NGS Research in the States Series: California

ngs20I doubt anyone would question the fact that California is a unique state. Third largest in territory, largest in population, known around the world, for good or bad, for entertainment, earthquakes, technology, agriculture, and much more. California offers some of the most unique natural features from the redwoods to Yosemite; from Mt. Whitney to Death Valley; and even the ability to surfing in the morning and snow ski away the afternoon. Yet, the people of California bring even more diversity than the state’s resources. The state is a true melting pot of cultural, ethnic, economic, and political diversity.

The NGS Research in the States Series: Californiaby Sheila Benedict, provides the insight needed to research the diversity that is California, its people, and their histories. This guide shows it’s difference from other guides by including sections like the 1906 San Francisco quake and the Movie Industry. Not typical to sections found in similar guides. Of course, the “normal” sections are included as well; such as, information on vital records collections, newspapers, census records, etc. California is big enough that it takes 7 pages, out of this 48 page guide, just to list the major genealogical/historical societies and major library collections (by county).

Beginning in 1987, the National Genealogical Society began publishing a series of state guides in the organization’s magazine, the Quarterly. These guides were later re-issued as special publications designed to support genealogical research in each state.

About the author:

Sheila Benedict is a dedicated, self-employed, genealogists with an education and background in history, writing, and forensic genealogy. She spent 10 years as the administrator of Old Mission Santa Inés, and continues today as a part-time archivist. Benedict is also a life member and former board member of the National Genealogical Society, of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Society of California Archivists, and other similarly important societies and organizations dedicated to genealogy and historical research and preservation.


Table of Contents

History and Settlement

Archives, Libraries, and Societies

  • California State Archives
  • California State Library
  • California Historical Society
  • National Archives (NARA) Regional Centers
  • National Archives at Riverside
    • National Archives at San Francisco
    • Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • California State Genealogical Alliance

Major Resources

  • Aids to Research
    • Online Archive of California
    • Calisphere, California Digital Library
  • Atlases, Gazetteers, and Maps
  • Biographical Sources
  • Cattle Brands
  • Cemetery Records
  • Census Records
    • 1890 Census Substitute
  • City and County Records
    • California County Record Offices
  • Courts and Court Records
    • Superior Courts
    • Appeals Courts
    • Federal Courts
  • Directories
  • Ethnic Records
    • Chinese
    • Japanese
    • Native Americans
    • Spanish/Mexican
    • Other Ethnicities
  • Land Records / Land Grants
    • Spanish and Mexican Land Grants
    • Federal Land Grants
  • Military Records
  • Mining
  • Mission System
  • Movie Industry
  • Newspapers
  • Probate Records
  • Railroads
  • Religious Records
    • Baptist
    • Catholic
    • Episcopal
    • Jewish
    • Lutheran
    • Methodist
    • Presbyterian
    • Quakers
  • 1906 San Francisco Earthquake
  • Tax Records
    • Personal Property Tax Records
  • Vital Records
    • Birth Records
    • Death Records
    • Marriage Records
    • Divorce Records
    • Adoptions
    • Name Changes
    • California State Clerk-Recorder
  • Women
  • Genealogical and Historical Societies/Museums
  • County by County Listing of Genealogical/Historical Societies & Major Library Collections
  • Other Societies and Research Repositories

These guides are an excellent resource for state by state research. Available guides, including NGS Research in the States Series: California are available from Family Roots Publishing.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.