Free Online California City Directories

City and business directories are available online from all over the U.S. and are what I consider another important set of information that can assist you in advancing your family history and genealogy research.

This activity of presenting links is a collaborative effort between The Ancestor Hunt and Miriam Robbins, who for years has made available the Online Historical Directories website, which presents links to directories of all types that are available online, including free collections as well as those available only via subscription. I wish to thank Miriam for her help in launching this category of records at The Ancestor Hunt.

So, what kinds of directories are available to the researcher?  Naturally city and business directories, but also telephone directories, and alumni, farm, lodge, rural, and social directories.

What can you find in these records? How about:

  • Full names, including middle names
  • Spouse name
  • Occupation
  • Widows, working women, and adult children at home.
  • Maps
  • Businesses (and index to advertisers).
  • Addresses and maps of churches, schools, funeral homes, cemeteries, post offices, courts, hospitals, benevolent associations, and newspapers.
  • Whether a woman is a widow (including the name of her husband).
  • List of marriages and deaths of the previous year.
  • Death date.
  • etc.

Here are a few good primers on the benefits of searching historical city and other directories:​

And here are various places where you can find other city directories online: 

Note: Some of the links listed take you to a FamilySearch Collection of digital images. Near the bottom of the page under Film/Digital Notes is the name of each sub-collection. If there is a camera icon at the right of the name (in the Format column) then the collections’ images are browsable. If there is a camera with a key icon, it is only available at a Family History Center or affiliated library. If there is a film reel icon, then it is only available in microfilm format, not digital. To take full advantage, please make sure that you are logged in to FamilySearch. The results may be different if you are signed in, rather than not.

(Updated August 2023)

California City Directories

Links to these free collections are presented initially with statewide collections, followed in alphabetical order by city or county. Generally, the publishing company is included in reference to the collection, along with the collection title, and the date(s) of the directory:

Statewide

Alameda

Alameda County

Alhambra

Astoria

Avalon

Azusa

Bakersfield

Banning

Barstow

Bellflower

Berkeley

Beverly Hills

Big Pine

Bloomington

Blythe

Boron

Brisbane

Brooklyn

Burbank

Butte County

Calaveras County

Campbell

Canoga Park

Carpinteria

Chico

Chico and Oroville

Clarksburg

Clements

Coachella

Coloma

Colton

Colusa

Colusa County

Compton

Contra Costa County

Corona

Courtland

Covina

Crescent City

Cucamonga

Culver City

Daly City

Daly City and Colma

Del Norte County

Dixon

Downey

Ducor

El Dorado

El Dorado County

Emeryville

Escondido

Escondido and Valley Center

Escondido, San Marcos, and Valley Center

Fair Oaks

Fontana

Fresno

Fresno County

Georgetown

Gilroy

Glendale

Glenn and Tehama Counties

Glenn County

Goleta

Granada Hills

Grass Valley

Guadalupe

Hayward

Hemet

Hollywood

Hope Park

Hot Springs

Humboldt County

Huntington Beach

Huntington Park

Imperial County

Inglewood

Inyo County

Kern County

Kings and Tulare Counties

Kings County

Laguna Beach

Lake and Mendocino Counties

Lake Arrowhead

Lake County

Lake Tahoe

Lancaster

Lassen County

Lodi

Loma Linda

Lomita

Lompoc

Long Beach

Los Altos

Los Angeles

Los Angeles County

Los Gatos

Madera County

Manteca

Marin County

Mendocino County

Merced County

Midway District

Mission Canyon

Modesto

Modoc County thru Monrovia

Monrovia

Montebello

Montecito

Monterey

Monterey County

Morgan Hill

Napa County

Nevada County

Newhall

North Hollywood

Northridge and Chatsworth

Novato

Oakland

Oakland, Alameda and Berkeley

Ontario

Orange County

Oxnard

Palm Springs

Palmdale

Palo Alto

Pasadena

Piedmont

Placer County

Placerville

Pomona

Porterville

Raymond

Redlands

Redondo Beach

Redwood City

Reedley

Rialto

Richmond

Riverside

Riverside County

Roseville

Sacramento

Sacramento County

San Benito County

San Bernardino

San Bernardino County

San Bruno

San Clemente

San Diego

San Diego County

San Fernando

San Fernando Valley

San Francisco

San Francisco and Oakland

San Francisco County

San Joaquin County

San Jose

San Leandro

San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo County

San Marino

San Mateo County

San Pedro

San Pedro and Wilmington

Sanger

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara County

Santa Clara County

Santa Cruz County

Santa Maria

Santa Monica

Santa Monica and Venice

Santa Paula

Santa Ynez

Shasta County

Sierra Madre

Snelling

Solano County

Sonoma County

South Bay

South San Francisco

Stanford

Stanislaus County

Stockton

Summerland

Sunland – Tujunga

Sutter County

Torrance

Truckee

Tulare County

Tuolumne County

Vacaville

Van Nuys

Ventura County

Watts

Watts – Compton

West Los Angeles

Westwood

Westwood Hills

Westwood, Brentwood, and Bel Air

Whittier

Yolo County

Yuba County

Yuba, Sutter, Colusa, Butte & Tehama County


For all Free California Collection Links in 24 Genealogy Categories, go to the By Location Page, click on California, and then click on the category of interest.

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

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