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
- 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.
- Jim Faulkinbury's Genealogical Research Services site has several useful resources including
- 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.
Locating local historical and genealogical societies:
- Censusfinder.com lists California historical and genealogical societies web sites. This is on the "101 Best" FamilyTree Magazine list above, but you'd have to dig a little to find it.
- California State Genealogical Alliance has a clickable map to California historical and genealogical societies by county, and a calendar where societies can post their events at a central source.
Look at society websites - they often have local data right there! For example:
- Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society has genealogy data records for Eastern Alameda County.
- Marin County Genealogical Society has an index of naturalized citizens, 1856-1934, Marin County, California.
- San Mateo County Genealogical Society has birth, deed, and obituary indices, among others, derived from county records. Once at their site, click on Databases.
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.
- Tehama Pioneers-- early immigrants who lived in or near Tehama County.