Introduction

To facilitate and promote genealogical research, the California Genealogical Society has compiled a list of 652 genealogical societies and other organizations in California that provide resources for genealogically relevant research. The list includes the following types of organizations:

  • The National Archives and Records Administration has two regional archives in California: San Bruno (San Mateo County) and Perris (Riverside County).
  • The State of California maintains numerous collections at the California State Archives (Sacramento County) and the California State Library. The State Library includes three major genealogically relevant repositories: the California History Room at the California State Library (Sacramento County), Government Publications at the Witkin State Law Library (Sacramento County), and the Sutro Library (San Francisco County).
  • Genealogical and historical societies and museums are located throughout California. Some organizations address a broad range of research interests. Others focus on a particular town, city, or region – or on affiliations such as ethnicity, religion, occupation (e.g., railroad, maritime, agriculture, timber), common immigration experience (e.g., Angel Island Immigration Station, California pioneers), social organization (e.g., Freemasons), and the like.
  • Some local governments (towns, cities, counties) maintain and provide public access to their own historical collections that are valuable sources of local knowledge.
  • Many public library systems house historical and genealogical collections, including old newspapers and photographs – typically at their main branch.
  • Most public and private universities and private research institutions in California have libraries that include Special Collections and Archives – including some genealogically relevant collections.
  • In addition to its FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides genealogical services at its geographically dispersed FamilySearch Centers. California is home to three regional FamilySearch Centers – Oakland (Alameda County), Sacramento (Sacramento County), and Los Angeles (Los Angeles County) – as well as a number of smaller Centers. California is also home to about 20 FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries that provide patron access to some limited-access FamilySearch databases. The Affiliate Libraries and the three regional FamilySearch Centers are included in this directory. The locations of all FamilySearch Centers (local as well as regional) can be found at https://www.familysearch.org/centers/locations/.

Separate Compilations by Region

To make the list of organizations more manageable for the user, separate compilations were created for each of the four regions depicted on the map: San Francisco Bay Area, Northern California, Central California, and Southern California.

  S.F. Bay    Northern CA   Central CA  Southern CA  Total 
# Counties  9 22 19 8 58
# Organizations184132115221652
map of California counties