Source Information

California State Archive California, U.S., Death and Burial Records from Select Counties, 1873-1987 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.
Original data: Death and burial records, select counties and years. California State Archives, Sacramento, California.

About California, U.S., Death and Burial Records from Select Counties, 1873-1987

This collection includes a variety of records from the counties of Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Santa Clara, Stanislaus, Sutter, and Yolo, as well as the Portuguese Union of California. Included you’ll find:

  • death certificates, returns, and registers
  • burial permits
  • indexes to death records and obituaries
  • death benefit claim registers (Portuguese Union of California)

Details will vary depending on the type of record, but the records can include the following:

  • date of death
  • place of death
  • age at the time of death
  • cause of death
  • occupation
  • dates and locations of obituaries
  • date and place of birth
  • location of interment
  • marital status
  • parents’ names and birthplaces
  • names of beneficiaries (in benefit claims)

Historical Background In 1872 California began requiring registers be kept recording births, marriages, and deaths. Marriages needed to be recorded within 30 days. Births and deaths had to be recorded at the end of each quarter, with a fee attached 25 cents per name. A fine of 50 dollars for not recording an event was incentive to adhere to the policy. In 1905, the filing requirement was changed to within five days after the event for births and deaths and three days for marriages, and copies were sent to the state.

If you don’t find your ancestor’s record in this collection, see our California Resources page for more information.