Southern California Genealogical Society and Family Research Library

The Southern California Genealogical Society was formed in 1964 to foster interest in family history and genealogy, preserve genealogical materials, and provide instruction in accepted and effective research techniques.  The motto of the Society is "There is No Truth Without Proof."  The Society is a 501(c)(3) organization and is entirely supported by the efforts of a dedicated, experienced group of volunteers.

The Society maintains a reference library in its headquarters at 417 Irving Drive, Burbank, California 91504.  The Family Research Library collection, comprised of over 35,000 books, manuscripts, maps, CDs, microflims and periodicals, is one of the largest volunteer-managed, non-church-related genealogical libraries on the West Coast. The Library seats 60 and is handicapped accessible. Free off-street parking adjoins the building.

In late 2008, SCGS received designation as a FamilySearch center.  This affords our patrons the convenience of researching the extensive SCGS collection as well as requesting films and resources through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

The SCGS Library collection mirrors the population of California in that most of the materials come from "somewhere else."  The materials, most of which have been donated by members, are drawn from all areas of the U.S. and from several foreign areas.  Particularly strong are our French-Canadian, German, Irish, and Cornwall collections.  All 50 states are represented, with concentrations on Iowa, Pennsylvania, Texas and Missouri, as well as Los Angeles County, California.  The Library's catalog can be found on our website.  Examples of some of our extensive collections include:

  • NEHGS Series, 150 volumes
  • Pennsylvania Archives
  • Alabama records by Gandrud, 245 volumes
  • French-Canadian (Tanguay, Red Drouin, Blue Drouin, PRDH, Loiselle, marriage records of 1000 parishes)
  • German Genealogical Society of America, 3000 volumes
  • Genealogical Society of Hispanic America - Southern California Chapter
  • Ross collection for Cornwall, England
  • Los Angeles City Historical Society collection
  • Barbour collection of Connecticut vital records
  • Massachusetts town vital records
  • Filby passenger lists
  • Confederate veterans
  • Irish Casey collection - "O'Kief, Coshe Mang, Slieve Lougher and Upper Blackwater"

Members are provided with free access to high-speed wireless Internet access while researching at the library.  They also enjoy free onsite use of Ancestry Library Edition, Heritage Quest,,,, Historical Los Angeles Times, Proquest Obituaries, and NewspaperARCHIVE.

SCGS offers several interest groups and educational opportunities for its members. The following interest groups or organizations are sponsored by, or hold regular meetings at, the SCGS Family Research Library:

Special activities sponsored by SCGS include the annual GENEii Writing Contest and the Kids' Family History Camp.  The Society's major event is the annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, which draws internationally recognized professional genealogists, experts in both online and traditional research techniques, and an exhibit marketplace with many of the most popular vendors and genealogical, heritage and lineage societies.  Jamboree is held at the Burbank Airport Hotel and Convention Center, Burbank, California.  Upcoming dates are June 26-28, 2009 and June 11-13, 2010.   The Jamboree blog is the best way to get up-to-the-minute updates on Jamboree.

The Society publishes a quarterly journal, The Searcher, which is a member benefit.  The Society newsletter, The News & Notes, is available for download from the Society's website. 

SCGS publications include the highly respected three-volume series of Spanish-Mexican Families of Early California by Marie Northrop.  Also available are several index series for Los Angeles County, including marriage records, cemetery listings, death records, immigration and naturalization, voter registration records, and the 1852 "Gold Rush Census" for California.  The materials are available for purchase from the SCGS website.  Publications are available in soft-bound and CD format.

Research teams provide assistance to researchers at a distance.  Research team specialties include French-Canadian, German, Revolutionary War, Los Angeles County and New England research.

The 1890 Project is the Society's long-term endeavor to locate, index and publish records to replace the 1890 United States Census for Los Angeles County.  When finished, the 1890 Project will include a compilation of births, marriages, deaths, newspapers, voter registration, school and education, immigration and naturalization, law enforcement, city directories, cemetery, military, tax records, family-submitted documentation and other sources as they are located.  The project will include records from 1889 through 1891 and will capture information for the 60,000 county residents.  Thanks to newspaper society pages and extensive articles listing the excursions of Midwesterners escaping winter, many non-residents will be listed as well.

Southern California Genealogical Society

417 Irving Drive

Burbank, CA 91504

818-843-7247 phone

818-843-7262 fax