The stories of California’s families are waiting to be discovered at the California State Archives.
Where were your ancestors born? Where did they go to school? Did they graduate? Register to vote? Apply for a driver’s license? Serve in the miltiary?
Was someone in your family a party to litigation in the California courts?
Did one of your relatives practice a profession or trade that required a license from the state?
Was one of your family members ever an inmate in one of California’s prisons?
The answers — and help in uncovering even more family details — may well be at the Archives.
As the repository of governmental records for the State of California, the Archives is an invaluable to any researcher of family history.
Besides state records, the Archives also holds a collection of public records from a number of California cities and 28 of California’s 58 counties.
If one of your ancestors interacted in some way with one of these local jurisdictions, their documentary footprint might be in this special collection. If a family member owned property, had a will probated or sought to obtain their U.S. citizenship through California’s courts, the evidence could be there to prove — or maybe disprove — the unofficial family version of historical events.
Accessing these records is easy. Genealogical researchers should first check out the Archives’ Minerva Online Catalog. If further assistance is required, consult with a Reference Archivist or come to the Archives in person.
If the idea of preserving and/or expanding these types of genealogical records excites or interests you, become a Friend of the Archives. Information on how to do that and/or make a donation is available on this website.