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Santa Barbara Presidio Research Center

Genealogical Resources

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Genealogy and Family History at the Presidio Research Center


Welcome to the Research Center!  Here you will find books, pamphlets, documents, journals, photographs, oral histories, and manuscript collections that support the research and programs of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation and El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park.  As you may imagine, the collection’s main emphasis is on the Presidio, built as a military fort in 1782, and the growth of the city of Santa Barbara around it, with a particular emphasis on the changing history of the Presidio neighborhood.


Supplementary materials provide context and background about the activities of the people who originally lived and worked here and are extremely useful in genealogical research. Types of materials include early published censuses, birth, baptism and death registers, soldier lists and military details, pedigree charts, maps, land documents, city directories, Sanborn insurance maps, newspaper clippings, published family histories, and newsletters from several lineage societies, such as Los Californianos.


Whether you are interested in tracing your heritage to a Presidio soldier or are descended from later generations in Santa Barbara and want to learn more about their lives, consider a visit. The Research Center has a large amount of biographical and genealogical resources that will assist you with finding information about your ancestors and creating your family tree.

Plan Your Visit

The Research Center is open by appointment only. Currently closed due to COVID-19.


215 East Canon Perdido Street

Santa Barbara, California


(805) 961-5369

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