Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Archives

Robert B. Johnston Archival Vault

The Archival Vault was constructed in 1973 to hold original Monterey County records. It is humidity and temperature controlled and contains a wealth of material on Monterey County and its residents. It is the only such facility outside of universities on the Central Coast.

The Archives are maintained, managed and cataloged by the Monterey County Historical Society. Archivists are available M-F 10:00 am to 2:00 pm to provide assistance. Research can be conducted in person by appointment. Requests for records, documents and research may be made by email or phone:

Robert B. Johnston Archival Vault
(831) 757-8085
Email the Archives

The following is a PARTIAL list of holdings.

Spanish and Mexican Archives (1700s-1946):

Land Grant Petitions
Civil and Criminal Records
Military Papers
Immigration Papers
Real Estate Transactions
Records/Letters of the Alcaldes of Monterey, New Helvetia, San Francisco, and elsewhere
1839 Election Information
Registry of Cattle Brands 1835-1850
Lot Survey of Monterey 1838
Thomas Larkin, U.S. Consul Papers
Census Records
Native American Baptisms
Individual Rancho Files

Transcribed Records available:

1775 Census
1790 Census
1832 Voter Registration
1833 Census
1833 Convicts
1836 Padron
1841 Monterey Padron
Indian Case Index
Land Grants 1820-1844
DeRuyter Note Cards - Individual info on early Spanish and Mexican Families

American Archives (1950-current):

Official County Records:
Auditors Receipt and Expenditures
Auditors Office Warrant Records
Assessment Rolls 1850-1951
Board of Supervisors Accounting Books
Board of Supervisors Budget
Board of Supervisors Minutes
Clerks Office Fee Records
County Court Judgments
Court of Session Criminal Records
Criminal Dockets and Small Claims
Criminal Dockets (Sheriff)
District Court Judgments
Grantor Records (Deeds and Grants)
Great Registers and Poll List
Guardianship Records
Jail Registers
Marriage Records (partial)
Probate Superior Court (Bonds, Wills)
Real Estate Lot Books
Soldiers Burial Records
Superior and Civil Court Records
Agriculture (history, labels, maps, papers, photos, etc.)
Early Settler Files
City Directories 1930-1981
Family History Books
Personal Diaries
Personal Letters
Photograph Collection (thousands of photos of people and places)
Telephone Books 1907-1940
1850 Census
1851 Assessments

For anyone visiting the Archives please be aware that the storage area is not open to the general public. Records you request may be retrieved and brought to you by staff. Only pencils are allowed in the vicinity of any of the records and the viewer must handle all documents with extreme care.

Certain documents in the Archives are a matter of public record, others have copyright or court ordered restrictions. Before making any copies of any document or record, consult the Archivist on duty who will be able to advise you of any restrictions.