Research Links

Recommended Sites for California:

  • SFGenealogy 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 and Other Sources 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).
  • CA Sate Library Genealogy Hub – links provided by the California State Library to external organizations. Includes numerous links to various genealogical resources, sorted by Culture or Region and Subject or Type. Includes California, United States and international information.
  • 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 Family History Guide is a website with a wide range of resources from beginning to advanced ideas – training, overviews of search options and more.
  • The FamilySearch Digital Library includes over 500,000 books on family history and genealogy, including many of the books in our library. You must have an account to access this library.
  • 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.
  • State Archives and Libraries provides information about various archives, libraries and research centers available to genealogists, family historians, and local historians in any particular state.
  • Periodical Source Index (PERSI) is the premier subject index for genealogy and local history periodicals and is produced by the staff of The Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library. This valuable resource provides more than 3 million citations to readily available periodical sources.

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 – Colma – History of the reburial of the San Francisco Odd Fellows Cemetery to Colma in 1933.

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

Forty-niners and more:

Looking for something genealogical to do this week?