Genealogical Research in Sonoma County

Births and deaths in Sonoma County have been recorded since 1855 and 1873 respectively. Marriages have been recorded since 1846. Sonoma County birth, marriage or death certificates can be obtained from the Sonoma County Clerk at the Sonoma County Clerk’s Office. See SCGS Publications for indices to Sonoma County's vital and newspaper records. We have indexes to many of our publications, and we will be making them available online.

Wills and probate records have been recorded since 1847. Sonoma County wills and probate records can be obtained from the Archived Records Division of the Sonoma County Superior Court at the Sonoma County Superior Court. See the name only index to the SCGS publication, Probate Records, Sonoma County, California - Index for 1847 to 1959, available free to the public. Members of SCGS can access the full index in the Members Only tab of this website.

Sonoma County was one of the original counties formed in 1850. The county has changed over time, and there is more information at Sonoma County boundary changes.

Assistance at the Sonoma County History and Genealogy Library

Volunteers from the Sonoma County Genealogical Society are available at the Sonoma County History and Genealogy Library, 211 E Street, Santa Rosa, CA, every Wednesday afternoon from 1:00 to 3:00 PM to assist patrons with their genealogical research. This service is free, but donations to the library are accepted and greatly appreciated.

Look-up Service

The Sonoma County Genealogical Society has published many volumes of indexed Sonoma County records. Go to SCGS Publications [link disabled temporarily] for a list of these publications and to view indices of their contents. For a copy of a page in one of these publications or a copy of a Sonoma County newspaper obituary the SCGS offers a look-up service. The cost for this service is $2.00 per item.

Hire a Sonoma County Researcher

For those genealogical questions that a simple look-up will not answer, the Sonoma County Genealogical Society offers a research service for extended research into events that occurred in Sonoma County. Long-time Sonoma County genealogists familiar with the resources available in Sonoma County will conduct the research. The cost for this service is $30 per hour for SCGS members and $40.00 per hour for non-members with a two-hour minimum. The fee covers the researcher’s time to conduct the research and write a full report that documents and analyzes the results of their research. If copies of official records, such as birth, marriage or death certificates, are requested, additional fees will be added.

The Sonoma County researcher will contact you to discuss your genealogical question before undertaking the research and will need the following information:

Your name, street address, phone number, and email address, the genealogical question you wish to have researched, the sources you have already consulted, and the number of hours of research authorized (2 hour minimum).

Examples of genealogical questions:

Who were the parents of John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt thought to have been born in Sonoma County in 1868?


Peter Piper and Mary Quite Contrary, who were living in Sonoma County in the 1870 US census, married in Sonoma County. When and where were they married?

Write to us by snail mail:

Sonoma County Genealogical Society

Attn: Research Request

P.O. Box 2273 

Santa Rosa, CA 95405-0273   

Send an e-mail to us with subject line of Research Request:  research service email

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