California Cemetery Records

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This entry was originally written by Dwight A. Radford, Thelma Berkey Walsmith, and Nell Sachse Woodard for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
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the California Family History Research series.
History of California
California Vital Records
Census Records for California
Background Sources for California
California Maps
California Land Records
California Probate Records
California Court Records
California Tax Records
California Cemetery Records
California Church Records
California Military Records
California Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
California Archives, Libraries, and Societies
California Immigration
California Naturalization
Ethnic Groups of California
California Gold Rush
California County Resources
Map of California

Printed secondary sources of transcribed cemeteries exist for most California counties. The California State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) has collected hundreds of such records. Transcripts are housed both at the national DAR (see page 13) and with some local chapters and libraries. They are also available on microfilm through the FHL and the Sutro Library in San Francisco (see California Archives, Libraries, and Societies). A complete set of the DAR records (more than 180 volumes) is also in the California Room of the California State Library. Included in this collection are census, newspaper, cemetery, court, Bible, and family records.

Most cemeteries previously located in San Francisco were 'moved' out of the city in the 1930s to South San Francisco and Coloma in San Mateo County, for example.

Some cemetery inscriptions are found online and can be located here: California Cemetery Records