Index to the County Court Records of Sonoma County, California, 1850-1879


Court records are incredibly rich in information useful for genealogical research. They can, however, be hard to locate and, once found, difficult to navigate, especially since most are not indexed. For these reasons they are probably the most under-utilized of all genealogical records. The Sonoma County Genealogical Society and the author of this publication have made some of the early Sonoma County court records more easily accessible to the researcher by indexing the records of several 19th-century Sonoma County courts. This publication adds to the series by presenting an index to the County Court records of Sonoma County.

The County Courts of California were established in 1849 and initially served only to hear appeals from the various Justices’ Courts. Over the years the California Legislature granted the County Courts their own original jurisdiction over cases such as those involving insolvency, and, in 1864, criminal cases when the Courts of Sessions were abolished. They also handled applications to change names, applications by women to function as sole traders, adoptions, and naturalizations. The County Courts were abolished in 1879 by the second California Constitution of that year, and the Superior Courts assumed their functions.

This publication comprises four sections: three tables of County Court cases (Old Series, New Series, and unnumbered) and an all-name index. Over 1,700 cases are presented, and nearly 2,800 names are indexed.

Steven M. Lovejoy

2024, 8½x11, paper, index, 154 pp.

ISBN: 9780788428135