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Mendocino Archives

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Mendocino County
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The purpose of this website is to present information that helps your Mendocino County genealogy research.

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Record Sources



At present (2017), there are three societies in the area that relate to genealogy: The Anderson Valley Historical Society, the Mendocino County Historical Society and the Fort Bragg - Mendocino Coast Historical Society. The Mendocino Coast Genealogical Society existed for some years, but disbanded several years ago (see below).

Mendocino County Historical Society, Inc.

With a web presence at, the MCHS was founded in 1956 and incorporated in 1961. It restored a "Little Red Schoolhouse in 1963. In 1969 the home of Judge William D. L. Held was donated to the society, and on April 5, 1970, was officially dedicated as the MCHS headquarters and Library. It is now known as the "Held-Poage Memorial Home and Research Library" In 1972 the society built, and dedicated the Mendocino County Museum (on June 11, 1972) in Willits and turned it over to Mendocino County. The web site contains detailed information about the society and has a comprehensive list of local genealogical/historical resources (libraries, societies and Family History Centers.). Joining MCHS will enable you to receive their bi-monthly newsletter. Address: 603 West Perkins Street Ukiah, California 95482, (707) 462-6969

Anderson Valley Historical Society

Their web site,, describes events they support, their third friday of every-other-month board meeting and membership (very reasonable). PO Box 676, Booneville, CA, (707) 895-3207

Fort Bragg - Mendocino Coast Historical Society

Primarily started to support a "Guest House" museum, donated to Fort Bragg by Georgia Pacific in 1985. In 1999 the FBMCHS was formed at the request of the Fort Bragg City Council and now has a web site at with an archives section that describes documents available at the museum. Membership is reasonable and brings you the "Voice of the Past", a quarterly newsletter. 343 North Main St. Fort Bragg, CA 95437, (707) 964-4251

Mendocino Coast Genealogical Society (disbanded)

Genealogical Society disbands, source brochure to be final project '

Advocate Staff: Updated: 08/23/2012 07:55:35 AM PDT, Submitted by Jane Lamb

For nearly four decades, the Mendocino Coast Genealogical Society has been devoted to researching, recording and preserving local history; the organization itself became history as the books closed forever at its traditional annual picnic, Aug. 14, at the home of President Claire Tavares and her husband, Dennis.

The Mendocino Coast Genealogical Society was founded in 1976 when a dozen local people formalized their shared interest in genealogy and began meeting at Kelley House in Mendocino and various other sites. The date and time, set at 1:30 p.m. the third Tuesday of the month, has remained the same until the last business meeting, June 19, at the Fort Bragg Library Community Room, the long-time meeting venue.

The inevitable was decided. A venerable institution must succumb to the vast research facilities of the digital age and the complex schedules of interested but busy folks who can do their genealogy at their own convenience. Membership that once swelled to nearly 40 dwindled to 20, with barely a half-dozen at a meeting, all of whom had served as officers too many times.

Betty Stavely, who will celebrate her 100th birthday Aug. 24, was the guest of honor at the gathering as the Society commemorated 36 years of dedicated service to anyone interested in finding ancestral roots. Stavely, a founding member, served as president, vice-president, treasurer, program chairman and keeper of the society history books. For years, she volunteered in the Fort Bragg Library Genealogy Room helping anyone who came to research.


This page was last updated Tuesday, October 3, 2017