Alternative Records · Around the Web · California Genealogy · Vital Records

Working with the California Divorce Index

Ancestry.com has the California Divorce index, 1966-1984.  I’m searching through it to fill in some holes in my descendants list and to answer a few questions about people who seemed to have too many kids and not enough spouses and vice versa 😉

I’m working with surname searches for now so as to find groups of people.  Most of the surnames so far are uncommon so I haven’t been overwhelmed by the results.

When you enter your search, you receive a summary of matches which includes:

Name  (husband or wife)

Spouse Name (husband or wife)

Location (county where event took place)

Date (date of event)

When you click on “View Images”, you’ll see the exact same sheet that you used to find on microfiche at your local library.  The sheets contain plenty more information than the summary.

Be aware that their are two types of files here.  Some sheets are Preliminary Records.  This means the information pertains to when the divorce was files.  Other sheets are Divorce Records.  Make note of the type of record (clearly stated at the top with Prelm or Divor.

Prelimary sheets contain more information that Divorce sheets.  The information is as follows:  (Note these sheets are arranged by Husband’s name)

Name of Husband

YR Birth (Year of Birth)

Name of Wife

YR Birth (Year of Birth)

YR Marr (Year of Marriage)

Preliminary MO YR (Month and Year of the preliminary filing)

Type (I am not sure yet what this means)

Co (County where filed)

Dissolution Case #

State File #

The Divorce Sheets give this information:  (Note:  These sheets are arranged by surname with husbands and wives mixed)

Last Name

First Name

Middle Initial

Last Name

First Name

Middle Initial

Type (again, unsure what this means)

Dissolution Co (county dissolution took place in

MO DA YR (date of dissolution in Month/Day/Year format)

Case #

State File #

It appears that early years are preliminary indexes, while later years are dissolution indexes.  I did not find both types of records for any individuals.

All in all I was able to give a couple of people first names.  I filled in a couple of birth and marriage years.  I also made one family member with multiple marriages and divorces even more confusing.

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