Historical Facts of Wyoming Counties

Wyoming County records differ vastly from county to county in either quality not to mention quantity. Some are already carefully preserved while some have been substantially abused and neglected. Many Wyoming records have merely disappeared. For genealogists carrying out research in Wyoming there is no effective replace to have an on-site search of county court house records. For Definitions of all court terms see the Genealogy Encyclopedia

Wyoming is divided into 23 counties. There were originally five counties in the Wyoming Territory: Laramie and Carter, established in 1867; Carbon and Albany established in 1868; and Uinta, an annexed portion of Utah and Idaho, extending from Montana (including Yellowstone Park) to the Wyoming-Utah boundary. On July 10, 1890, Wyoming was admitted to the Union with thirteen counties. Wyoming State Government is located in Cheyenne.

Wyoming Counties

Today’s Wyoming counties did not always exist in the present form. They went through many different changes in the space of a few short years. In the beginning Wyoming Territory had 5 counties. They were Carbon, Carter, Laramie and Albany, which were originally part of Dakota Territory, and Green County, which was originally part of Utah.

On May 19, 1869, the newly-organized territory added Uinita County from portions of Idaho and Utah that were previously unorganized. At that same time, Carter County became Sweetwater County. Wyoming now has 23 counties, which were all in existence by 1923.

The Wyoming State Archives holds several homestead land records and territorial records for the state of Wyoming. However, county clerk offices also hold several important records, especially land records beginning at the date that the county was formed. Probate and court records, meanwhile, can be found in the offices of the district court clerks. Although, many are also on file with the Wyoming State Archives. Although many counties have early marriage records on file, there are no death or birth records available at the county level. Some marriage records even exist from the time before Wyoming was incorporated. It’s always best to consult the Wyoming State Archives first. They can provide information on which records they hold and which records must be researched in specific county offices.

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 Wyoming 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
Albany December 16, 1868 One of the original five counties Laramie
Big Horn March 12, 1890 Sheridan County, Johnson County, and Fremont County Basin
Campbell February 13, 1911 Weston County and Crook County Gillette
Carbon December 16, 1868 One of the original five counties. Rawlins
Converse March 09, 1888 Albany County and Laramie County Douglas
Crook December 08, 1875 Laramie County and Albany County Sundance
Fremont March 05, 1884 Sweetwater County Lander
Goshen February 09, 1911 Laramie County Torrington
Hot Springs February 09, 1911 Fremont County, Big Horn County, and Park County Thermopolis
Johnson December 8, 1875 Carbon County and Sweetwater County Buffalo
Laramie January 09, 1867 One of the original five counties Cheyenne
Lincoln February 20, 1911 Uinta County Kemmerer
Natrona March 09, 1888 Carbon County Casper
Niobrara February 14, 1911 Converse County Lusk
Park February 15, 1909 Big Horn County Cody
Platte February 09, 1911 Laramie County Wheatland
Sheridan March 09, 1888 Johnson County Sheridan
Sublette January 15, 1921 Fremont County and Lincoln County Pinedale
Sweetwater December 27, 1867 One of the original five counties Green River
Teton February 15, 1921 Lincoln County Jackson
Uinta December 01, 1869 One of the original five counties Evanston
Washakie February 09, 1911 Big Horn County Worland
Weston March 12, 1890 Crook County Newcastle


Interactive Map of Wyoming Counties Formation

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

Wyoming Extinct Counties

Wyoming contains counties that no longer exist. They were recognized by the state, provincial, or territorial governing administration. Many of these counties were created and disbanded during the 19th century; county borders have changed little since Nineteen hundred in the great number of states. These counties should be investigated when performing ancestry and genealogy research. Pay close attention where the courthouse records went to if the county was eliminated or combined with some other county.

  • Carter County, Wyoming was created 27 December 1867 and renamed to Sweetwater 13 Dec 1869.
  • Hanover County existed for seven days in 1911 before it was renamed Washakie County
  • Pease County, Wyoming was created December 8, 1875 from the Wyoming Territory. Renamed Johnson County 1879.

Wyoming Counties with Burned Courthouses

The damage to Wyoming courthouses tremendously has a affect on genealogists in almost every way. Not only are most of these historic structures torn from all of our lifetimes, so are the documents they kept: marriage, wills, probate, land records, as well as others. Once destroyed they are gone forever. Even though they have already been put on mircofilm, computers and film burn too. The most sad aspect of this is the reason that virtually all of our courthouses are destroyed at the hands of arsonist. Though, not all records were destroyed. A number of Wyoming counties have dealt with a loss of records due to courthouse fires, floods, and theft.