New Mexico County records vary widely from county to county in both quality and quantity. Some have been carefully preserved while others have been much abused and neglected. Some New Mexico records have simply disappeared. For genealogists doing research in New Mexico there is no effective replace for an on-site search of county courthouse records. For Definitions of all court terms see the Genealogy Encyclopedia.
New Mexico is divided into 33 counties. There were originally nine counties formed in 1852. Santa Ana County, New Mexico Territory, one of the nine original counties, was annexed in 1876 to Bernalillo County, New Mexico.
The county seat’s county clerk’s office retains some probate records, as well as plats, surveys, mining records, deeds, land records, and records pertaining to marriages. They also have files containing mortgages, liens, powers of attorney, military discharges and other documents and affidavits. The district clerk’s office holds records pertaining to probate matters.
The New Mexico State Records Center and Archives has records on file that predate formal county organizations and certain counties may also have similar records on file from Mexican and Territorial times. See also a list of links to county and county seat government run websites.
New Mexico Counties
|County||Date Formed||Parent County||County Seat|
|Bernalillo||1852||One of the nine original counties.||Albuquerque|
|Catron||1921||Part of Socorro County.||Reserve|
|Chaves||1889||Part of Lincoln County.||Roswell|
|Cibola||1981||Part of Valencia County.||Grants|
|Colfax||1869||Part of Mora County.||Raton|
|Curry||1909||Parts of Quay and Roosevelt Counties.||Clovis|
|De Baca||1917||Parts of Chaves and Guadalupe Counties.||Fort Sumner|
|Dona Ana||1852||One of the nine original counties.||Las Cruces|
|Eddy||1889||Part of Lincoln County.||Carlsbad|
|Grant||1868||Part of Doña Ana County.||Silver City|
|Guadalupe||1891||Part of San Miguel County.||Santa Rosa|
|Harding||1921||Parts of Mora and Union Counties.||Mosquero|
|Hidalgo||1919||Part of Grant County.||Lordsburg|
|Lea||1917||Parts of Chaves and Eddy Counties.||Lovington|
|Lincoln||1869||Part of Socorro County.||Carrizozo|
|Los Alamos||1949||Parts of Sandoval and Santa Fe Counties.||Los Alamos|
|Luna||1901||Parts of Doña Ana and Grant Counties.||Deming|
|McKinley||1899||Part of Bernalillo County.||Gallup|
|Mora||1860||Part of Taos County.||Mora|
|Otero||1899||Parts of Doña Ana and Lincoln Counties.||Alamogordo|
|Quay||1903||Part of Guadalupe County.||Tucumcari|
|Rio Arriba||1852||One of the nine original counties.||Tierra Amarilla|
|Roosevelt||1903||Parts of Chaves and Guadalupe Counties.||Portales|
|San Juan||1887||Part of Bernalillo County.||Bernalillo|
|San Miguel||1852||Part of Rio Arriba County.||Aztec|
|Sandoval||1903||One of the nine original counties.||Las Vegas|
|Santa Fe||1852||One of the nine original counties.||Santa Fe|
|Sierra||1884||Parts of Doña Ana and Socorro Counties.||Truth or Consequences|
|Socorro||1852||One of the nine original counties.||Socorro|
|Taos||1852||One of the nine original counties.||Taos|
|Torrance||1903||Parts of Bernalillo and Valencia Counties.||Estancia|
|Union||1893||Parts of Colfax, Mora and San Miguel Counties.||Clayton|
|Valencia||1852||One of the nine original counties.||Los Lunas|
New Mexico Extinct Counties
New Mexico has counties that no longer exist. They were established by the state, provincial, or territorial government. Most of these counties were created and disbanded in the 19th century; county boundaries have changed little since 1900 in the vast majority of states. These counties need to be looked at when doing genealogy research. Pay close attention where the courthouse records went to if the county was abolished or combined with another county.
- Santa Ana County [1852 Map]was one of the seven original partidos created in New Mexico under Mexican rule (was in Judicial District No. 1 from 1847 to 1863, then in JD 2 until 1876). Under U.S. rule, it became a U.S. Territorial county from 1852 until 1876, when it was absorbed by Bernalillo County.
New Mexico Counties with Burned Courthouses
The damage to courthouses greatly has a bearing on genealogists in every way. No only are these historic structures torn from our lifetimes, so are the records they housed: marriage, wills, probate, land records, and others. Once destroyed they’re lost forever. Although they have been placed on mircofilm, computers and film burn too. The most heartbreaking side of this is the reason that nearly all of our courthouses are destroyed at the hands of arsonist. Although, not all records were lost. Many New Mexico counties have suffered a loss of records due to
courthouse fires, floods, and theft.
- Sandoval County Courthouse had a Record loss in 1926.