Genealogy & Local History

Genealogy Research Assistance

For researchers working on Lake County ancestry and history, library staff or library volunteers perform brief free searches in the microfilmed newspapers and scan articles if you have a specific date. 

Scans can be emailed to patrons and paper copies can be mailed.

1-15 copies are free, 
16 or more paper copies are ten cents each.
Click here to submit a research request

Lake County Collection

The Lake County Library's Lake County Collection contains books and other materials about Lake County history, genealogy, and other topics. Also in the collection are yearbooks from some Lake County schools and local phone books from 1947 to the present. Browse Lake County titles in the catalog

Newspapers on Microfilm1863-Current

The Lake County Library's collection of local newspapers on microfilm covers much of Lake County's history. Births, marriages and deaths are partially indexed 1863-1949. The Lake County Genealogical Society continues to extract names for indexing.

The Mauldin Notes

The Mauldin Notes are 10,000 pages of Lake County historical information with an index and are housed at the Lakeport and Clearlake libraries, and at the Lake County Museums. The museum has digitized the Mauldin Notes.

Lake County Directories

A few directories for Lake County were published and the Lake County Library does not have copies. The California State Library has some Lake County directories on microfilm in the California History Room.

1874 Handbook and Directory of Napa, Lake, Sonoma, and Mendocino Counties.
1885 McKenney's 8-County Directory of Humboldt, Napa, Marin, Yolo, Lake, Solano, Mendocino and Sonoma Counties.

Lake County Formed in 1861

Most of what is now Lake County separated from Napa County in 1861. Small pieces of Lake County were once in Mendocino County. Pre-separation records are in Napa County or Mendocino County.  

Contact each organization directly for more information.

counties that adjoin Lake County are Sonoma, Mendocino, Glenn, Colusa, Yolo, and Napa. Lake County's boundaries have shifted slightly over time.

Local & Regional Resources

Lake County Recorder ~ Vital records and land records.
Lake County Superior Court ~ Probate records and other court records.
Lake County Genealogical Society ~ Email an LCGS volunteer for research help.
Lake County Museums ~ Historic photos, records, and maps. Early probate records.
Lake County GenWeb ~ A variety of indexes and lists about Lake County people.
Lake County Cemeteries on Find A Grave
Lake County Historical Society ~ Historic photos and documents.
Lake County, California, Index to Federal Land Patents Database
Sonoma County Library History & Genealogy Annex

Resources in California

California Research Wiki.  
Sutro Library ~ The genealogy branch of the California State Library.
California History Section.
California State Library Genealogy Toolkit
California Birth, Marriage & Death Record Indexes are available on
California Office of Vital Records.
California Genealogical Society.
Online Archive of California.
California Historical Society.
The California State Archives.
California Pioneer Project.
California Digital Newspaper Collection. Lake County stories can be found in this free resource. 
California Indian Tribes Research Wiki

General Resources

Cyndi's List.
Family Search.
National Archives.
Family History Books.
Find A Grave.
USGenWeb Project.
Google Books.