Here is a brief description of the history of the Notary Public. The information below was provided by Wikepedia: Wikepedia Notary History
California Notary Public
California Notary laws are slightly different and are controlled by the state. Here is another definition from Wikepedia
CA Secretary of State is responsible for appointing Notary Publics for four year terms.
Prior to sitting for the notary exam, one must complete a six-hour course of study. This required course of study is conducted online, through home study, or in-person format via an approved notary education vendor. Prospective notaries as well as current notaries seeking reappointment must undergo an very thorough F.B.I. and California Department of Justice background check.
Various statutes, rules, and regulations govern notaries public. California law sets maximum, but not minimum, fees for services related to notarial acts (e.g., per signature: acknowledgment $10, jurat $10, certified power of attorney $10, et cetera). A finger print (typically the right thumb) may be required in the notary journal based on the transaction in question (e.g., deed, quitclaim deed, deed of trust affecting real property, power of attorney document, et cetera). Documents with blank spaces cannot be notarized (a further anti-fraud measure). California explicitly prohibits notaries public from using literal foreign language translation of their title. The use of a notary seal is required.