Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Los Angeles Historical Events Timeline

Historical Events Timeline for Los Angeles County
Click (here) for the list of Cities in Los Angeles.  Any city with a live link will have a Historic Event Timeline, and resources to help 
with your research.

I compiled a lot of the data below from Discover Los Angeles, Wikipedia ,

  • 1781 11 Families settle the area.  The Spanish Governor names the settlement El Pueblo Sobre el Rio de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles del Rio de Porciuncula.
  • 1797 Mission San Fernando founded.
  • 1821 Mexico gains Independence.  
  • 1841 Los Angeles's first Census, 141 people recorded as living there.
  • 1842 California's first Discovery of gold found near San Fernando, and starts population growth.
  • 1848 California Ceded to the U.S. as part of the peace treaty ending the Mexican War
  • 1850 California becomes a State, and Los Angeles a Municipality.
  • 1857 An estimated 7.9 magnitude quake hits the San Andreas Fualt
  • 1865 African American population grows after the end of the Civil War
  • 1871 Railroad connects Los Angeles to San Francisco
  • 1873 First Trolley in Los Angeles Operational
  • 1877 Train box cars with refrigeration capability allow agriculture to flourish in Los Angles and starts shipping produce back east.
  • 1881 Los Angeles Times Produced (later Los Angeles Times)
  • 1880s Multiple railroads go straight to Los Angeles from the East Coast prompting more population growth
  • 1890s Many sources of oil found in Los Angeles.
  • 1910s Movies are starting to be filmed in Los Angeles.
  • 1915 Steam ships are now arriving straight from Japan to Los Angeles.
  • 1918 - 1918 Influenza epidemic hits Los Angeles
  • 1924 Pneumonic Plague Outbreak in Los Angeles
  • 1923 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum complete. 
  • 1932 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles at the Memorial Coliseum.
  • 1933 6.4 magnitude quake caused 120 deaths, and 50 million in Property damage
  • 1934 A major Polio outbreak is in Los Angeles County
  • 1939 A tropical storm caused extensive damage and at least 49 deaths
  • 1947 Los Angeles Receives it's 213 telephone area code.
Below are some more events that may have affected your ancestors
Some of the  Native American Tribes known to inhabit California were the Hupa, Maidu, Pomo, Modic, Mohave, Chowignas, Pimunguns.  According to Ereferencedesk there were over 135 distinct language dialects.
1542 The official discovery of California by Spain
1545 Typhus and other European diseases start killing larges amounts of native populations in Cuba, and New Spain
1579 Sir Francis Drake claims some land north of San Francisco for England
1633 - 1634 Small Pox
Spanish missionaries start settling California in the 1700s
1775 - 1783 Revolutionary War
1776 Declaration of Independence signed
1793 Yellow Fever
1812 Russian fur traders build Fort Ross just north of San Francisco
1820 American Trappers start arriving from the East
1820 - 1875 Texas - Indian Wars
1821 Mexico gained independence from Spain
1832 - 1866 Cholera
1846 - 1848 Mexican - American War
1848 California is ceded to the United States by Mexico
1849 The Gold Rush begins
1850 California becomes the 31st State
1858 Scarlet Fever
1861-1864 The Civil War
1862 The Great Floods  
1863 Emancipation Proclamation
1877 Jim Crow Law enacted till 1950s
1882 The Chinese Exclusion Act
1898 the American Anti-Imperialist  League formed
1900 Oil discovered in California
1905 Japanese and Korean Exclusion league formed in California and gained 80,000 + members
1906 San Francisco Earthquake and fires
1906 - 1907 Typhoid
1910 Angel Island opens (West Coast’s Ellis Island)
1913 California Alien Land Law
1914 - 1918 WWI
1915 - 1955 Polio Outbreaks
1918 - 1919 Spanish Flu Pandemic
1920 ACLU founded
1920 Women get the right to vote
1920 - 1933 Prohibition
1921 - 1925 Diphtheria Outbreaks
1924 United States gives citizenship to some Native Americans
1929 Beginning of the Great Depression
1933 The Long Beach Earthquake
1939 - 1945 WWII
1941 Pearl Harbor
1942 President Roosevelt Signed Executive Order 9066 (Feb)
1942 General Dewitt issued Public Proclamation No. 1(Mar, internment camps)  
Here is some links you may find useful in your Los Angeles County research

Associated Historical Societies of Los Angeles County  

County of Los Angeles Public Library

Pre 1905 Los Angeles County Death Index (not complete) on Root Web

California Online Historical Newspapers

L.A. County Fair

Los Angeles County Cities

Cities in Los Angeles County
Click here for the link to The Historical Event Timeline for Los Angeles County.
Click here for a list of Counties in California
Any City with a live link will have a Historical Time Line, and links to local resources for aiding you in your research.

City                               Year Incorporated
Agoura Hills                  1982
Alhambra                       1903
Arcadia                          1903
Artesia                           1959
Avalon                           1913
Azusa                             1898
Baldwin Park                 1956
Bell                                1927
Bell Gardens                  1961
Bellflower                      1957
Beverly Hills                  1906
Bradbury                        1957
Burbank                          1911
Calabasas                       1991
Carson                            1968
Cerritos                           1956
Claremont                       1907
Commerce                      1960
Compton                         1888
Covina                             1901
Cudahy                            1960
Culver City                      1917
Diamond Bar                   1989
Downey                           1956
Duarte                              1957
El Monte                          1912
El Segundo                       1917
Gardena                           1930
Glendale                           1906
Glendora                          1911
Hawaiian Gardens           1964
Hawthorne                        1922
Hermosa Beach                1907
Hidden Hills                     1961
Huntington Park               1906
Industry                            1957
Inglewood                        1908
Irwindale                          1957
La Canada Flintridge       1976
La Habra Heights             1978
La Mirada                         1960
La Puente                          1956
La Verne                           1906
Lakewood                         1954
Lancaster                          1977
Lawndale                          1959
Lomita                              1964
Long Beach                      1897
Los Angeles                     1850
Lynwood                          1921
Malibu                              1991
Manhattan Beach             1912
Maywood                         1924
Monrovia                          1887
Montebello                       1920
Monterey Park                  1916
Norwalk                            1957
Palmdale                           1962
Palos Verdes Estates         1939
Paramount                        1957
Pasadena                           1886
Pico Rivera                       1958
Pomona                             1888
Rancho Palos Verdes        1973
Redondo Beach                1892
Rolling Hills                     1957
Rolling Hills Estates         1957
Rosemead                          1959
San Dimas                         1960
San Fernando                     1911
San Gabriel                        1913
San Marino                        1913
Santa Clarita                      1987
Sante Fe Springs                1957
Santa Monica                     1886
Sierra Madre                      1907
Signal Hill                          1924
South El Monte                  1958
South Gate                         1923
South Pasadena                  1888
Temple City                       1960
Torrance                             1921
Vernon                                1905
Walnut                                1959
West Covina                       1923
West Hollywood                 1984
Westlake Village                 1981
Whittier                               1898

California Counties

California Counties
***Counties with a live link will go to a page of cities in that county.  Cities with a live link will contain a page with a time line of historical events, and live links for resources available in that city that can help you with your research.

Counties are listed in Alphabetical order.  I compiled this information by using Wikipedia.  California originally had 27 Counties.  The other Counties were subdivided between the years of 1860-1907.  Just keep that in mind when searching for documents prior to 1907.

County                                   Year Established
Alameda                                 1853
Alpine                                     1864
Amador                                   1854
Butte                                       1850
Calaveras                                1850
Colusa                                     1850
Contra Costa                           1850
Del Norte                                1857
El Dorado                               1850
Fresno                                     1856
Glenn                                      1891
Humboldt                                1853
Imperial                                   1907
Inyo                                         1866
Kern                                        1866
Kings                                       1893
Lake                                        1861
Lassen                                     1864
Los Angeles                            1850
Madera                                    1893
Marin                                      1850
Mariposa                                 1850
Mendocino                              1850
Merced                                    1855
Modoc                                     1874
Mono                                       1861
Monterey                                 1850
Napa                                        1850
Nevada                                    1851
Orange                                     1889
Placer                                       1851
Plumas                                     1854
Riverside                                  1893
Sacramento                              1850
San Benito                                1874
San Bernardino                         1853
San Diego                                 1850
San Francisco                           1850
San Joaquin                              1850
San Luis Obispo                       1850
San Mateo                                 1856  
Santa Barbara                           1850
Santa Clara                               1850
Santa Cruz                                1850
Shasta                                       1850
Sierra                                        1852
Siskiyou                                    1852
Solano                                       1850
Sonoma                                     1850
Stanislaus                                  1854
Sutter                                         1850
Tehama                                       1856
Trinity                                        1850
Tulare                                         1852
Tuolumne                                   1850
Ventura                                       1872
Yolo                                            1850
Yuba                                            1850

California Historical Event Timeline

California Historical Event Timeline
This is a list of events that may have affected your California ancestors.  
Click (here) for a list of the Counties of California. 
**There will be links to useful Resources that can aid you in your California research at the bottom of this post.**

  • Pre 1540s the inhabitants of California were Native Americans.  There were many tribes, and it is estimated that there were over 135 dialects. 
  • 1540 A sea voyage for New Spain travels up the mouth of the Colorado River, and they become the first Europeans known to land in California.      
  • 1542 Laws were passed in Spain to help protect the Native inhabitants of New Spain from Enslavement.
  • 1545 Hundreds of thousands die (mostly natives) in Cuba and New Spain from a Typhus epidemic.
  • 1669 California's first mission built in San Diego Bay.
  • 1769 Franciscan Padres start building the first of 21 missions between San Diego, and Sonoma. 
  • 1769 Gaspar de Portola leads a Spanish Expedition from Mexico, to start new Settlements in Alta California. 
  • 1775, Mission Delores built in San Francisco
  • 1812 Fort Ross in Northern California established by Russian fur traders.
  • 1820s Ships from Boston start arriving to trade with established Spanish Settlements.
  • 1821 Mexico becomes California's new rulers, after Mexico gains independence from Spain.
  • 1837 Great Plains Small Pox Epidemic
  • 1846 U.S. invades Mexico and reaches San Diego.  
  • 1848 Gold discovered in Coloma, California  
  • 1848 U.S. gains California, as part of a Peace Treaty ending the Mexican War. 
  • 1850 California becomes the 31st State.  
  • 1860 Pony Express Starts delivering to Sacramento.
  • 1861 - 1865 American Civil War.
  • 1862 - The Great Flood caused over 10 Million dollars in damage in California.  
  • 1863 Emancipation Proclamation Issued
  • 1868 Small Pox Pandemic
  • 1869 The first Transcontinental Railroad Completed
  • 1876 Alexander Graham Bell receives first U.S. Patent for the telephone.
  • 1882 Congress passes Chinese Exclusion Act, which ends Chinese immigration for decades
  • 1900 Oil Discovered in California 
  • 1901 California is able to supply power to many large cities.
  • 1905 Founding of the Japanese and Korean Exclusion League in San Fransico, after the San Francisco Chronicle does a series  Slandering Japanese Immigrants.
  • 1906 Great San Francisco Quake, and Fire, caused and estimated 3,000 - 5,000 deaths.
  • 1910 Angel Island Opens.  It is the Ellis Island of the West Coast, and acted as a prison as well to house immigrants from China during the Chinese Exclusion Act.  
  • 1913 California Alien Land Law passed, it prevented all Asian immigrants from owning land or property. 
  • 1917 U.S. Enters WWI.
  • 1918-1919 Great Influenza Pandemic caused at least 115,000 California deaths.
  • 1920 ACLU Founded
  • 1924 Congress starts bestowing citizenship on some Native Americans.
  • 1929 The Great Depression Begins.
  • 1941 U.S. Enters WWII
  • Feb 1942 President Roosevelt sign a executive order for relocation of all with Japanese decent to Interment Camps.  There was a large population affected by this in California.
I compiled this information by doing many basic searches, about California History, Weather, and Major Epidemics to hit the U.S.  All of the information compiled here is available on many sites.  It can all be easily found by searching the internet, and none of it is from a single exclusive source.  
If I find more major information I will update this page.  

Handy California Resources.  
**The local geographical resources will be on the County and City pages**
California Genealogical Society and Library
Oakland, Ca. 1-510-663-1358

Southern California Genealogical Society
Burbank, Ca. 1-818-843-7247

California State Genealogical Alliance

California Birth Index

Family Search to look at the California Death Index

California Historical Society

California Digital Newspaper Collection

California Digital State Archives

California State Archives

California Railroad Meuseum

California State Indian Museum

Santa Barbara Mission Archive - Library

Oregon - California Trails Association

Friday, July 1, 2016


I developed a love of History when I was young.  I didn't care about dates specifically, but I had a fascination with the stories of people, and times past.    At a ghost town I would place my hands on the windowsills, and peer in the houses.  I would wonder what the life of the people who built the town, and lived here must of been like.

 Discovering a new clue to my family ancestry is always a huge thrill, and drives me forward.  As I learn more and more, I find myself wondering about the larger picture of my ancestors lives.  Why did they move around so much?  What were their day to day lives like, and what was going on in the community they lived in, and how did outside events affect them?  What happened to children that disappeared between censuses.

I hope this blog will serve as a useful tool, where you can look up your ancestor's State, County, and City.  There will be a fact timeline of sorts, for the city to give you an idea of what major events happened during the history of the area.  At this time the blog is rather basic and skeletal.  As time goes by, I will be adding many treasures.  I am starting with my own research and resources.  A roster, a directory, family letters etc..  As my journey progresses, and I have more time, I will seek out new documents, letters, postcards, obituaries etc.. and add them to the blog.  Eventually I will move Beyond California, and out as I find more information.  If you have any old postcards, documents, directories etc.. that you would like me to post here, please reach out to me at

*** I will be editing pages as I find more information.  I am adding new pages as I go along, as I compile data.  I will not add a new page until I have some information, to put on that page.

Thanks for stopping by.  I will try to have more up soon.
Heather Wells