Free Online Genealogy and Family History
The CAGenWeb Project sincerely thanks the dedicated volunteers who devoted time and effort toward making this site a successful one:
County Coordinator 1996-1997
County Coordinator 1998
County Coordinator 1998-2001
County Coordinator 2001-2003
Martha A. Crosley-Graham
County Coordinator 2003-2017
State Coordinator: Elizabeth E. Bullard
Assistant State Coordinator: Marc Irish
Assistant State Coordinator: Bob Jenkins
Butte County, named for a prominent valley land form, the Sutter Buttes, originally encompassed present day Lassen, Sutter, Tehama, Glenn and Plumas Counties. The county is rich in history, from pre-gold rush ranchos (Mexican land grants), gold mining (panning, hydraulic and dredging), Sacramento Valley wheat, rice, nut, citrus and olive agriculture, cattle raising, and a even a cold war missile silo.
The first real exploration of the valley began in 1820, when Captain Arguello traveled up the Sacramento River as far north as the Hudson Bay settlements. He discovered the Sutter Buttes. From 1825 to 1840, trappers of the Hudson Bay Company and representatives of the American fur companies roamed the valley. Michael Frambois saw the buttes in 1829 and gave to them the name that they have since retained. That General Fremont also was in the Butte County area during his exploration of Northern California was provn by the discovery in an oak tree west of Biggs of a sealed can containing a note stating that General Fremont and his party had camped beneath that tree.
In 1843, settlers in the area of present day Butte County began applying for land grants from the Mexican government. Among the first grants made was the one to Peter Lassen on Deer Creek, lying partly in Butte County but mostly in Tehama County. In 1844, Edward A. Farwell and Thomas Fallen settled on the Farwell grant, which ran through the town of the town now known as Chico. This was the first real settlement within the present limits of Butte County.
John Bidwell discovered gold on the Feather River in 1848, just two months after the gold discovery by Marshall at Coloma. In the great rush of gold hunters that followed, every bar, ravine and gulch filled with industrious miners.