Index to Judgments in Sonoma County Courts

Beginning in 1852 in Sonoma County, California debtors were taken to court to settle their debts. Early records remaining in the office of the Sonoma County Recorder for the period 1852 to 1921 are preserved in large leather-bound books, currently kept in a locked case. They are well-preserved and include an index titled, “Transcript of Judgments,” and four volumes, P, Q, R, and S, of actual records titled, “Transcript, Judgment, Judgment Court,” that contain the original hand-written record. The records are also available digitally at the Recorder’s office.

This online index is a guide to those records. 

Many records involve multiple individuals. If different individuals all have the same surname, they all appear together in a single index entry. For example, C. C. Steinnart, Georgina F. Steinnart, and Carl R. Steinnart will appear together. However, if the individuals have different surnames, they are entered under each surname so that each will appear in the alphabetical index. For example, James Burough and William Thompson, who are joint debtors in a judgment, will be found both in the Bs and in the Ts. This is done for both debtors and creditors. In other words, they are cross-indexed. However, be aware that many entries are filed under a single surname but include others, as in “Johnson et al.”

Not all records will have a date of filing or “filed date.” However, because the original index was prepared in chronological order, it is possible to estimate the approximate date when the transaction took place. For entries that fall in this classification, dates are preceded with an “e” in the “filed date” column. For example, “e1876" means the entry was made during this time period, but there was no final date of filing indicated in the index.  

An occasional original record is filed somewhere other than in the volumes P, Q, R, and S. If there is a reference to “deeds,” “promiscuous records,” “county court,” or other reference, you will need to check with the Office of the Recorder to find the original document.

For more information see their website: County Clerk-Recorder Office

You may want to have someone help you with your research or do a simple Look-Up.

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