Orange County, California Genealogy

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County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

The Courthouse is not a recommended source for Genealogical Data.

The County Recorder is where most vital record and land records are housed, but most of the vital records are now protected by California law, and the Recorder would be of little help.

For records prior to 1960:

Orange County Archives, Jean O. Pasco, Director
Old Orange County Courthouse Room 101
211 W. Santa Ana Blvd.
Santa Ana, California, 92701 (714) 834-2536

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Orange Large Multi-Stake Family History Center (Formerly Orange Regional Family History Center)

Located: 674 South Yorba St., Orange, California (Located in the rear of the LDS Church)

Hours: Tuesday -Thursday 9:00 AM-9:00 PM (except 2nd Thursday when we close at 7:00 PM for Staff Meeting)
Friday & Saturday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Closed Sunday and Monday to the Public
Phone: (714) 997-7710

Quick Facts[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Orange County, California

Parent County[edit | edit source]

11 March 1889: Orange County was created from Los Angeles County. County seat: Santa Ana [1]

Orange is the third largest county by population, preceeded by (1)Los Angeles and (2)San Diego Counties, according to the California State Association of Counties

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

Anaheim, the home of Disneyland, is the most populated city in Orange County.  It was first settled by Germans in 1854 who named the city. It was incorporated in 1857. The name refers to the fact that it is the "home" of the Santa "Ana" River. The northern part of the county is heavily populated and the southern area is growing rapidly.

City of Aliso Viejo
City of Anaheim
City of Brea 
City of Buena Park 
City of Costa Mesa 
Coto de Caza - unincorporated
City of Cypress
City of Dana Point 
El Modena - unincorporated
City of Fountain Valley 
City of Fullerton (incorporated 1904)
City of Garden Grove 
City of Huntington Beach
City of Irvine 
City of La Habra 
City of La Palma 
City of Laguna Beach 

City of Laguna Hills 

City of Laguna Niguel
City of Laguna Woods (formerly Leisure World)
La Jolla - unincorporated
City of Lake Forest (formerly El Toro)
City of Los Alamitos
City of Mission Viejo
City of Newport Beach
City of Orange (incorporated 1888)
City of Placentia
City of Rancho Santa Margarita
Rossmoor - unincorporated
City of San Clemente
City of San Juan Capistrano
City of Santa Ana (founded 1869)
City of Seal Beach
City of Stanton
City of Tustin
City of Villa Park
City of Westminster
City of Yorba Linda

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Archives and Libraries[edit | edit source]

For records prior to 1960:

Orange County Archives, Jean O. Pasco, Director
Old Orange County Courthouse Room 101
211 W. Santa Ana Blvd.
Santa Ana, CA, 92701
(714) 834-2536

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

The Orange County Cemtery District operates four formerly private cemeteries; Anaheim Cemtery, El Toro Memorial Park, Santa Ana Cemetery, Magnolia Memorial Park.

Catholic Diocese Cemeteries

The Orange Large Family History Center has two volumes of interment in these cemeteries as of 1999.

Private Cemteries include:

  • Ascension Cemetery, 24754, Trabuco Road, Lake Forest, California
  • Crystal Cathedral Memorial Gardens, 12141 Lewis, Garden Grove, California
  • Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery, St John's Lutheran Cemetery, 154 S. Shaffer St, Orange, California
  • Forest Lawn Memorial Park, 4471 Lincoln, Cypress, California
  • Harbor Lawn-Mount Olive Memorial Park, 1625 Gisler, Costa Mesa, California
  • Holy Cross Cemetery, Orange and Euclid, Anaheim, California
  • Masonic Cemetery, 505 N. Sycamore, Santa Ana, California
  • Oakdale Memorial Park, 517 N. Main St, Santa Ana, California
  • Pacific View Memorial Park, 3500 Pacific View, Costa Mesa, California
  • Roselawn Gardens of Memory, 17952 Beach Blvd, Huntington Beach, California
  • San Juan Capistrano Mission Cemetery, San Juan Capistrano, California
  • St John's Lutheran Cemetery, 2009 Santa Clara Ave, Santa Ana, California, and 16782 Fairhaven, Santa Ana, California
  • Westminster Cemetery, 12241 Magnolia St, Garden Grove, California
  • Westminster Memorial  Park, 14801 Beach Blvd, Westminster, California
  • Yorba Cemetery, Esperanza and Fairmaon Blvd, Yorba Linda, California

Church History and Records[edit | edit source]

LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Anaheim
  • Cypress
  • Garden Grove
  • Huntington Beach
  • Laguna Beach
  • Laguna Niguel
  • Mission Viejo
  • Newport Beach
  • Orange Regional 
    (714) 997 7710

Court History and Records[edit | edit source]

The main courthouse is at 700 Civic Center Drive, Santa Ana, California. There are three branch courts but even more locations. North Court is in Fullerton. West Court is in Westminster. Harbor Court has locations in Newport Beach, Laguna Niguel and Laguna Hills.  The Lamoreaux Justice Center is in Orange.

History[edit | edit source]

The greatest repositories of Local Histories are at the Orange Large Family History Center, 674 South Yorba, Orange, California, and the collection of the Orange County Genealogical Society, located at the Huntington Beach Public Library, 7111 Talbert Avenue, Huntington Beach, California. Also noted is the Orange Public Library and History Center, 407 East Chapman Avenue, Orange, California (714) 288-2400

  • The History of Orange County California with Bigraphical Sketches; Samuel Armour, supervising Editor; Historic Record Company,Los Angeles, CA, 1911 (FHL US/CAN Film 1000115 Item 1)
  • History of Orange County California; Mrs. J.E. Pleasants; J.R. Finnell & Sons Publishing Co, Los Angeles, CA; 1931 (FHL US/CAN Fiche 6209824 )

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Maps[edit | edit source]

Military History and Records[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

The County is served by the Orange County Register and the Orange County edition of the Los Angeles Times. The Orange Family History Center has a collection of Microfilmed L.A. Times archives (incomplete) and there are additional collections at the University of California, Irvine, and California State University, Fullerton

There are many community based newspapers as well.

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Guidelines For Ordering Vital Records to visit the County site for vital records

Due to identity theft, California Law now restricts vital records access to immediate family. The Orange Regional Family History Center has access to state-wide databases of Births, Deaths, Marriages and voter registrations. These were compiled before the change in California law, and are not complete. Birth is available to 1986 Death to 1993 Voter registration to 1993 There are also marriage records available at The Western States Marriages at Brigham Young University-Idaho

Voter Registration[edit | edit source]

1890: The California 1890 Great Register of Voters Index, compiled by the California State Genealogical Alliance, is available at the Orange Large Family History Center

Also available on fiche at the same location are:

  • 1993 Orange County Voters Index
  • 1996 Orange County Voters Index
  • 1981-1982 Ownership Index
  • 1989-1990 Address Register
  • 1991-1992 California Property Owners

Societies, Libraries and Museums[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).