Utah County records differ vastly from county to county in either quality as well as quantity. Some have already been carefully maintained and some have been significantly mistreated and overlooked. A number of Utah records have purely vanished. For genealogists carrying out research in Utah you will find no effective substitute to have an on-site search of county court house records. For Definitions of all court terms see the Genealogy Encyclopedia
Utah is divided into 29 counties. There were originally seven counties established under the provisional State of Deseret in 1849: Davis, Iron, Sanpete, Salt Lake, Tooele, Utah, and Weber. The Territory of Utah was created in 1851 with the first territorial legislature meeting from 1851–1852. The first legislature re-created the original counties from the State of Deseret under territorial law as well as establishing three additional counties: Juab, Millard, and Washington. All other counties were established between 1854 and 1894 by the Utah Territorial Legislature under territorial law except for the last two counties formed, Daggett and Duchesne. They were created by popular vote and by gubernatorial proclamation after Utah became a state. Utah State Government is located in Salt Lake City.
Any land transaction records that are filed in a certain county are retained and maintained by that county’s recorder. The Utah State Archives holds many death and birth records that predate statewide vital record recording. When looking for records from a specific county, the Utah State Archives is a good place to start, in general.
The county recorders’ offices hold pre-1905 record books that have not been transferred to the Utah State Archives. Different county seats were the seat of record for each Utah district at various times. The Utah State Archives has some of those records on file, while others can be found at the current county seat. Some, however, have disappeared or been destroyed over the years. The county clerk’s office at the county seat is the place to search for existing county seat records.
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 Utah 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|
|Beaver||January 10, 1866||Part of Iron County||Beaver|
|Box Elder||January 05, 1856||Part of Weber County||Brigham City|
|Cache||January 05, 1856||Part of Weber County||Logan|
|Carbon||March 08, 1894||Part of Emery County||Price|
|Daggett||March 04, 1919||Part of Uintah County||Manila|
|Davis||March 03, 1852||Original county of State of Deseret||Farmington|
|Duchesne||March 07, 1913||Part of Wasatch County||Duchesne|
|Emery||February 12, 1880||Part of Sanpete County||Castle Dale|
|Garfield||March 09, 1882||Part of Iron County||Panguitch|
|Grand||March 13, 1890||Part of Emery County||Moab|
|Iron||January 31, 1850||Original county of State of Deseret||Parowan|
|Juab||October 05, 1850||Original county of Territory of Utah||Nephi|
|Kane||January 16, 1864||Part of Washington County||Kanab|
|Millard||October 04, 1851||Original county of Territory of Utah||Fillmore|
|Morgan||January 17, 1862||Part of Davis County||Morgan|
|Piute||January 16, 1865||Part of Beaver County||Junction|
|Rich||January 29, 1868||Part of Cache County||Randolph|
|Salt Lake||March 03, 1852||Original county of State of Deseret||Salt Lake City|
|San Juan||February 17, 1880||Parts of Kane, Iron, and Piute counties||Monticello|
|Sanpete||March 03, 1852||Original county of State of Deseret||Manti|
|Sevier||January 16, 1865||Part of Sanpete County||Richfield|
|Summit||January 13, 1854||Part of Salt Lake and Green River counties||Coalville|
|Tooele||March 03, 1852||Original county of State of Deseret||Tooele|
|Uintah||February 18, 1880||Part of Wasatch||Vernal|
|Utah||March 03, 1852||Original county of State of Deseret||Provo|
|Wasatch||January 17, 1862||Part of Utah and Sanpete counties||Heber City|
|Washington||March 03, 1852||Original county of Territory of Utah||St. George|
|Wayne||March 10, 1892||Part of Piute County||Loa|
|Weber||March 03, 1852||Original county of State of Deseret||Ogden|
Interactive Map of Utah Counties Formation
Utah Extinct Counties
Utah has counties that no longer exist. They were created by the state, provincial, or territorial governing administration. A lot of these counties were established and disbanded in the 19th century; county borders have evolved very little since 1900 in the vast most of states. These counties should be looked at when doing ancestry and genealogy research. Pay attention where the courthouse records went to if the county was eliminated or consolidated with a different county.
- Carson County was estabished on 17 Jan 1854 by the Utah Territory; it was abolished on 02 Mar 1861. Area now in Nevada
- Cedar County was estabished on 05 Jan 1856 ; it was abolished on 17 Jan 1862
- Desert County was estabished on 03 Mar 1852 ; it was abolished on 17 Jan 1862
- Greasewood County was estabished on 05 Jan 1856 ; it was abolished on 17 Jan 1862
- Great Salt Lake County was estabished on 03 Mar 1852 ; it was renamed on 29 Jan 1868 Salt Lake County
- Green River County was estabished on 03 Mar 1852 ; it was abolished on 16 Feb 1872
- Humboldt County was estabished on 05 Jan 1856 ; it was abolished on 02 Mar 1861. Area now in Nevada
- Malad County was estabished on 05 Jan 1856 ; it was abolished on 17 Jan 1862 . Area now in Box Elder County
- Richland County was estabished on 16 Jan 1864 ; it was renamed Rich County on 29 Jan 1868.
- Rio Virgin County was estabished on 18 Feb 1869 ; it was abolished on 16 Feb 1872
- St. Mary’s County was estabished on 05 Jan 1856 ; it was abolished on 02 Mar 1861
- Shambip County was estabished on 12 Jan 1856 ; it was abolished on 17 Jan 1862 . Area now in Tooele County
Utah Counties with Burned Courthouses
The destruction to Utah courthouses drastically has a affect on family historians in almost every way. Not only are these kinds of historic structures torn from all of our lifetimes, so are the archives they kept: marriage, wills, probate, land records, among others. Once destroyed they’re destroyed permanently. Despite the fact that they have already been placed on mircofilm, computers and film burn too. The most tragic aspect of this is the reason why nearly all of our courthouses are destroyed from arsonist. However, not all records were destroyed. Many Utah counties have experienced a loss of records due to courthouse fires, floods, and theft.