Research Links

Recommended Sites for California:

  • sfgenealogy.com is the site for information and free databases concerning San Francisco family history, and now expanded to other California counties.
  • Southern California Genealogical Society was organized in 1964 to foster interest in genealogy, preserve genealogical materials, and train researchers in effective and accurate techniques.

Library links:

  • CA State Library catalogs covers both Sacramento and the Sutro branches. Plan ahead for your personal visit to either branch of the California State Library, or request a title via interlibrary loan (although this can be very slow).
  • WorldCat.org let you search many library catalogues. CalCat searches many libraries in California.
  • California GenWeb links to each county’s GenWeb site. Different volunteers manage each site so their depth and complexity vary. Do check them out!
  • The Huntington Library Early California Population Project.
  • The Digital Public Library of America provides a portal to the HathiTrust, the New York Public Library, Harvard University Libraries, the National Archives and Records Administration, and many other useful research libraries and databases.

Other California links:

  • Jim Faulkinbury’s Genealogical Research Services site has several useful resources including San Francisco vital records, California voter registration and more.
  • San Francisco Call Database – Index, 1869-1900, birth, marriage and death data in San Francisco. This is a good substitute for records destroyed in the earthquake. Also has an index to 1872 foreign-born California voters. For more detail, you can order copies of the complete information for a fee of $12, or less.
  • The California Digital Newspaper Collection is another newspaper archive (it’s a beta version in 1/2008) covering some early issues of the newspaper San Francisco Call and the Daily Alta California. You may be surprised to find a mention of your ancestor.
  • The Tombstone Transcription Project, State of California page.
  • The Odd Fellows Cemetery Removal Registry – A PDF document showing the 1975 microfilmed copy of the San Francisco County, City of San Francisco Health Department records for the Odd Fellows Cemetery for the years 1865 to 1906 when the City stopped all burials within city limits.

Look at society websites – they often have local data right there! For example:

Forty-niners and more:

  • California Bound contains passenger lists for ships and wagon trains traveling to California between 1848 and 1873 … and more. Did you lose an ancestor on his/her way to California? A surname and ship name search box searches the whole page.
  • Maritime Heritage Project–Search Captains, Ships, News and More than 20,000 passengers arriving in San Francisco during the 1800s.
  • Golden Nugget Library–California databases for genealogical research.
  • Lahontan Images Presents–Exploring Northeastern California History..

Looking for something genealogical to do this week?