Arizona County records differ extensively from county to county in either quality and quantity. Some have been very carefully maintained while others have been substantially mistreated and mistreated. A certain amount of Arizona records have merely disappeared. For genealogists carrying out research in Arizona there’s no valuable replace for an on-site research of county courthouse records. For Definitions of all court terms see the Genealogy Encyclopedia

Arizona is divided into 15 counties. Four counties (Mohave, Pima, Yavapai and Yuma) were created in 1864 following the organization of the Arizona Territory in 1862. All but La Paz County were created by the time Arizona was granted statehood in 1912. The County names: 8 of them named for Native American Tribes, 2 of them for People, 2 of them for Mountains, 2 of them for Rivers, and 1 of them for a Town. Arizona State Government is located in Phoenix.

Arizona Counties

Each county in Arizona has a count seat located in a certain city within that county. However, sometimes the county seat has moved from one city to another. That information is historically important in order to determine migration information. The counties pages below report all dates of court holdings, probate proceedings, and land-related cases. Sometimes later records may contain earlier records.

Territorial court cases, mining claims, and grant records for Arizona may pre-date the formation of counties. Therefore, researchers should be careful when looking for such information.

The links in the table below link to county and city government offices and is limited to government-maintained websites. If you know of a Arizona county that has an official government web site but is not linked, or if the link is in error, please contact us so we may edit our database.

County Date Formed Parent County County Seat
Apache February 14, 1879 Yavapai County St. Johns
Cochise February 1, 1881 Pima County Bisbee
Coconino February 19, 1891 Yavapai County Flagstaff
Gila February 8, 1881 Maricopa and Pinal Counties Globe
Graham March 10, 1881 Apache and Pima Counties Safford
Greenlee March 10, 1909 Graham County Clifton
La Paz April 27, 1983 Yuma County Parker
Maricopa February 14, 1871 Yavapai County Phoenix
Mohave November 10, 1864 Arizona Territory Kingman
Navajo March, 21, 1895 Apache County Holbrook
Pima November 10, 1864 Arizona Territory Tucson
Pinal February 1, 1875 Pima and Maricopa Counties Florence
Santa Cruz March 15, 1899 Pima County Nogales
Yavapai November 10, 1864 Arizona Territory Prescott
Yuma November 10, 1864 Arizona Territory Yuma

Interactive Map of Arizona Counties Formation

(Arizona maps made with the use AniMap Plus 3.0 & with the Permission of the Goldbug Company)

Arizona Extinct Counties

Arizona seems to have counties that no longer are in existence. They were set up by the state, provincial, or territorial governing administration. Most of these counties were established and disbanded in the 19th century; county borders have changed little since 1900 in the great majority of states. These counties really should be investigated when you are performing genealogy research. Pay close attention where the courthouse records went to if the county was abolished or joined with some other county.

  • Pah-Ute County – is a former county in the northwest corner of Arizona Territory, created from the division of the existing Mohave County on December 22, 1865. Much of Pah-Ute County was in the small triangular section of what is now the southern part of the U.S. state of Nevada. The county seat was the town of Callville, which is now occupied by a part of Lake Mead. Pah-Ute was the historical spelling of the Indian tribe that is today referred to as the Paiute. A short time later, on May 5, 1866, all of Pah-Ute County west of the Colorado River and west of 114 degrees latitude became part of the new state of Nevada, over the protest of the territory of Arizona. The remaining portion of Pah-Ute County in Arizona was so underpopulated that no viable county government could be formed, and on February 18, 1871, the remainder of Pah-Ute County was absorbed back into Mohave County. Most of modern Clark County, Nevada, was once Pah-Ute County, Arizona, including Nevada’s largest and most famous city, Las Vegas. To this day, some textbooks still refer to the Pah-Ute as Arizona’s “Lost County”.

Arizona Counties with Burned Courthouses

The damage to Arizona courthouses tremendously has a effect on genealogists in each and every way. Not only are a lot of these historic structures ripped from each of our lifetimes, so are the archives they stored: marriage, wills, probate, land records, and others. Once destroyed they are destroyed forever. Despite the fact that they have already been placed on mircofilm, computers and film burn too. The most sad side of this is the reason that almost all of our courthouses are destroyed at the hands of arsonist. Although, you cannot assume all records were damaged or lost. Many Arizona counties have endured a loss of records due to courthouse fires, floods, and theft.