Guide to the Vital Statistics of San Joaquin County (Calif.) GovRec8

San Joaquin County Historical Society & Museum

Title: Vital Statistics of San Joaquin County (Calif.)
Identifier/Call Number: GovRec8
Contributing Institution: San Joaquin County Historical Society & Museum
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 26.0 Linear feet
Date (bulk): Bulk, 1851-1924
Date (inclusive): 1850-1950
Abstract: This collection of 39 bound government volumes with 14 boxes holds some of the earliest life records of the pioneers and settlers of San Joaquin County, California. It spans the years of 1850-1950 and includes birth, death, marriage, and divorce registers and marriage certificates.
Language of materials: Materials are in English


Collection is open for research by appointment

Conditions of use

No copyright or access restrictions

Preferred citation

[Item number], Vital Statistics of San Joaquin County, California, GovRec8, San Joaquin County Historical Society and Museum, Lodi, California

Historical background

Vital statistics are used by government entities to aid in the recognition of public health trends and to identify needs in the population. They also allow for the issuance of official government certificates for identification and statistical use. The California State Legislature in 1850 tasked County Recorders with maintaining records of all marriage contracts and certificates, and later added the birth and death registers of county residents.
An 1872 statute designated County Recorders as local registrars of births and deaths under the State Board of Health. The local registrar sent original birth and death certificates to the State Registrar and shared a quarterly abstract of his records with the Secretary of the State Board. In 1905, the Legislature established the Bureau of Vital Statistics. The County Recorder continued to act as registrar; he maintained indexes of births and deaths and continued to send original birth certificates to the State Registrar. The County Recorder maintains this role today with records dating back to 1851.

Scope and content

This collection of thirty-nine bound government volumes with fourteen boxes spans the years 1850-1950 and includes birth, death, marriage, and divorce registers and marriage licenses. It is divided into five series: Series 1, Birth Records, 1856-1906; Series 2, Death Records, 1858-1907; Series 3, Marriage Records, 1850-1944, including three subseries: Series 3a, Indexes to Marriages Men, Series 3b, Indexes to Marriages Women, and Series 3c, Records Book “M” Marriages; Series 4, Marriage Licenses, 1851-1950; Series 5, Divorces, 1859.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

San Joaquin County (Calif.)
San Joaquin County (Calif.)--Statistics, Vital


Series 1: Birth Records

Scope and Content

Six hand-written bound volumes of birth registers dating 1856-1906. The registers usually contain the date of birth of the child and its name, sex, and race (“color”); the parents’ names, nativity, race, and residence; and when the birth was recorded and by whom. Some records contain the condition of the child at birth (i.e. alive or deceased).

Register of Births 1, 1856-1871


Register of Births 1, 1859-1905


Register of Births 1, Duplicate, 1873-1905


Register of Births 1, 1883-1893


Register of Births 2, 1894-1903


Register of Births 1, 1905-1906


Series 2: Death Records

Scope and Content

Seven bound volumes (some fragile and held within two flat boxes), containing death records dating 1858-1907. The death records typically might contain a sampling of information besides the name of deceased and date of death, including sex, age, color, mental status, occupation, nativity, cause of death, place of internment, date of the death record, and remarks.

Register of Deaths 1, 1858-1860


Death Index, 1860-1873


Register of Deaths Volume 3, 1873-1895 (partial)


Register of Deaths, 1895-1905


Death Certificates, 1903-1904


Death Certificates, 1903-1905


Register of Deaths, 1905-1907


Series 3: Marriage Records

Scope and Content

Twenty-five bound volumes and one flat box spanning 1850-1941, divided into three subseries: Subseries 3a, Index to Marriages Men, 1851-1924; Subseries 3b, Index to Marriages Women, 1851-1924; Subseries 3c, Records Book “M” Marriages, 1850-1901, with Index to Marriages, 1933-1941.

Subseries 3a: Index to Marriages Men, 1851-1924


Index to Marriages Men 1, 1851-1872


Index to Marriages Men 1, 1854-1862


Index to Marriages Men 3, 1872-1884


Index to Marriages Men 4, 1885-1900


Index to Marriages Men 5, 1885-1899


Index to Marriages Men 5, 1899-1907


Index to Marriages Men 4, 1903-1905


Index to Marriages Men 6, 1908-1913


Index to Marriages Men 7, 1914-1920


Index to Marriages Men 8, 1920-1924


Subseries 3b: Index to Marriages Women, 1851-1924


Index to Marriages Women, 1851-1872


Index to Marriages Women, 1872-1884


Index to Book “M” Women, 1885-1899


Index to Marriages Women, 1899-1907


Index to Marriages Women 6, 1908-1913


Index to Marriages Women 7, 1914-1919


Index to Marriages Women 8, 1920-1924


Subseries 3c: Records Book "M" Marriages, 1850-1901, 1933-1941


Records Book “M” Marriages, Volume 1, 1850-1857


Records Book “M” Marriages, Volume 2, 1857-1869


Records Book “M” Marriages, Volume 3, 1869-1880


Records Book “M” Marriages, Volume 4, 1878-1884


Records Book “M” Marriages, Volume 5, 1884-1890


Records Book “M” Marriages, Volume 6, 1890-1896


Records Book “M” Marriages, Volume 7, 1896-1900


Records Book “M” Marriages, Volume 8, 1900-1901


Index to Marriages, 1933-1941


Series 4: Marriage Licenses

Scope and Content

Three bankers boxes, one legal-size document box, and six flat boxes spanning 1851-1950. These contain copies of marriage certificates.

Marriage Licenses, 1851-1866, oversize


Marriage Licenses, 1868-1873, oversize


Marriage Licenses, 1863-1886


Marriage Licenses, 1887-1891, oversize


Marriage Licenses, 1892-1895, oversize


Marriage Licenses, 1896-1897


Marriage Licenses, 1898-1909


Marriage Licenses, 1910-1919, oversize


Marriage Licenses, 1920-1929, oversize


Marriage Licenses, 1930-1950


Series 5: Divorces

Scope and Content

One bound volume in flat box, containing headings for date, names of husband and wife, name of applicant, grounds for divorce, court where petition was heard, date of record of divorce, and remarks.

Book of Divorces, 1859