Index to Homestead Declarations of Sonoma County, California
Sonoma County Genealogical Society’s first publication, entitled Amended Index, Sonoma County Homestead Declarations, was published in 1976 with the financial assistance of the Sonoma County Bicentennial Commission. That volume’s introduction included this brief summary of homesteads excerpted from California Jurisprudence, 2nd edition:
The use of the term “homestead’ in legislation is quite modern and peculiarly American and is prescribed in the Constitution. The Civil Code declares the homestead consists of the dwelling house in which the claimant resides, together with the outbuildings and lands on which house and outbuildings are situated.
The first act relating to homestead exemption was enacted in 1851 to secure to every householder with a family certain enjoyment of a home, free from the anxiety that it may be taken against the declarant’s will, although the declaration will not hold against debts incurred prior to declaration of homestead, mechanic’s liens or mortgages on said property acknowledged by both man and wife. In 1860 a right to homestead exemption was extended to all white, unmarried persons, and in 1862 the code was amended so that on the death of one spouse the homestead vested absolutely in the survivor.
The full introduction to the book is included HERE, and should be reviewed prior to using the following index.
The publication of over 6,000 names includes column headings of: Applicant and Family Information, Filing Date, and Vol.-Pg. When family information such as marital status or relationship was included, it was abstracted and included along with the name of the applicant. In some cases, what was apparently the maiden name of a woman was found in the homestead application.
Index to Homestead Declarations of Sonoma County, California is available for research at the Sonoma County History and Genealogy Library (the Annex).
This publication is also available for purchase at Heritage Books:
This index may be used to determine if a person of interest is listed in the book. The index includes only the Applicant and Family Information.