Sign In

FREE ancestry since 1999 - History belongs to all of us!

Add YOUR Family To This Page

flag  History of San Jose, California, USA

Journey back in time to San Jose, California, USA

Visit San Jose, California, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

Follow us on Instagram      Subscribe to our Youtube channel      Buy Me a Coffee at Visit Our Old Newspaper Blog Visit Our Life Blog

Do You Have San Jose Roots? Share Your Ancestral Story!

San Jose, California, USA - Headquarters Fire Department, San Jose, California

San Jose, Santa Clara, CA

Founded on November 29, 1777, El Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe was California’s first civilian settlement. It was named after Saint Joseph and the nearby Guadalupe River. It wasn’t until March 27, 1850 that it was incorporated as the City of San Jose. On April 3, 1979, the city declared that San José — with an accent mark — was its official name.

There is MUCH more to discover about San Jose, California, USA. Read on!

San Jose Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

San Jose, California, USA

Headquarters Fire Department, San Jose, California

San Jose, California, USA

First National Bank

San Jose, California, USA

New High School

Discover San Jose: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
  • 1777 - January 18 - San Jose California, founded
  • 1854 - San Jose
    San Josb, san ho-say', the former, capital of California, and the present seat of justice of Santa Clara county, is beautifully situated in Santa Clara valley, 7 or 8 miles from the head of San Francisco bay, and about 50 miles S. E. from San Francisco. Although snow-capped mountains may be seen in the distance during the whole year, the climate of this place is perhaps the most delightful in California. A railroad has recently been projected from San Jose to San Francisco. Population in 1853, about 3500.
    A New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States: Giving a Full and Comprehensive Review of the Present Condition, Industry, and Resources of the American Confederacy ... Thomas Baldwin (of Philadelphia.) Joseph Thomas January 1, 1854 Philadelphia : Lippincott, Grambo & Company 1854.
  • 1857 - April 30 - San Jose State University forms
  • News  1869 - A Methodist church in San Jose, Cal., was recently set on fire and destroyed because the pastor taught the Chinese with a view to their conversion. A threatening letter had been sent him, commanding him to cease.

    St Joseph Herald
    Saint Joseph, Michigan
    March 6, 1869
  • 1881 - San Jose

    IN this chapter of our history of Santa Clara county we have been per force obliged to adopt a different method from that pursued in the annals of the other townships, for the population is so large in San Jose that it would have been next to impossible to follow the residents as they arrived and settled in so densely crowded a district. With this simple observation we leave our researches in the hands of the reader.

    During the Gubernational regime of Don Felipe de Neve, which we have already shown commenced in December, 1774, and closed September, 1782, reports upon the topography, character and condition of Upper California, and what situations were most suitable for establishments were frequently made to His Most Catholic Majesty, the King of Spain, through the Viceroy in Mexico. The country from south to north, from San Diego to the Bay of San Francisco, then the Dan and Beersheba of our State, was carefully examined, and permission sought to... Read MORE...

  • 1895 - San Jose
    San José, a city of California, the county seat of Santa Clara co., is situated in the beautiful and fertile valley of Santa Clara, on the Guadalupe River, about 8 miles from its mouth, in San Francisco Bay, and 48 miles S.E. of the city of San Francisco, with which and with Oakland it is connected by several branches of the Southern Pacific Rail way Company's lines. San José has a dry and delightful climate, and is noted for its beautiful gardens and excel lent fruits. Its streets are wide, crossing each other at right angles, are traversed by electric railways, and lighted by gas and electric lights. The locality is supplied with water by pure mountain streams and by numerous artesian wells. San José has a city hall, numerous churches, a public library, a state normal school, 2 high schools, the Catholic College of Notre Dame (for girls), a fine court house erected at a cost of about $200,000, a Hall of Records and a post-office, each costing about $200,000, a national bank, a... Read MORE...

  • News  1898 - Buried Under Falling Rock. Almost a Fatal Accident at the Gay Quarry. Marshall Cantua and Percy A. Holloway Crushed Under a Mass of Broken Rock.
    An accident occurred at the Gay Rock Quarry just south of Oak Hill Cemetery about 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon which by the most miraculous circumstances did not prove fatal.

    Marshall Cantua and Percy A. Holloway were engaged in loading a wagon with rock at one of the bins of the quarry. Suddenly while the rock was running out of the chute into the wagon the side of the bin gave away above and the whole mass of stone fell upon the two men and their wagons. So sudden was the accident that there was no time for escape and the two men were buried under the loose tock at almost the exact spot where they stood when the woodwork above opened and let the rocks down upon them.

    Cantua was not completely buried and his outcries were heard by other men working at the quarry. They rushed to the assistance of the injured men and in about two minutes a large number of men were on the spot aiding in relieving the men from their dangerous positions.

    A number of women living in the vicinity...

  • 1906
    San Jose, a city, the county-seat of Santa Clara co., Cal., is situated in the beautiful and fertile valley of Santa Clara, on the Guadalupe River, 48 miles SE. of the city of San Francisco, on the Southern Pacific R. It has a dry and delightful climate and is noted for its beautiful gardens. It is the chief locality in the Santa Clara fruit region and has extensive fruit-growing and packing interests, besides various manufacturing industries (the making of fruit-packing machines, wind-mills, leather, wine, etc.). The city has a city-hall, court-house, public library, state normal school, the University of the Pacific, St. Joseph's College, and the Catholic College of Notre Dame (for girls). Pop. in 1880, 12, 567; in 1890, 18,050; in 1900, 21,500.
    Lippincott's New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns ... in Every Portion of the Globe Publisher J.B. Lippincott Company, 1906
    Special to The Washington Post.
    San Jose, Cal., Oct. 31. - Prof. JOHN J. MONTGOMERY, of Santa Clara College, inventor of one of the types of aeroplane, and an electrical expert, was killed this afternoon while experimenting with a new glider, of which he expected great things. The professor lost control of the machine and fell about 40 feet. He lived for about three hours, and was conscious to the last.

    MONTGOMERY had been at work along the same lines as the Wrights to make flying safe, and with his new glider he went to the foothills, about 5 miles south of this city, to conduct his experiments in private. During the three hours that elapsed between his injury and death, Prof. MONTGOMERY talked freely with his wife and assistants of the accident and told the cause. He said:

    "I had made a most successful flight and covered at least a half mile. I had reached the conclusion that I could go as far as I liked as long as I had a fair wind to help me rise. The machine seemed under... Read MORE...

  • 1955 - September 12 - KNTV TV channel 11 in San Jose, CA (ABC) begins broadcasting

Discover Your Roots: San Jose Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in San Jose, California, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were born or died in San Jose.

View Them Now (sorted by year of birth)

female ancestorMary B. BERNARD (23 June 1844, , Maryland, USA - 24 May 1906, San Jose, California, USA)
male ancestorCharles Austen HUBBACK (17 November 1847, St Georges, Bloomsbury. London, England - 20 April 1924, San Jose, California, USA)
female ancestorMinnie Ella ANSON (13 September 1866, La Grande, Union, Oregon, USA - 11 September 1950, San Jose, California, USA)
male ancestorTheodore Clemens WOHLBRUCK (11 August 1879, Bergen Point, Bayonne, New Jersey, USA - 26 November 1936, San Jose, California, USA)
female ancestorFlorence May HUBBACK (15 February 1892, San Jose, California, USA - 30 October 1985, Almeda, California, USA)
photo of Sarah Etta BARBERSarah Etta BARBER (1 October 1893, Cedar Creek, Taney, Missouri, USA - 15 July 1973, San Jose, California, USA)
male ancestorGeorge (Van Mater) PARKER (18 May 1894, Brooklyn, New York, USA (Flatlands) (Flatbush) (Coney Island) - 5 January 1973, San Jose, California, USA)
female ancestorViola DEROSIA (22 July 1895, Shelburne, Vermont, USA - September 1973, San Jose, California, USA)
male ancestorJohn Mack WADE (24 June 1901, Wilburton, Latimer County, Oklahoma, USA - 29 November 1986, San Jose, California, USA)
Not the place you are looking for? Try again!

Search for Your Family by Place

To search for a place, specify place name below. Choose name from the list. Then SEARCH.
*Place Name:

Who Are You Searching For?

Search for Your Family by Name

NOTE: If you don't know your ancestor's whole name or are unsure of the spelling, specify part of the name.

First Name:
*Last Name:
Born (+/- 2 years):
Died (+/- 2 years):
Match all terms exactly:

Updated: 4/16/2023 9:42:30 AM

San Jose Ancestry Tales: Share Your Unique Story!

If you'd like to be contacted by others who have ancestors from San Jose, leave a message here!
The comments you read here belong only to the person who posted them. We reserve the right to remove off-topic and inappropriate comments.