By Sheila Benedict

Contributing Writer

Happy 2020! This month, I am listing as many locations as possible for genealogists to do family history research. 

This information was checked online as of Jan. 2, but readers are strongly advised to recheck, as information is frequently changed. Included are both genealogy libraries and centers as well as non-genealogy places such as libraries and archives. 

None of their collections are summarized, but most have websites and some list holdings. Because they are listed in this column does not guarantee public access to any of the records, and readers are advised to make contact with them before attempting to visit in person. Opening hours vary at each location.

Family History Centers

n Santa Barbara, 2107 Santa Barbara Avenue; 805-682-2092;

n Santa Maria, 908 Sierra Madre Avenue; 805-9284722;

n Solvang, 2627 Janin Way; 805-6883443; 

Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society. 316 Castillo St; 805-884-9909;; website: Their Sahyun Library is worth a trip there as their holdings are extensive. 

Santa Maria Genealogical Society; contact the Santa Maria Library for information: Main Library, 421 So McClelland Street, (805) 925-0994;

Santa Barbara County Public Library System

n Santa Barbara Public Library – main: 40 E. Anapamu St., 805-962-7653

n Solvang Public Library; 1745 Mission Drive; 805-688-4214; 

n Buellton Public Library; 140 West Highway 246; 805-688-3115

Goleta Valley Public Library; City of Goleta Public Library; 500 No. Fairview Avenue; 805-964-7878

Lompoc Public Library, 501 E. North Ave.; 805-875-8775; Village library, 3755 Constellation Rd., Lompoc, 805-733-3323.

There are others libraries and archives. Their collections, if any, are varied:

Old Mission Santa Inés, Archives, 1760 Mission Dr., Solvang, 805-688-4815;

La Purisima Mission State Historic Park, 2295 Purisima Rd., Lompoc; 805-733-3713. This is a state park, run by the California State Park Service, and has a visitor’s center. No information online regarding research availability.

Elverhoj Museum, 1624 Elverhoy Way, Solvang, 805-686-1211 May have Danish community history.

UC Santa Barbara Library; 805- 893-2641;

Hancock College Library;; check to find out if public access is available.

Buellton Historical Society, 376 Avenue of Flags, Located upstairs in Pea Soup Andersen Restaurant and has information on Buell family and the city.

Lompoc Valley Historical Society, 207 No. L Street, Lompoc;; 805-735-4626

Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum, 3596 Sagunto Street, Santa Ynez;; 805-688-7889

Santa Barbara Historical Museum, 136 East De La Guerra; https//; 805-966-1601

There are many churches in the Santa Ynez Valley and if you are interested in whether they may have a collection and it is accessible, you need to contact them for information. With the exception of the Mission in Solvang and the LDS Family History Centers, no others are listed here.

There are similar locations in Ventura and San Louis Obispo counties and an online search will give addresses, phone numbers, and websites and/or email contact information.

If you have any questions about the information in this column, please send them to so they can be answered.

Sheila Benedict is a professional forensic and family genealogist. She is the author of “Research in California,” which she wrote in 2015 for the National Genealogical Societies Research in the States Series and writes articles in a variety of genealogical society newsletters and magazines.