01 July 2013

Sacramento City and County Resources - Center for Sacramento History

This first post (in a planned series for Sacramento) is about a repository that doesn't get as much attention as it should.  The Center for Sacramento History houses an abundance of records for anyone researching in the Sacramento area.  Patricia J. Johnson is the senior archivist there and I have worked with her a few times.  When I provide an exact citation for records I need via email, she saves me the trip to the Center by copying and mailing the records to me.  The reading room at the Center is very, very small so this is my preferred way to obtain records from the Center.

For a listing of the Sacramento County court records housed at the Center, they have a PDF file you can download  - SACRAMENTO COURT FILES.

And more court records:

CIVIL CASE FILES, Sacramento County Court -  1850-1879 - 3666 case files that give the name of the plaintiff, the defendant, the type of case, the date and the location of the file at the Center for Sacramento History. Some of the types of cases are recovery of a debt or wages, property disputes, mechanics lien, disturbing the peace, slander, unlawful detainer, obstruction of justice, overcharge for cattle, recovery of cattle, mining claim disputes, ordinance violations, assault and battery, prostitution, injury to a horse, malicious mischief, trespassing, unpaid taxes, claim jumping, and just plain being a nuisance.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY JUSTICE COURT CASES 1850 to 1870  contains the folder number, case number, name of plaintiff and defendant, cause of action and the date.

SEPARATE PROPERTY of MARRIED WOMEN and SOLE TRADERS, 1850-1930 - California's constitution of 1849 protected women's rights not only to property acquired before marriage but to property acquired independently after marriage.  In 1852, the California enacted a law permitting married women to engage in business as sole traders.  Sole trader status guaranteed that the business and profits a married woman acquired independent of her husband belonged exclusively to her. Once registered as a sole trader, a married woman's assets were no longer at the disposal of her husband.  The husband continued to have the sole right to manage community property, recognition of separate property status for women opened the world of business and real estate to California women.

The Center also offers us a cemetery: A listing of all burials at Sacramento City Cemetery 1849 to 2000   gives the name of the deceased, age at time of death, date of death, date of burial, lot number and notes that include cause of death, place of birth and some date of birth.

The Center has a Manuscripts and Personal Papers Collection which includes photographs and oral histories.  Finding aids, in downloadable PDF files, for this collection can be found HERE.

Some records of genealogical interest at the Center are:

Birth Index 1912 - 1935
Delayed Birth Index 1890-1960

Marriage Affidavits  1893-1906
Marriage License and Consents Stub Book  1877-879  
Divorce Cases  1880 to 1910

Record of Wills  - 19 volumes A-I and K-S  -  1850-1927
Probate Case Files - Case #2 to Case #20140 - 1880-1940
Probate Records, General Indexes - 1884-1930
Estates of Deceased Persons - 1860-1864

Homestead Declarations 1860 - 1878
Homestead Declarations of Married Persons 1860 - 1929

Indexes to Declarations of Intent and Naturalization 1850-1950
Declarations of Intent  1859-1951
Naturalization Petitions  1904 - 1954
Naturalization Records   1861-1906
Naturalization Case Files  1848-1868

Some seldom used, but interesting records at the Center:

District Court Execution Records 1855-1876

Repatriation Records 1941-1956

Coroner's Inquest Records 1892-1912

Records of the Harbor Master, Port of Sacramento 1851-1902

Sacramento Superior Court,  Record of Insane Commitments  1881-1887

Docked Horses Register 1903-1913

To search the Center's entire online catalog simply click HERE.

The Center is also one of four institutions in Sacramento that joined together to digitize and catalog items from their collections which document agriculture and transportation in the region from mid 19th to early 20th century.  The Project is called "Sacramento History Online" and can be accessed and searched HERE.

Center for Sacramento History
551 Sequoia Pacific Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95811
TEL (916) 808-7072
FAX (916) 808-7582

Research at the Center is by appointment only

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