Free California Genealogy Data and Links

California Biographies

California Cemeteries

California Census

California County History and Records

  • Chronological Record of Police Appointments City and County of San Francisco
    This free collection contains three volumes of handwritten manuscripts which depict the chronological record of police appointments for the city and county of San Francisco from Oct 1853 - Nov 1947. They are set up in a ledger format with an index at the front of each volume. The volumes, since they are handwritten, are not searchable.
  • Madera County
  • San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records
    Name index and images of funeral home records from the Halsted N. Gray – Carew & English Mortuary Collection, located at the San Francisco Public Library. Images for all years in collection can be browsed, but name index currently covers only years 1896-1931. Collection includes a number of different funeral homes acquired over time by the Halsted N. Gray – Carew & English Mortuary company, most from the San Francisco area, but also including some from Burlingame, Stockton, and Sacramento. The collection includes funeral register books, burial registers, account books, case books, etc. Indexes appear at the beginning of some volumes.

California Directories

California History

  • 1921 California Automobile Registrations
    A collection of 585,940 California automobile registrations for 1921 as published in 14 volumes, complete with name, address, type of auto and engine number
  • California Goldrush Most Wanted
    This web site is dedicated to the CA-GOLDRUSH mailing list subscribers. It represents our Most Wanted (most elusive, brick wall) ancestors lost in California during the time of the Goldrush 1840s-1880s. The Webmaster of this page does not guarantee the accuracy of the data in the submitter\’s queries. The conclusions of the authors are not necessarily those of the webmaster. The right to edit is reserved and in the interest of saving space, mailing headers will be deleted.
  • How to Research Mining Claims
    This special article is published to help our readers conduct research into mining claims for themselves.
  • The Adventures of a Forty-niner
    An Historic Description of California, with Events and Ideas of San Francisco and Its People in Those Early Days, By Daniel Knower. Daniel went to California in 1849 during the start of the gold-rush days. This manuscript provides sketches on events and ideas that he saw, as well as detailing his trek to the gold rush town of Coloma.
  • Old Mission Stories of California
    Of the last six stories comprising the seven in this little collection of Stories of the Old Missions, all but one have, as a basis, some modicum, larger or smaller, of historical fact, the tale of Juana alone being wholly fanciful, although with an historical background. The first story of the series may be considered as introductory to the mission tales proper. In these quiet, unpretending stories the writer has attempted to give a faithful picture of life among the Indians and Spaniards in Nueva California during the early days of the past century.
  • Death Valley In \’49
    Autobiography Of A Pioneer, Detailing His Life From A Humble Home In The Green Mountains To The Gold Mines Of California; And Particularly Reciting The Sufferings Of The Band Of Men, Women And Children Who Gave \”Death Valley\” Its Name.
  • The Forty-Niners
    A Chronicle of the California Trail and El Dorado, by Stewart Edward White.
  • La Baja California
    Very soon after the conquest of Mexico the attention of Cortez was attracted by certain stories told by some of the conquered tribes regarding a mysterious but wonderful country, lying far to the northwestward. This land they called Ciguatan, or The Realm of Women; and they declared that it abounded in gold, in pearls, rubies, garnets, turquoises, and many other products, rich and precious.
  • Missions of California and the Old Southwest
    In musing over the history of the old Missions, the mind is led to inquire as to the benefits that have been conferred upon mankind by the labors, triumphs and defeat of the padres during their brief sojourn in the Southwest. Through their work was confined to a few heathen tribes, its pure and unselfish purpose and beneficent results cannot be questioned, for these are attested in the annals of those days.
  • New Empire and Her Representative Men
    Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming.
  • Old Mexico and her lost provinces
    A journey in Mexico, southern California, and Arizona by way of Cuba.

California Maps

  • American Geographic Society Library Digital Map Collection: California
  • American Memory (Library of Congress) Includes images of over 900 historical California maps. Using \”Search All Collection\” enter \”california maps\” to browse all California maps in the collection or enter more specific keywords. Includes \”bird\’s eye\” view maps for many keys cities in California.
  • Barry Lawrence Ruderman Collection
    Includes over 550 historical California maps and images.
  • California Historical Maps and Atlases
    Contains more than 6,500 maps from over 350 historical atlases spanning 1579 through 1964. Maps have a limited free view.
  • Calisphere: Maps
    Includes over 2500 images of California historical maps selected from the University of California libraries and museums and from a variety of cultural heritage organizations. Browse or search by keyword.
  • David Rumsey Collection
    Included within the 28,000 online historical maps are over 3500 maps and images of California and its regions and cities, dating mostly from the 19th century.
  • Historic Map Index
    Indexes over 2000 digital historical maps on California available from 100 major map collections.
  • Historical Maps of California
    Contains approximately 100 images of California historial maps selected from the University of Alabama Map Library and other sources.
  • Union Catalogue of Map CollectionsCatalog of approximately 700 maps of California and the West from three collections: The Huntington Library, the Pasadena Museum of History and the Altadena Historical Society. Each entry includes an online image.
  • WPA Land Use Survey Maps for the City of Los Angeles, 1933-1939
    Series of 345 hand-colored land use survey maps produced by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The maps resulted from a land use survey conducted from 1933 to 1939 for the city of Los Angeles, Department of City Planning that covered approximately 460 square miles.

California Military Records

California Native American Records

California Newspapers

California Obituaries

  • Monterey County Herald Obituary Index
    The index includes obituaries from January 1, 1995 to June 30, 2014 and local news articles and features from January 1, 1995 to June 30, 2003. The Herald Archives indexes news articles beginning January 1, 2002. The Monterey County Herald index was created by staff and volunteers of Monterey Public Library and Pacific Grove Public Library.
  • San Mateo County Obituary Collection
    This collection currently includes over 57,000 indexed and scanned obituaries as well as a large collection of obituaries that are indexed elsewhere. Included are the Redwood City/ Peninsula Times Tribune Obituary Morgue (1969-1992); The SMCHA obituary Collection which includes obituaries culled from the historical societies biographical files; The Daily Post; The Daily Journal; The Daily Post; The San Mateo County Times (assorted); Veteran\’s Memorials; and a collection of obituaries of former San Mateo County residents from other papers. The scanned images include the Pacifica Times Tribune and the San Mateo Times from 1999, which were indexed by Chris Havanar on The Obituary Daily Times The original index was created by the SMCGS Computer Club. The original collection of obituaries is available in the SMCGS Library. See research to obtain copies of those as well as the added obituaries.

California Vital Records

  • Western States Historical Marriage Records Index
    Over the past decade, the BYU-Idaho (formerly known as Ricks College) Family History Center has been extracting early marriage records from counties in the western part of the United States. Virtually all of the pre-1900 marriages are included in the index for Arizona, Idaho and Nevada. Many Idaho, Nevada and Utah counties have been extracted into the 1930\’s and some, much later. A significant number of marriages from Wyoming, eastern Washington, eastern Oregon, western Colorado and selected counties in California are also included. For more details, see \”List of Counties by State\”.
  • Early California Population Project
    The Early California Population Project (ECPP) provides public access to all the information contained in California\’s historic mission registers, records that are of unique and vital importance to the study of California, the American Southwest, and colonial America. Within the baptism, marriage, and burial records of each of the California missions sits an extraordinary wealth of unique information on the Indians, soldiers, and settlers of Alta California from 1769 – 1850.

Free RootsWeb Databases

California Genealogy Databases – Subscription May be Required

Ancestry is the largest provider of genealogy data online. The billions of records they provide have advanced genealogy online beyond imagination just a decade ago. The following is but a small sample of what they provide for California genealogy at Ancestry. While some of these databases are free, many require a subscription. You can try a 14 day free trial and see if you can find any of your California genealogy at Ancestry!

California Genealogy at Ancestry

 California County Resources at Ancestry

 California City and Town Resources at Ancestry

 California Military at Ancestry

California Miscellaneous Items at Ancestry

Additional Offsite Free California Genealogy

United States Genealogy

American History and Genealogy Project

Kern, Los Angeles, Modoc, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Sonoma


Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Plumas, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, Yolo, Yuba.