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San Diego County Recorder Indexes to Building Contracts
RCC/OFR04  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Indexes to Building Contracts consist of two disbound volumes dating from 1885 to 1959. Each volume provides listings of building contracts executed in San Diego County.
Background
The San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk (ARCC) department consists of five distinct divisions, the two main production divisions are: the Assessor and the Recorder/County Clerk. The department is the result of the combination of three distinct county offices: the San Diego County Assessor (established 1849), County Recorder (established 1850), and County Clerk, (established 1849.) The responsibilities of the Assessor's office are rooted in the Constitution of the State of California (1849). Section 13 of Article XI notes that “assessors and collectors of town, County, and State taxes, shall be elected by the qualified electors… in which the property taxed… is situated.” Chapter 43 of the statutes of the 1850 California legislature (California Stats. 1850, Ch. 43) passed “An Act concerning the office of the County Assessor,” which addressed several administrative points, among them term of office, appointment of deputies, compensation, and other administrative provisions. Further clarification regarding the duties of the County Assessor were provided in California Stats. 1852, Ch. 3 which mandates the location, identification, and valuation of all vacant land, improved real estate, and business property. This was later expanded to include certain manufactured homes, boats, and aircraft. Additionally, the Assessor's office maintains comprehensive records on all taxable properties within the boundaries of the San Diego County, including the maintenance of maps of all real property parcels. Similarly, California Stat. 1850, Ch. 58, “An Act establishing Recorders’ Offices, and defining the Duties of the Recorder and County Auditor,” was passed on April 4, 1850. The California state legislature implemented a recording system to document and preserve evidence of title to, or interest in, land. The County Recorder was tasked with the permanent recording and preservation of Official Records, defined in California Government Code section 27300 as “… permanent archival record of all instruments, papers, and notices as accepted for recording by a county recorder.” Over time, the responsibilities of the recorder evolved, adapting to changing needs and merging with the duties of other related officials. For example, in 1872, the County Recorder was designated the local registrar for birth, death, and marriage records. In July 1905 a state agency, currently the California Department of Public Heath – Vital Records unit, became the primary record holder of birth, death, and marriage records. The primary purpose of the recording system was to provide a public record of property ownership within the county and to document transfers or encumbrances affecting properties. Certain transactions in personal property were also included in the public record. This system allowed individuals intending to purchase land, the opportunity to determine the ownership and condition of a property's title in a public setting. The adopted system was based on practices in many Eastern states in 1850, which involved indexing the names of parties involved in land transactions to one volume while copying the actual document text into separate volumes. Distinct sets of indexes and volumes were allocated for each type of document, as defined by California Government Code sections 27232 through 27254. However, in 1921 the legislature authorized the use of a combined General Index for all types of documents. Section 7 of Article VI of the Constitution of the State of California (1849) established the office of the County Clerk while California Stats. 1850, Ch. 110 defined the duties of the office. The County Clerk served as the ex officio clerk of the court of sessions and probate court, attending each session of the county courts for which they held responsibility, they issued all writs, entered orders, judgments, and decrees, maintained dockets for all courts, and managed and disposed of records in accordance with the law. Additionally, the County Clerk administered oaths and accepted bonds for public officials. For a brief period beginning in 1866 with the Registry Act (California Stats. 1866, Ch. 265), the county Clerk was also responsible for recording a list of every eligible voter in the county. In 1990, an amendment to the San Diego County Charter was proposed with the intent of consolidating the responsibilities of the County Clerk and County Recorder into a single entity. A special election was called, and this merger was subsequently approved by the voters, leading to its implementation in 1991. A further amendment was proposed in 1993, aiming to consolidate the Recorder/County Clerk with the Assessor. This amendment was also approved by the voters, resulting in the establishment of the Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk under the leadership of a single elected official in 1995. Today, the County Clerk in San Diego County continues to perform essential functions as defined in California Government Code sections 26801 through 26810, including the acceptance of filings for fictitious business names and notary public oaths and bonds, the issuance of marriage licenses, and conducting civil marriage ceremonies. It is important to note that the original geographic boundaries of San Diego County included territory in present-day Imperial (formed 1907), Riverside (formed 1893), Inyo (formed 1866, expanded 1872), and San Bernardino (formed 1853) Counties.
Extent
1.6 cubic feet (2 oversize boxes)
Restrictions
Availability
The collection is open for research use. For access information, please contact the San Diego County Archives staff at archives@sdcounty.ca.gov.