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Ventura County, California

Ventura County

Ventura County was founded on March 22, 1872 from Santa Barbara County . This county in 1782 the Mission San Buenaventura was founded as San Buenaventura (now known as Ventura). Buenaventura is composed of two Spanish words, buena meaning “good” and ventura meaning “fortune.”

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

Areas bordering to Ventura County are Santa Barbara County (west), Kern County (north), Los Angeles County (east) .

Cities and towns located in Ventura County include Camarillo, Fillmore, Moorpark, Ojai, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Ventura .

Other Communities in Ventura County include Bardsdale, Bell Canyon, La Conchita, Lake Sherwood, Newbury Park, Point Mugu, Saticoy, Somis .

Since its creation Ventura County boundries have changed to include these:

  1. Most of the county came from territory in Santa Barbara County from 1850 to 1872 when it was moved to Ventura County.
  2. Territory was in San Luis Obispo County from 1850 to 1872 when it was moved to Ventura County.
  3. Territory in Los Angeles County from 1850 to 1851, was in Santa Barbara County from 1851 to 1872 when it was moved to Ventura County.
  4. Territory in Santa Barbara County from 1850 to 1872, was in Los Angeles County from 1872 to 1881, when it was added to Ventura County.
  5. Territory in Los Angeles County from 1850 to 1851, and in Santa Barbara County from 1851 to 1872, was in Los Angeles County again from 1872 to 1881, when it was added to Ventura County.

Ventura 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 Ventura 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.

Ventura County consists of Federal Census Schedules to guide in looking into your family tree. Federal Population Schedules can be found for 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

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

Ventura County Societies and Family History Resources

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

Ventura County Courthouse and Government Records

Ventura County Courthouse

Researchers often overlook the advantages of Ventura 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 Ventura 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 second of Ventura County's courthouses was turned over to the City of San Buenaventura for use as its city hall after construction of a new county center in 1978. This ornate building, which features a series of gargoyle-like monks' faces along the façade and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is dramatically situated on a hill with full views of the city and the Channel Islands. One of the most celebrated defense attorneys who practiced at the courthouse was Erle Stanley Gardner, the creator of the Perry Mason mystery series, who worked here in the 1920s and 1930s.

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 Ventura County. The years indicated below are considered the first widely known records for this county. Land was later added from Los Angeles County in 1881.

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.
  • Ventura County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
  • Ventura 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: 800 South Victoria Avenue, LN 1260, Ventura, CA 93009
    • Phone: (805) 654-3666
    • Birth / Death Records: 1872
    • Marriage Records: 1873
    • Land Records: 1871 (Alcalde records from 1782; county land records begin 1871)
  • Ventura 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: 1873 
    • Court Records: 1873 
  • Ventura County County Treasurer / Tax Collector
  • Local Registrar of Births and Deaths, 2240 East Gonzales Road, Suite 150, Oxnard, CA 93036; Office (805) 981-5172

Ventura County Links

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

Ventura Co. CA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Ventura Co. CA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Ventura Co. CA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Ventura Co. CA Census Records

Ventura Co. CA Cemeteries & Graveyards

Ventura Co. CA Church & Bible Records

Ventura Co. CA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Ventura Co. CA General and History Websites

Ventura Co. CA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Ventura Co. CA Military Records

Ventura Co. CA Schools & Directories

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