1852 California Census for Santa Clara County
1935 DAR Transcription
In 1852 a special census was taken for the new state of California, including Santa Clara County.
In 1935 a partial transcription of the 1852 census was made by the Daughters of the American Revolution as a WPA project. That transcript was published in thirteen volumes. That transcript was microfilmed, and is available at the Santa Clara City Library, call number GR 929.3794 C153. The microfilm can also be viewed on FamilySearch.
The decaying originals of the census were microfilmed in 1972, and then destroyed. Those microfilm images can be viewed on Ancestry (see below), and the images can be viewed at FamilySearch Film # 004640623
beginning at image 143.
There are numerous problems: with the lack of order of the 1935 DAR transcription, with the legibility of the 1972 microfilm, and with the Ancestry index.
In 1998 the Southern California Genealogical Society completed an eight year project to reconcile the census microfilm and the DAR transcription. Their results were published on CD-ROM, available in our library, Central Locked Case call# CD-ROM 979.4 S72. Their introduction and explanation of the California 1852 Census Project can be found here
. It is a must read for understanding the difficulties involved.
In 2009 the Santa Clara County Historical & Genealogical Society created a transcript of the Santa Clara County chapter of the 1935 DAR transcription. That transcript is presented below in two sequences, by surname and by given name.
Try this strategy for finding individuals in the 1852 California State Census.
- Attempt to locate the individual using Ancestry. Search the California State Census, 1852 through their card catalog. Note that many individuals did not provide a surname.
- If you do not find results using Ancestry, try using the SCCHGS 1852 Census Index, below.
- This index is an alphabetical list of all names. There are separate indexes for surname and given name. Bring up the correct alphabetic list and use your browser's "Find" feature to facilitate your search.
- If you find your ancestor in the DAR index, the tricky part is then finding the associated image on Ancestry as there is no correlation between DAR page number and Ancestry image number. Try to search the California State Census, 1852 with the "Lived In" field set to exactly "Santa Clara County, California, USA" and other search fields set to information from the SCCHGS 1852 Census Index below, such as birth year (subtract age from 1852), sex, birthplace and residence.
SCCHGS 1852 Census Index
Given Name Index