Old Historical State, County and City Maps of California
Maps of California
Several other types of maps are useful for genealogists. Some give historical background of the area or show migration routes such as roads, rivers, and railroads.
Within the atlases are historical maps, illustrations, and histories many of which contain family names ideal for genealogical research.
Several books are helpful in researching the evolution of California.
- Historical Atlas of California, available in many libraries, provides a basic map reference at different points in California’s history.
- 1500 California Place Names: Their Origins and Meaning, is an excellent resource for named places and the history behind them.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) website offers for sale topographical maps of California.
Map of California County Formations 1850 to 1925
This Interactive Map of California Counties show the historical boundaries, names, organization, and attachments of every county, extinct county and unsuccessful county proposal from the creation of California in 1850 to 1925. California contains 58 counties.
The first 18 counties created on January 4, 1850, were Benicia, Butte, Fremont, Los Angeles, Mariposa, Monterey, Mount Diablo, Oro, Redding, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Sonoma, and Sutter Counties. The last county to be formed was Imperial County in 1907.
California Map Abbreviations
Old Historical Atlas Maps of California
This Historical California Map Collection are from original copies so you can see California as our ancestors saw them over a hundred years ago.
Some California map years (not all) have cities, railroads, P.O. locations, township outlines and other features useful to the California researcher.