California Family History Societies

This section lists the societies of California, giving details about each one and what resources and publications they offer.

Statewide Societies

County Societies

Statewide Societies

California Genealogical Society and Library

The society was established in 1898. There is an on-line catalogue of their resources accessible in their Library, 2201 Broadway Suite LL2, Oakland.

There are also many Searchable Databases including:

  • CGS Manuscript Collection
  • Memorial Records from First Congregational Church, San Francisco 1915-1917
  • Names Index, which includes San Francisco voters registered 1890
  • San Francisco IOOF Crematory and Cemetery Record
  • San Francisco Deaths 1865-1873, 1882-1889, 1894-1896 and 1901-1904
  • Probate: Registers of Actions 1906-1942
Website:
http://www.californiaancestors.org

Southern California Genealogical Society

The association was established in 1964.  Their aims are to promote and encourage interest in genealogy and family history, and to help people conduct effective genealogical research.

They have a Family Research Library which houses over 35000 volumes, which include 6000 genealogies.

Collections include microfilms, manuscripts, maps and periodicals.  An on-line catalogue of their books is available on their site.

As the Research Library is classed as being a FamilySearch centre, people are also able to view microfilm and microfiche ordered through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

Website:
http://www.scgsgenealogy.com


County Societies

Antelope Valley Genealogical Society

The society was founded in 1976.  There are numerous resources accessible at their Research Centre, Winnell Industrial Park, 39450 North 3rd St. East, Suite 116, Palmdale.

Website:
http://www.avgenealogy.org/research_center.php

Conejo Valley Genealogical Society

Many resources, some relating to England and Wales, are held by the society, and are accessible at Grant R. Brimhall (Thousand Oaks) Library.  A monthly newsletter, 'The Genealogist,' and a three-monthly publication, Rabbit Tracks, are published by the society.  These publications are available to members only.  

Many books are available for sale, which include:

  • Family Tree Source Book
  • Genealogist's Companion and Source Book
  • In Search of Confederate Ancestors
  • New England Court Records
  • Tracing Your Civil War Ancestor

These books are available at the society's monthly general meetings.


Website:
http://www.conejovalleygenealogicalsociety.org

Contra Costa County Genealogical Society

Established in 1975, the association now has over 100 members.  There are several on-line databases, including:

  • 1876 voters for Nortonville and Somersville
  • 1876 voters for Pint of Timber
  • 1884 voters of Contra Costa County
  • 1898 Voters Precincts of Costa County
  • Contra Costa County Vital Records

A Cemetery Transcripts database, which has details of transcriptions from Oak View Cemetery, Antioch, is also accessible.

Website:
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cacccgs/

Lake Elsinore Genealogical Society

Their site includes indexes to Lake Elsinore Cemetery and Lake Elsinore Obituaries.  There is also a list of books available at Wildomar Library, which do not just cover California, but the entire United States of America.  

Topics covered include:

  • Ancestors of American Presidents
  • Bibles
  • Census Returns
  • Mayflower Records
  • Naturalisations
  • Vital Records

They also have books giving information about:

  • Germans to America
  • How to Trace your Ancestors to Europe
  • Immigrants to America appearing in English Records
  • In Search of British and Irish Roots
  • Irish Americans

Website:
http://bakerfamily.org/legs



Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society

The association was established in 1977.  There are numerous archives on the site, including an index of tombstone inscriptions in four cemeteries in Livermore and also Pleasanton and Dublin Cemeteries. 

There is also a list of:

  • Church Registers
  • Local Genealogies
  • Memory Gardens Burials (1940-2000)
  • Mortuary Records
  • Obituaries
  • Roselawn Cemetery Burials (1920-1999)
  • St Michael Cemetery Burials (1881-2000)

Website:
http://www.l-ags.org



Marin County Genealogical Society

The association is a non-profit making association established in May 1977. Their aims are to preserve documents and materials and other historical collections, to encourage and promote publication of family histories, to provide access to these materials and to provide a forum where people can exchange genealogical information

Their Library is located at Marin Family History Center and holds numerous books, CDs and periodicals.  There is an index to their publication The Kin Tracer on the site.

Many publications are sold by the society, which include:

  • 1890 and 1892 Great Register of Marin County
  • Cemetery Inscriptions
  • Coroner's Inquests
  • Deaths
  • Marriages from St Rafael's Church
  • Newspaper Abstracts
  • Stephen Eden Funeral Register
  • Undertaker's Registers
  • Will Abstracts

Website:
http://www.maringensoc.org



Napa Valley Genealogical and Biographical Society

The association was established in 1975 and houses an extensive collection of materials in their Library, not just from California but from the entire United States of America and Worldwide, including England and Wales.  There is also an on-line catalogue to these materials.

Website:
http://www.napavalleygenealogy.org



Orange County Genealogical Society

The association was established in 1963 and now has approximately 400 members.  Their collection, containing numerous archives, is accessible at HB Central Library.  

Materials include:

  • Biographies
  • Census Returns
  • Directories
  • Immigration Records
  • Military Records
  • Passenger Lists

They also have other items relating to Europe and Asia, American Indians, Mexico and Central America and Canada.  It is possible to search this collection of resources on the Library's site.

Website:
http://occgs.com/index.html



Paradise Genealogical Society

The association was established in 1968.  

Details of the resources accessible in their library are on their site.  

An index to Sites and Cemeteries (Book 1-12) and information about certain places in Butte County are also available.

In addition, a collection of more than 85000 obituaries and death notices from Butte County newspapers 1855-2013 is available.

Some publications are available for sale, which include:

  • 1890 Butte County Great Register - 7012 voter registration entries
  • Cemetery Records
  • Death Records 1858-1905
  • Federal Census Indexes 1860 and 1880
  • Mortuary Records Indexes
  • Newspaper Vitals
  • Probate Abstracts 1850-1880

The history of places in Butte County is accessible.  They also have links to other sites you may find useful.

Website:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Paradise-Genealogical-Society-Library/137453412962392



Pomona Valley Genealogy Society

The association was established in 1955, its aim being to promote and encourage interest in genealogy and family history.

Some publications are sold by the Society, which include:

  • Bellevue Cemetery Inscriptions
  • California Military Books
  • Early California History Books
  • Pomona Cemetery Transcripts
  • Pomona City Directory

A list of surnames currently being researched by members of the society is accessible.  

Website:
http://www.pvgs.us



Roseville Genealogical Society

They have an on-line catalogue of their resources accessible at their Library which is located in Carnegie Museum.  Their newsletter is published bi-monthly and there are on-line indexes to those published from 2003-2007.

A list surnames currently being researched by their members is available.

Website:
https://www.facebook.com/RosevilleGenealocialSociety/



Sacramento Genealogical Society

The society was established in 1978 and its aim is to help members conduct family tree research by helping to preserve records and publishing information.

Their site contains details of their publications for sale, which include:

  • CA Homestead Act Records for Sacramento 1860-1929
  • CA State Militia - Muster Rolls 1851-1866
  • Civil Court Documents of Sacramento 1850-1879
  • Delayed Births of Sacramento 1865-1980
  • Will Registers of Sacramento County 1850-1927

A list of surnames currently being researched by members is available.

Website:
http://www.rootcellar.org



San Diego Genealogical Society

Founded in 1946, the association aims to encourage and promote interest in genealogy. An on-line catalogue of their extensive resources housed at their Library at 7343 Ronson Road, Suite O, is available on their site.

A list of surnames currently being researched by members is also available.

Website:
http://casdgs.org



San Joaquin Genealogical Society

The aims of the association are to promote interest in genealogy, preserve records and documents and promote accuracy in genealogical research.

Many of the Society's resources are accessible in Cesar Chavez Central Library, which include:

  • Cemetery Records
  • Family Histories
  • History Books
  • Land Records
  • Maps
  • Military Records
  • Newspapers
  • Periodicals from other Societies
  • Reference Books
  • Vital Records

Some publications are sold by the Society, which incorporate:

  • 1850 US Census
  • Births 1859-1906
  • Certificates of Deaths
  • Court Records Index
  • Death Records
  • Gold Rush Days - Abstracts of San Joaquin County Newspapers 1856-1872
  • Marriages
  • Old Cemeteries
  • Probate 1850-1900

A list of cemeteries in the area is available, along with copies of their newsletters and an index to surnames currently being researched by members.

Website:
https://sjgensoc.org/



San Mateo County Genealogical Society

The society has a vast collection of resources accessible at Canada College Library.  It is possible to peruse an online catalogue of these resources on their site.

An on-line catalogue of their CD Collection is on their site.

Numerous on-line databases are accessible, including:

  • Births
  • Cemetery Records
  • County Recorder's Office Records
  • Court and Criminal Records
  • Deaths
  • Electoral Records
  • First Families
  • Homestead Index
  • Institutional Records

Online databases also incorporate:

  • Land Records Index
  • Marriages
  • Name Index to Unrecorded Maps
  • Naturalisation Records
  • Obituaries
  • Sales by the County Tax Collector 1857-1894
  • School Records
  • Sheriff's Sales, Executions and Attachments 1856-1929
  • Water Appropriation Applications

Website:
http://www.smcgs.org



Santa Clara County Historical and Genealogical Society

The association was established in 1957.  It has an International Genealogy Collection based at Santa Clara City Library, which includes books, CD-ROMs, microfilm and microfiche.

Many on-line databases are accessible on their website, which incorporate:

  • 1852 and 1930 Census Records
  • Amos O Williams Funeral Home Books
  • Burials at Mission City Memorial Park
  • Burials at Saratoga IOOF Cemetery
  • County History Indexes
  • Early Settlers Files
  • Early Vital Indexes
  • Los Altos Town Crier Obituaries
  • Monahan Mortuary Books Index
  • Roberta Robinson Scrapbooks
  • SCCHGS Scrapbooks

Website:
http://www.scchgs.org



Solano County Genealogical Society

The society was established in 1981.  Many on-line databases and indexes are on their site, including:

  • Deeds
  • Probate
  • Ship Richmond Passenger List 1849
  • Silveyville Cemetery District
  • Solano Co. Naturalisations
  • Sunrise Cemetery Inscriptions

The site also has details of CD's available at Solano County Genealogical Library and a list of surnames currently being researched by members of the association.

Website:
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cascgsi/



South Bay Cities Genealogical Society

The society was founded in 1977.

Their aims are to provide a means for people to exchange ideas and information and to preserve and promote local genealogies.

Numerous publications and programs to help people interested in researching their own genealogy are also accessible.

Their collections, which include 1200 titles and 300 periodicals, are housed in Katy Geissert Torrance Civic Centre Library and include books relating to:

  • Carolinas
  • Kentucky
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia

They also have information regarding local Cemeteries, along with some transcriptions, a small map collection, vertical file and resources on microfiche.

Links to other sites you may find of use are accessible, including sites maintained by their own members.

Website: 
https://sbcgenealogy.org/ 



South Orange County Genealogical Society

The association was established in 1994 to encourage and help people with their family tree research.  Their resources are accessible at Mission Viejo Library and an on-line catalogue of these resources is accessible on the site.  These resources do not just relate to California, but all across the United States and further afield, such as England and Wales.

A list of surnames currently being researched by members of the organisation is available, some of whom have an interest in England and Wales.

Website:
http://soccgs.info/



Tracy Area Genealogical Society

The society has transcribed nearly all the Tracy Cemetery Records, including Brichetto Cemetery, Midway Cemetery and Tracy Cemetery.  These are available to search in Alphabetical Order.  A list of deaths occurring in the Tracy Area is accessible.

In addition, an index of surnames currently being researched by members of the organisation is on the site.

Website:
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~catags/



Ventura County Genealogical Society

The association was founded in 1978 and now has over 200 members.  Their site includes an on-line catalogue of their resources accessible at Camarillo City Library. There is also an index of surnames currently being researched by group members.

Website: 
http://www.venturacogensoc.org



Whittier Area Genealogical Society

It is possible to search a catalogue of the association's Library Collection, which includes Genealogies, the Mayflower Ancestral Index and Royalty for Commoners, along with United States and International Collections, by using the Whittier College Wardman Library on-line catalogue and choosing WAGS Collection in the location field.

There is also an index of surnames currently being researched by group members.

Website: 
http://www.wagswhittier.org/ 



  1. Family Tree Resources
  2. Other Family History Societies
  3. California Family History Societies