa Cruz Co. Industry and Agriculture can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Santa Cruz 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 Cruz County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
Researchers often overlook the advantages of Santa Cruz 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 Cruz 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 - This much-admired brick, Romanesque Revival courthouse was rebuilt after the Great Earthquake of 1906 and served the county until 1967, when court offices moved to a new location. The building was remodeled and opened in 1972 as the Cooper House, a mix of offices and retail businesses. It was later demolished after sustaining serious damage in the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989.
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 Cruz County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county.
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Santa Cruz 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 Cruz County genealogy or family history associated sites.