Welcome to Genealogy Trails!
This county website is in need of a permanent host.
If you are interested joining our group as webmaster for this website, or any of our websites, view our Volunteer Information
page and Email Kim.
A desire to transcribe data and know-how to make a basic webpage is required.
We'll be adding data to this site when we can. Subscribe to our mailing lists to get notification
when we update this and our other western websites.
Marin County is one of the original counties
of California, created in 1850 at the time of statehood.
The origin of the county's name is not clear. One version is the county was named for Chief Marin, of the Coast
Miwok, Licatiut tribe of Native Americans who inhabited that section and waged fierce battle against the early
Spanish military explorers. The other version is that the bay between San Pedro and San Quentín points was
named Bahía de Nuestra Señora del Rosario la Marinera in 1775, and it is quite possible that Marin
is simply an abbreviation of this name.
The Coast Miwok Indians were hunters and gatherers whose ancestors had occupied the area for thousands of years.
About 600 village sites have been identified in the county.
The English explorer and privateer, Sir Francis Drake and the crew of the Golden Hind was thought to have landed
on the Marin coast in 1579 claiming the land as Nova Albion. A bronze plaque inscribed with Drake's claim to the
new lands, fitting the description in Drake's own account, was discovered in 1933. This so-called Drake's Plate
of Brass was later declared a hoax.
In 1595 Sebastian Cermeno lost his ship, the San Agustin, while exploring the Marin Coast. The Spanish explorer
Viscaino landed about twenty years after Drake in what is now called Drake's Bay. However the first Spanish settlement
in Marin was not established until 1817 when Mission San Rafael Archangel was founded partly in response to the
Russian-built Fort Ross to the north in what is now Sonoma county.
Mission San Rafael Arcángel was founded in what is now downtown San Rafael as the 20th Spanish mission in
the colonial Mexican province of Alta California by four priests, Father Narciso Duran from Mission San Jose, Father
Abella from Mission San Francisco de Asís, Father Gil y Taboada and Father Mariano Payeras, the President
of the Missions, on Dec. 14, 1817, four years before Mexico gained independence from Spain.
Cities & Towns:
Other places in Marin County:
- Bel Marin Keyes
- Belvedere Tiburon
- Black Point
- Dillon Beach
- Forest Knolls
- Fort Baker
- Fort Barry
- Fort Cronkhite
- Kent Woodlands
- Marin City
- Mission Rafael
- Muir Beach
- Muir Woods
- San Geronimo
- San Marin
- San Quentin
- Santa Venetia
- Stinson Beach
- Strawberry Point
- Tamalpais Valley
- Terra Linda
Vital Records Resources
Marin Civic Center, Room 329
San Rafael, CA 94903-0000
Phone: (415) 499-7331
Fax: (415) 507-4104
Mount Olivet Cemetery
Mount Tamalpais Cemetery
Taylors Grave Site
Tomales Bay Cemetery
Valley Memorial Park
Archives - San Francisco
1000 Commodore Drive
San Bruno, CA 94066-2350
Belvedere Tiburon Library
Madera Regional Library
Valley Public Library
Reyes Station Library
Anselmo Public Library
Geronimo Valley Library
Rafael Public Library
County Seat: San Rafael
Year Organized: 1850
Square Miles: 520