California Genealogy

From census records to death records, try searching some of the resources below. Some of the resources require a subscription but will allow for free searching. You can at least see if a record match exists for your ancestor. Other resources are free and have scanned images of original documents.

Resource Description Cost Record Types Best one-stop-shop for genealogy searches, family tree creation Free Trial Birth, Death, Census, Stories, Pedigrees
Family Very large collection of names and family trees. Free Pedigrees, Census, Social Security, Vital Records
US Federal Census Records Census records on Ancestry Free Trial US Census
National Archives Immigration records from the US archives. Find microfilm indexes of records. Free Ship Passenger, Arrival Records, Land Border Entries
California State Archives Resource with records dating back to the 1850’s. Free National Guard, Prison, probate, deeds, naturalization
Social Security Death Index Search for social security records of deceased ancestors. Free SearchesFree Trial Social Security
Vital Records Vital check record requesting Fee per record Birth, Death, Marriage, Divorce
History of Towns and Cities Type the name of the city (and state) you are looking for. Free Articles
Google News Archive Search archives of dozens of newspapers covers 100+ years. Free to search Newspaper articles

Places you can visit in person:

California State Archives – Resource with records dating back to the 1850’s.

LDS Stake Centers – Many LDS Stake centers around the world are equipped with small family history libraries staffed with volunteers willing to help and teach for free.