California Maps

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This entry was originally written by Dwight A. Radford, Thelma Berkey Walsmith, and Nell Sachse Woodard for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
the California Family History Research series.
History of California
California Vital Records
Census Records for California
Background Sources for California
California Maps
California Land Records
California Probate Records
California Court Records
California Tax Records
California Cemetery Records
California Church Records
California Military Records
California Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
California Archives, Libraries, and Societies
California Immigration
California Naturalization
Ethnic Groups of California
California Gold Rush
California County Resources
Map of California


Several books are helpful in researching the evolution of California. Warren A. Beck’s Historical Atlas of California (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1975), available in many libraries, provides a basic map reference at different points in California’s history. William O. Bright’s classic work, 1500 California Place Names: Their Origins and Meaning (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), is an excellent resource for place-names and the history behind them.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) website offers topographical maps of California for sale at www.usgs.gov. The California USGS office is at Placer Hall, 6000 J St., Sacramento, CA 95819-6129.

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