Monterey County California Genealogy and History

The Cradle of California History

Monterey County was created February 18, 1850, and is an original California county. It sits on California's beautiful Central Coast.

Monterey County derived its name from the Bay of Monterey. The word Monterey is composed of the Spanish words monte and rey, and literally means "king of the forest." The Monterey Bay was named by Sebastian Vizcaino in 1602 in honor of the Conde de Monterey, the Viceroy of New Spain.

Monterey was the original capitol of "Alta California" throughout both Spain and Mexico's rule (1777-1849). Shortly after the United States took possession of California, the capitol was moved to San Jose, then on to Sacramento where it remains today. For more, see County History.

To Our Volunteers

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Please join me in offering a huge Thank you to all the volunteers who donate their time seeking out and transcribing information for this site. Words cannot convey my gratitude for your tremendous contributions. A special thank you to Sue Taylor and former County Coordinators Dr. Bonnie Walsh, Rich Hill, Amy E. Armstrong and Kellie Crnkovich!