Ventura County, California Genealogy

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Ventura County

Guide to Ventura County, California ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.


Ventura County, California
Map of California highlighting Ventura County
Location in the state of California
Map of the U.S. highlighting California
Location of California in the U.S.
Founded March 22, 1872
County Seat Ventura
Address Ventura County Courthouse
800 S Victoria Avenue
Ventura, CA 93009
Phone: 805.654.2267
Ventura County Website

County Information

Ventura County, California Record Dates

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1873 1873 1873 1873 1850 1873 1850
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1905. General compliance by 1920.

County Courthouse

County Clerk Recorder has birth, marriage and
death from 1873 and land records from 1850
Clerk Superior Court has divorce, probate
and court records from 1873  Some land went
to Kern & Los Angeles Counties in boundary change[2]

Historical Facts 

Mission San Buenaventura, one of the original 21 Roman Catholic missions in Alta California was founded in what is now downtown Ventura city in 1782 although it had a long rocky history including fires, earthquakes, tsunami and pirates, among other difficulties. The mission fathers kept the original vital records.

The costal plains and inland valleys are mostly devoted to agriculture even today but the costal mountains also cover a considerable part of the county. El Camino Real, the original roadway connecting the early missions, crosses the county. In the late 1800s the railroads came and in the 1900s US-101 followed essentially the Camino Real route heading north to Santa Barbara. Settlements mainly grew up along these routes.

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Ventura County, California

Parent County

22 March 1872: Ventura County was created from Santa Barbara County. County seat: Ventura [3]


The county seat Ventura and the county was created 18573.[4] The County is located in the southern area of the state.[5]

Boundary Changes

For animated maps illustrating California county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation California County Boundary Maps" (1850-1925) may be viewed for free at the website.

Records Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.


Camarillo, Fillmore, Hueneme, Moorpark, Nyeland Acres, Newbury Park, Oak View, Ojai, Oxnard, Piru, Santa Paula, Simi, Somis, Thousand Oaks, Ventura


Neighboring Counties


Bible Records



Cemeteries of Ventura, California online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
TombstoneTranscriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See California Cemeteries for more information

The following web sites may have additional information on Ventura County cemeteries.


For tips on accessing Ventura County, California Genealogy census records online, see: California Census.

Church History and Records

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about California denominations, view the California Church Records wiki page.

LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Ventura

Court Records

Guardianship record index, A-L Surnames, M-Z Surnames (Ventura County Genealogical Society)

Crime and Criminals


Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups





Local histories are available for Ventura County, California Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the Wiki page section California Local Histories.

Land and Property

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See California Land and Property for additional information about early California land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse and where records are currently housed.


San Luis Obispo CountySanta Barbara CountyKern CountyLos Angeles CountyCA VENTURA.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military History and Records

Civil War

Regiments. Service men in Ventura County, California Genealogy served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Ventura County, California Genealogy:

- 1st Battalion, California Native Cavalry (Union), Company A
- 1st Battalion, California Native Cavalry (Union), Company C
World War I
World War II
Vietnam War

Naturalization and Citizenship


Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Ventura County, California Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

Ojai Valley News 1890s-1983



Probate Records

The county clerk is usually the custodian of probate records. The records include wills, fee books, claim registers, legacy records, inheritance records, probate ticklers, and dockets.

Content: Probate Records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.

You can obtain copies of the original probate records (such as wills and estate files) by writing to the county clerk at the county courthouse.

The FamilySearch Catalog lists films of probate records. To find the records for this county, use the Place Search for California - Ventura - Probate records.

Online Probate Records


Archives, Libraries and Museums
  • Scandinavian Center. Scandinavian American Cultural and Historical Foundation at California Lutheran University. Large oral history recordings collection; many early works about Scandinavian churches in Midwest United States. See library catalog at CLU.
  • Ventura County Museum of History and Art The museum is currently closed for renovation, though a temporary exhibit space and gift shop are open on California St. The Librarian is available to answer question by phone. Once the museum is reopened the Library is an excellent research resource.
County Courthouse

County Clerk and Recorder
County Recorder's Office
Hall of Admin., Main Plaza
800 S. Victoria Ave.
Ventura, CA 93009-1260

Family History Centers

Family history centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.



California tax records complement land records and can supplement the years between censuses. There may be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties. For more information, see the wiki page California Taxation.

Vital Records

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. See the CDC Where to Write website for information on acquiring copies of these records. The State office has records since July 1905. For earlier records, contact the County Recorder. See also How to order California Vital Records


The County Recorder maintains records from 1873. Prior to that the Santa Barbara Recorder has the records. Ventura County Recorder fees: $14 to search and/or copy birth records.

Online Records


The County Recorder maintains records from 1873. Prior to that the Santa Barbara Recorder has the records. Ventura County Recorder fees: $12 to search and/or copy marriage records.

Online Records


The County Recorder maintains records from 1873. Prior to that the Santa Barbara Recorder has the records. Ventura County Recorder fees: $14 to search and/or copy of death records.

Online Records

Genealogy Societies, Archives and Libraries

Conejo Valley Genealogical Society
P. O. Box 4977
West Lake, CA 91359-1977

Conejo Valley Historical Society
PO Box 1692
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Fillmore Historical Society
PO Box 314
Fillmore, CA 93015

Jewish Genealogical Society of Conejo Valley and Ventura County
6052 Hackers Lane
Agura Hills, CA 91301

Los Californianos
2531 Aztec Court
Ventura,CA 93001

Moorpark Historical Society
PO Box 662
Moorpark,CA 93020

Ojai Valley Historical Society
PO Box 204
Ojai, CA 93023

Ojai Valley Museum

130 West Ojai Avenue

Ojai, CA 93023 Website

Simi Valley Historical Society
137 Strathearn Place
Simi Valley, CA 93065

Ventura County Genealogical Society
PO Box 24608
Ventura, CA 93002

Ventura County Historical Society
100 East Main Street
Ventura,CA 93001-2698



  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Ventura County, California. Page 84-88 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 81-83.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Ventura County, California. Page 88At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Ventura County, California Genealogy and History”, 05/09/2017.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Ventura County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_California 05/09/2017.