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San Francisco County, California Genealogy

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United States go to California go to San Francisco County

Guide to San Francisco County California genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

San Francisco Fire 1906
Dates for major county records 
Birth
Marriage
Death
Census
Land
Probate
1906-present
1906-present 1906-present 1852-present 1838-present 1906-present
For earlier dates, try...
  • Parent county: Original county
  • San Francisco County, California residents may also have records in
    Neighboring Counties: San Mateo |Alamedia | Marin |                             
Remember these collections






San Francisco County, California
Map
Map of California highlighting San Francisco County
Location in the state of California
Map of the U.S. highlighting California
Location of California in the U.S.
Facts
Founded February 18, 1850
County Seat San Francisco
Courthouse
Sfcityhall.jpeg
Address San Francisco Courthouse
400 McAllister Street
San Francisco, California, 94102
(415) 551-4000
Website: www.ci.sf.ca.us
Named for: Saint Francis of Assisi

 

County Court House[edit | edit source]

San Francisco County Courthouse
1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone 415.554.4950 


Superior Court Clerk has divorce, probate and court records
Counter Recorder has marriage records
Department of Public Health has birth records[1]

  

Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

18 February 1850: San Francisco County was created as an original county. County seat: San Francisco  [2]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

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

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1906: Courthouse burned and many records were damaged in the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. For further information on researching in burned counties, see the following:

Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Archives and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries [edit | edit source]

San Francisco California Area Funeral Home Records: A free internet index and images to the California, San Francisco Funeral Home Records can be viewed on the FamilySearch Historical Record Collections website. For a description of the collection see San Francisco California Area Funeral Home Records.

A wiki article describing this collection is found at: 

San Francisco California Area Funeral Home Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

San Francisco Colma Cemetery Index - A free, searchable index of more than 305,000 burial records (1887-2001) for the Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma published by SFgenealogy.com. 

Census[edit | edit source]

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

1850 (1851) for the county is missing.

Church History and Records[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]
  • Balboa
  • Mission
  • San Francisco
  • Sunset (San Francisco)
Lutheran[edit | edit source]
  • Records of Trinity, Bethlehem, and Ascension Lutheran Church, San Francisco, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

Directories[edit | edit source]

Directories (free at the Internet Archive) -  18781920

Fold3.com ($) has San Francisco City Directories 1861-1923 (4 yrs. missing) available online. This database is sometimes free at libraries.

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Disasters  [edit | edit source]

Earthquake

Emigration and Immigration  [edit | edit source]

  • Angel Island Immigration Station – This site gives the history of the landmark near San Francisco known as the “Ellis Island of the West”. When Angel Island was opened in 1910, it was expected to handle European immigrants headed for California via the Panama Canal. Instead, the facility handled about 250,000 immigrants from Asia, 70 percent of whom were Chinese. While records aren’t searchable here, you will get a good insight into what those who were detained at Angel Island went through to enter the United States. Site provides links to sources that are available for researching ancestors.

A wiki article describing this collection is found at:

California, San Francisco Passenger Lists (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Germans[edit | edit source]

Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:

California Genealogical Colleactions at the California Genealogical Society (FamilySearch HIstorical Records)

History[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for San Francisco 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  [edit | edit source]

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.

The Family History Library has copies of original pre-statehood records for San Francisco, 1838 to 1851, on 21 films. These include Spanish grants and early Alcalde deeds. The original records are at the San Francisco County Courthouse. After the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906, a law was passed to establish the ownership of land. A claimant filed the proper papers with the superior court, which, if approved, gave him title to the land. These claims are called the McInerney actions. The original records are at the San Francisco County Courthouse. The Family History Library has copies of these claims for the years 1906 to 1984 on 880 microfilm rolls. They are indexed by the name of the plaintiff (claimant). 

Maps[edit | edit source]

For historical maps,search the following free sites:


For some Custom Google Maps of San Francisco Mile Houses and Catholic Parishes in the city:

  • Map showing locations of the mile houses of San Francisco
  • Map showing locations of Catholic parish churches of San Francisco (1893)
  • Map showing locations and extent of baptism, marriage and death records of Catholic parish churches of San Francisco (present-day)

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military History and Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War

Despite the destruction of the 1890 Federal Census, a few 1890 Census Veterans Schedules for Alcatraz in San Francisco County survived. They are available on roll 118 of "Special Schedules of the Eleventh Census (1890) Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War" (NARA M123). The schedules list veterans and their widows who served as Union soldiers in the Civil War. For more information on the 1890 Veterans Schedules see Union Census Records.

Regiments. Service men in San Francisco 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 San Francisco County, California Genealogy:


- 1st Battalion, California Native Cavalry (Union), Company A
- 1st Battalion, California Native Cavalry (Union), Company B
- 1st Regiment, California Cavalry (Union), Company A
- 1st Regiment, California Cavalry (Union), 1st Company E
- 1st Regiment, California Cavalry (Union), New Company E
- 1st Regiment, California Cavalry (Union), Company F
- 1st Regiment, California Infantry (Union), Company B
- 1st Regiment, California Infantry (Union), Company H
- 1st Regiment, California Infantry (Union), Company K
- 2nd Regiment, California Infantry (Union), Company E
- 7th Regiment, California Infantry (Union), Company A
- 7th Regiment, California Infantry (Union), Company E
- 7th Regiment, California Infantry (Union), Company F
- 7th Regiment, California Infantry (Union), Company K
- 8th Regiment, California Infantry (Union), Company D
- 8th Regiment, California Infantry (Union), Company E
- 8th Regiment, California Infantry (Union), Company F

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

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

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

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 - San Francisco - Probate records.

Repositories[edit | edit source]

Archives, Libraries and Museums[edit | edit source]
County Courthouse[edit | edit source]
Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Taxation[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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.

Birth[edit | edit source]

The San Francisco Department of Public Health has birth records since April 1906. You can obtain an informational copy for a fee by mailing the application (Birth Application, Death Application) with your payment and a self-addressed stamped envelope. As with other California counties, you only need to get the form notarized if you want a certified copy. Informational copies do not need a notary. Mail the application to: San Francisco Public Health Department
Office of Vital Records
101 Grove St., Room 105
San Francisco, CA 94102

Marriage[edit | edit source]
Divorce[edit | edit source]
Death[edit | edit source]

The San Francisco Department of Public Health has death records since April 1906. You can obtain an informational copy for a fee by mailing the application (Birth Application, Death Application) with your payment and a self-addressed stamped envelope. As with other California counties, you only need to get the form notarized if you want a certified copy. Informational copies do not need a notary. Mail the application to: San Francisco Public Health Department
Office of Vital Records
101 Grove St., Room 105
San Francisco, CA 94102

https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/show#uri=http://hr-search-api:8080/searchapi/search/collection/1385518 San Francisco Funeral Home Records]

Voting Registers[edit | edit source]

Websites  [edit | edit source]


[edit | edit source]

Wiki articles describing online collections are found at: 

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), San Francisco County, California. Page 85 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).