Guide to the County Archives of California
By California Historical Survey Commission, John Francis Davis, Owen Cochran Coy
(Published 1919)

[Submitted to Genealogy Trails by Barbara Ziegenmeyer]



Klamath County was organized by a legislative act passed April 21, 1851, and included that portion of the state of California lying north of a line running due east from the mouth of Mad River, and west of the summit of the Coast Range Mountains. The next year more than one fourth of this area, along the upper Klamath River, was detached to form a part of Siskiyou County. The county seat was moved three times during the first five years of the county's history, it being located at Trinidad, 1851-1854, Crescent City, 1854-1855, and then at Orleans Bar, 1855-1875.

From the very beginning elements were noticeable which later brought about the division and disorganization of the county. Communication was difficult; the shifting mining population, unstable; and the officials often inefficient or corrupt. The district around Crescent City, being dissatisfied at the removal of the county seat in 1855, secured the formation of a new county, named Del Norte, in 1857. Extravagant and corrupt administration threatened financial ruin, so that by act of the legislature, dated March 28, 1874, the county was dissolved.

It was provided in the act that the disincorporation of the county should depend on the approval of the two counties, Humboldt and Siskiyou, which were to share in the distribution of the territory and likewise the debt. Both counties approved of the annexations, but the representatives of Siskiyou failed to meet with those of Humboldt at the time appointed for the final adjustment, so that by action of the court the debt was apportioned and the records turned over to Humboldt County.

The archives of the county, probably not very extensive at their best, have suffered much through the various migrations of the county seat. They are at present under the jurisdiction of the Clerk, Recorder and Auditor of Humboldt County. As indicated in the report, they are distributed among these three offices, some, however, being placed in the old courthouse, which is used as a storeroom by the county officials. "When the location of the records is other than the office under which they are listed, the exception has been noted in the report. The remarks or comments that are given regarding the care and safety of the Humboldt County records apply likewise to these.

District Court, 1851-1875
Execution Book. 1864-1875, 1 v.
Pile of the District and County Court, 1851-1874, 6 f.b.
General Index, 1866-1874, 2 v.
Judgment Book, 1852-1874, 1 v.
See also Recorder's Archives, Marriages.
Judgment Docket, 1866-1874, 1 v. .
Minutes, 1851-1874, 1 v. ; 1851-1868, 1 v.
Register of Actions, 1852-1874. 1 v. ; 1862-1871, 1 v.
Tax Decree Book, 1868-1872, 1 v.
Transcripts from Justice Courts, 1857-1874, 1 v.

County Court, 1851-1874
Minutes, 1851-1874, 1 v. ; 1852-1868, 1 v.
Register of Actions, 1852-1874, 1 v.
Court of Sessions, Criminal, 1851-1864
Minutes, 1851-1864, 1 v.
Probate Court, 1851-1874
Claimants. Register of, 1863-1874, 1 v., in Recorder's office.
File, 1851-1874, 4 f.b.
Guardianship and Bonds, "Official Bonds," 1867-1870. in Recorder's
Minutes, 1851-1874, .1 v.
Proceedings, Register of, 1864-1872, 1 v., in Recorder's office.
Court of Sessions, County Business, Minutes of, 1851-1862, 1 v.
Minutes, 1855-1874, 4 v.
Office Routine and General Duties
Fee Book, 1871-1874, 1 v., in Recorder's office; 1872-1874, ] v.
Miscellaneous papers, 1 box, in old courthouse.
Declarations of Intention and Certificates of Citizenship, 1859- 1874, 2 v.
Declarations of Intention, Index to, 1852-1874, 1 v.
Naturalized Citizens, Record of, 1852-1874, 1 v.
Great Register, 1866-1874, 1 v.
Pertaining to Private Business Concerns
Journal, Sawyers' Bar, 1863-1866, 1 v., in Auditor's office.
Account Book, June 1, 1855-1858. 1 v., in Recorder's office.
    (This consists of the accounts of a boarding house and bar. )
Ledger, "Journal," 1862-1866, 2 v., in Auditor's office.
    (This is the record of some firm on the Klamath River dealing in groceries, liquor and meals.)
Relating to Other Officers
County Infirmary, Board of Directors, 1868-1870,1 v., in Auditor's office.
Reports of Officers, 3 p.h.
Assignments [of Mortgages], 1873-1874, 1 v. (Book A).
Bonds, Record of, 1853-1855, 1 v.; 1867-1874, 1 v., in Clerk's office.
(Preceding the entries of Bonds in the volume for 18531855 is the Record of Brands, 1851-1803; and in the back are Powers of Attorney, 1852-1859. )

Brands, Record of, 1864-1874, 1 v.
(This volume also contains Assessment List for 1S56. For 1851-1803 sec under Bonds. )

Certificates of Sale, 1866-1874, 1 v.
Deaths, Record of, 1858, 1 v., only one entry.
Deeds, 1851-1874, 3 v. (A-C) ; Index, 1 v.
Fee Book, 1872-1874, 1 v.
Homesteads, 1873-1874, 1 v.
(For 1860-1873 see under Marriages, etc., Book A ; for Index, 1860-1873, see Wills, etc. )

Judgments, Transcripts of, "Record," 1852-1854.
(See under Marriages, 18521855.)

Land. Claims to Public, 1853-1874, 1 v. ; Index, 1851-1872, 1 v.
Lis Pendens, 1872-1874, 1 v. .
Marriages, Record of, 1852-1855, 1 v.; 1855-1873, 1 v. (A) ; 1860-1864,
1 v., with only three entries.
(In back of volume for 1852-1855 is Record of Judgments of the District and County Court. 1552-1554. The volume for 1855-1873 is entitled " Book A, Marriages, sole traders, and homesteads." )

Marriage Certificates, 1873-1874, 1 v. (B) ; Index, 1852-1874, 1 v.
Mechanics Liens, 1867-1870, 1 v.
Mining Claims and Miscellany, 1856-1874, 2 v. (A-B) ; Index to Miscellaneous Articles, 1851-1854. 1 v., pasteboards.
Mortgages, 1851-1874. 2 v. (A-B).
Official Bonds, 1867-1874, 1 v. (B).
Powers of Attorney, 1852-1859, sec under Bonds ; 1854-1873, see under Wills.
Pre-emption Claims, 1851-1853, 1 v., unbound.
(Inserted in Marriages, 1852-1855.)
Probate Court, Record of Sale, 1870-1874, 1 v.
Releases of Mortgages, 1873-1874, 1 v.
(Preceding this are several pages of Record of Cases in the District and County Court. )

Sole Traders, 1855-1873.
See under Marriages, etc., Book A.
Trinidad, Records of, Book A of Deeds, 1850-1851, 1 v.
Wills and Powers of Attorney, 1854-1873, 1 v., in Clerk's office; Index of Wills, Powers of Attorney, Sole Traders and Homesteads, 1855- 1873, 1 v.


Assessment Rolls, 1854, 1855, 3 v. ; 1856, 1 v. ; 1859-1864, 7 v. ; 1864. one roll of large sheets; 1866, 1 v., in Recorder's office; 1869, 1 v.; 1869-1870, 1 v. ; 1873-1875, 3 v.
(For volume for 1850 see under Recorder, Brands, 1804-1874. )
Bonds Issued, August, 1857, in Record of Funding Commission.
Bonds Redeemed, Record of, 1863-1874, 1 v.
Day Book, 1870-1873, 1 v.
Funding Commission, Record of, May August, 1857. 1 v.
(Contains also a list of bonds issued. August, 1857 ; the title on the bad of the cover reads "Sheriffs Receipts." )
Interest Account Book, 1858-1866, 1 v.
Ledger, 1863-1874, 3 v. (1-3).
License stub books, 1872-1874: Billiards, 1 v. ; Liquor, 1 v.
Redemption Fund Register, 1863-1874, 1 v.
Scrip presented for payment, 1857-1865, 1 v. ; Received, June August, 1857, 1 v.
Sheriff's Receipts, 1862-1874, 1 v.
Treasurer's account book, 1872, 1 v.
Treasurer's Journal, 1858-1874, 1870-1874, 2 v. ; 1871-1874, 2 v.
Treasurer's Ledger, 1853-1854, 1 v.
Treasurer's Warrant Register, 1866-1871, 1 v., in Recorder's office.
Warrants, Register of: Court warrants, 1861-1874, 1 v. ; General, 1867- 1869, 1 v.
Warrant stub book, 1864-1866, 1873-1874, 2 v. '

The greater part of these records are located in the old courthouse : about one- fourth of them are in the Auditor's office, the remainder as indicated In the report.



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[Submitted to Genealogy Trails by Barbara Ziegenmeyer]