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Sierra County, California Genealogy

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


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Sierra County, California
Map
Map of California highlighting Sierra County
Location in the state of California
Map of the U.S. highlighting California
Location of California in the U.S.
Facts
Founded April 16, 1852
County Seat Downieville
Courthouse
CaliforniaSierraCourthouse.jpg
Address Sierra County Courthouse
100 Courthouse Sq Ste 11
PO Box D Suite 11
Downieville, CA 95936
Phone 530.289.6295


Sierra County Website


Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1857 1852 1862 1852 1852 1852 1850
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1905. General compliance by 1920.
Sierra Buttes 2011











County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

County Recorder has birth records from 1857,
marriage and land records from 1852 and death
records from 1862,  Superior Court has divorce
probate and court records and naturalization
records from 1852[2] 

Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject: Sierra County, California

Parent County[edit | edit source]

16 April 1852: Sierra County was created 16 April 1852 from Yuba County. County seat: Downieville [3]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named from the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The county seat Downieville and the county was created 1852. The County is located in the northeast area of the state.[4]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

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

Records Loss[edit | edit source]

1947: Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.

Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

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]

Cities
Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places
Ghost towns
  • Eureka City
  • Pine Grove
  • Poker Flat
  • Potosi
  • Shady Flat


Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Sierra, 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 Sierra County cemeteries.

Census[edit | edit source]

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

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.

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Crime and Criminals[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

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

Germans[edit | edit source]

Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Sierra 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.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Plumas CountyLassen CountyYuba CountyNevada CountyWashoe CountyCA SIERRA.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Migration[edit | edit source]

Early migration routes to and from Sierra County, California Genealogy for emigrant settlers included:[6][7]

Online Records

Military History and Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Regiments. Service men in Sierra 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 Sierra County, California Genealogy:

- 8th Regiment, California Infantry (Union), Company I
World War I[edit | edit source]
World War II[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

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

  • NewspaperArchive.com ($) has a collection of digitized Reno, Nevada newspapers going back to 1870 that may include residents from Sierra County. This database is sometimes free at libraries.

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 - Sierra - Probate records.

Online Probate Records

Repositories[edit | edit source]

Archives, Libraries and Museums[edit | edit source]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

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.

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. See also How to order California Vital Records

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

Genealogy Societies, Archives and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Sierra County Historical Society
P.O. Box 260
100 Kentucky Mine Road
Sierra City 96125
Phone:530-862-1310
Sierra County Historical Society

Sierra Madre Historical Society
P.O. Box 202
Sierra Madre 91024

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Sierra 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), Sierra County, California. Page 87At 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, “Sierra County, California Genealogy and History”, http://genealogytrails.com/cal/sierra/ 05/08/2017.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Sierra County, California," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sierra_County,_California#Communities, accessed 24 September 2019.
  6. National Park Service, "California Trail" (map) in California National Historic Trail at http://www.nps.gov/cali/planyourvisit/upload/CALImap1-web.pdf (accessed 5 August 2011).
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "California Trail" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Trail (accessed 5 August 2012).

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