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Lake County, California Genealogy

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

Lake County, California
Map of California highlighting Lake County
Location in the state of California
Map of the U.S. highlighting California
Location of California in the U.S.
Founded May 20, 1861
County Seat Hettinger
Address Lake County Courthouse
255 N Forbes St;
Lakeport, CA 95453
Phone 707.263.2368

Lake County Website

County InformationEdit

Lake County, California Record DatesEdit

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1867 1867 1967 1867 1867 1867 1850
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1905. General compliance by 1920.

County CourthouseEdit

County Clerk has birth, marriage, death and land records from 1867,
mining and miscellaneous records; Clerk Superior Court has divorce,
probate and court records [2]

Historical FactsEdit

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Lake County, California

Parent CountyEdit

20 May 1861: Lake County was created from Napa County.  County seat: Lakeport [3]


The county was named from Clear Lake, the dominant geographic feature in the county and the largest natural lake wholly within California. The County Seat is Lakeport and was founded May 20, 1861. It is located in the northwest area of the state.[4]

Boundary ChangesEdit

"Rotating Formation California County Boundary Maps" (1850-1925) may be viewed for free at the website.

Record LossEdit

1867 Courthouse burned down and all earlier records were destroyed.


Populated PlacesEdit

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[5]

Unincorporated communities
Native American communities
Census-designated places

Neighboring CountiesEdit


Bible RecordsEdit



Cemeteries of Lake, 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 site may have additional information on Lake County cemeteries.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1870 2,969
1880 6,596 122.2%
1890 7,101 7.7%
1900 6,017 −15.3%
1910 5,526 −8.2%
1920 5,402 −2.2%
1930 7,166 32.7%
1940 8,069 12.6%
1950 11,481 42.3%
1960 13,786 20.1%
1970 19,548 41.8%
1980 36,366 86.0%
1990 50,631 39.2%
2000 58,309 15.2%
2010 64,665 10.9%
Source: "".

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

Church History and RecordsEdit

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.

Court RecordsEdit

Crime and CriminalsEdit


Ethnic, Political, or Religious GroupsEdit





Local histories are available for Lake 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 PropertyEdit

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.


Mendocino CountyGlenn CountyColusa CountySonoma CountyNapa CountyYolo CountyCA LAKE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military History and RecordsEdit

Civil WarEdit
World War IEdit
World War IIEdit

Naturalization and CitizenshipEdit


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



Probate RecordsEdit

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 - Lake - Probate records.

Online Probate Records


Archives, Libraries and MuseumsEdit
County CourthouseEdit
Family History CentersEdit

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.


Lake County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 1323
Lakeport 95453

Lake County Historical Society
P.O. Box 1011
Lakeport 95453


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 RecordsEdit

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.


Voting RegistersEdit



  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Lake 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), Lake County, California. Page 85 At 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. Wikipedia contributors, "Lake County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_California 5/03/2017.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Lake County, California," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_California, accessed 15 September 2019.