Family History Resources

The California State Archives is a rich resource for those who are researching their family history. Many records exist that can provide information about individuals. Please note that the State Archives does not have birth, death or marriage records. For more information on accessing birth, death or marriage records in California see our Frequently Asked Questions webpage.

County records, as well as a variety of state agency records, are excellent resources for the family historian. Our collections contain microfilmed copies and original records from 28 of California's counties including probate, deeds, and naturalization records. State agency collections of interest to genealogists include records of the California National Guard (1849–1942), Folsom and San Quentin Prisons (1850–1945), early California Youth Authority records (1891–1932), Yountville Veteran's Home Registers (1884–1910), and various professional and vocational licensing boards (1885–1968). Also housed at the Archives is the genealogy library of the Root Cellar–Sacramento Genealogical Society, which is open to the public and staffed by volunteers several days each week.

Records marked with an asterick (*) may contain restricted documents. Please consult the Reference Archivist for more information. Records more than 75 years old are open without restriction.

Census Schedules 1852 State, 1860 and 1880 Federal

County Records 1850–1987

Mental Health Records* 1856–1934

Military Records 1850–1942

Prison Records* 1850–1979

Supreme and Appellate Court Cases 1850–1970

Common School Reports 1862–1960

Articles of Incorporation 1850–1959

Trademarks 1861–date

Department of Professional and Vocational Standards/Consumer Affairs – Licensing Files* 1885–1968

State Archives

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