Oklahoma County records vary widely from county to county both in quality as well as quantity. Some are already very carefully preserved while others have been much abused and mistreated. Some Oklahoma records have merely vanished. For genealogists carrying out research in Oklahoma there’s no effective substitute for an on-site search of county court house records. For Definitions of all court terms see the Genealogy Encyclopedia
Oklahoma originally had seven counties when it was first organized as the Oklahoma Territory. These counties were designated numerically, first through seventh. New counties added after this were designated by letters of the alphabet. The first seven counties were later renamed. The Oklahoma Constitutional Convention named all of the counties that were formed when Oklahoma entered statehood in 1907. Only two counties have been formed since then.
Oklahoma is divided into 77 counties. Oklahoma deeds, probates, and civil court records are located at the county clerk’s or clerk of the courts office. Marriage records before statewide recording may be found at the county clerk as well, but records of births and deaths are not available until statewide recording began. Official certificates come from the State Department of Health. The largest percentage of Oklahoma’s extant public records were generated in the twentieth century and are generally intact. Send inquiries to the county official at the courthouse address for the appropriate county. See also a list of links to county and county seat government run websites.
|County||Date Formed||Parent County||County Seat|
|Beckham||1907||Roger Mills County||Sayre|
|Blaine||1892||Cheyenne, Arapaho land||Watonga|
|Caddo||1901||Kowa, Comanche,Apache, Wichita, Caddo lands||Anadarko|
|Canadian||1890||Oklahoma Territory||El Reno|
|Cimarron||1907||Beaver County||Boise City|
|Comanche||1901||Kiowa County, Comanche lands||Lawton|
|Custer||1892||Cheyenne & Arapaho land opening||Arapaho|
|Dewey||1892||Cheyenne & Arapaho land opening||Taloga|
|Garfield||1893||Cherokee Outlet land||Enid|
|Garvin||1907||Chickasaw lands||Pauls Valley|
|Grady||1907||Caddo, Comanche lands||Chickasha|
|Harper||1907||Indian lands, Woods, Woodward||Buffalo|
|Jefferson||1907||Comanche, Chickasaw lands||Waurika|
|Kay||1893||Cherokee Outlet land||Newkirk|
|Kiowa||1901||Kiowa, Comanche, Apache, Wichita, Caddo lands||Hobart|
|Le Flore||1907||Choctaw lands||Poteau|
|Noble||1893||Cherokee Outlet land||Perry|
|Oklahoma||1890||Oklahoma Territory||Oklahoma City|
|Pawnee||1893||Cherokee Outlet land||Pawnee|
|Roger Mills||1892||Cheyene, Araphoe land||Cheyenne|
|Woods||1893||Cherokee Outlet land||Alva|
|Woodward||1893||Cherokee Outlet land||Woodward|
Oklahoma Extinct Counties
Oklahoma contains counties that no longer exist. They were organized by the state, provincial, or territorial governing administration. Many of these counties were created and disbanded in the 19th century; county boundaries have changed little since Nineteen hundred in the great majority of states. These counties need to be researched when performing ancestors and family history research. Pay attention where the courthouse records went to if the county was eliminated or merged with a different county.
- Day County Formed in 1892 from Cheyenne & Arapaho lands. Abolished in 1907; now Ellis County area. Day County in Oklahoma Territory, was abolished at statehood, comprising the northern portion of Roger Mills County and the southern portion of Ellis County. Named for William R. Day
- A County “A County” was the original designation for Lincoln County, Oklahoma Territory. It included some of the former Absentee Shawnee, Iowa, Kickapoo, and Sac & Fox Lands administered by the Sac & Fox Agency.
- B County “B County” was the original designation for Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma Territory. It included some of the former Absentee Shawnee, Kickapoo, and Pottawatomie Lands administered by the Sac & Fox Agency.
- C County “C County” was the original designation for Blaine County, Oklahoma Territory
- D County “D County” was the original designation for Dewey County, Oklahoma Territory
- E County “E County” was the original designation for Day County, Oklahoma Territory
- F County “F County” was the original designation for Roger Mills County, Oklahoma Territory.
- G County “G County” was the original designation for Custer County, Oklahoma Territory.
- H County “H County” was the original designation for Washita County, Oklahoma Territory.
- I County “I County” was the original designation for Caddo County, Oklahoma Territory
- K County “K County” was the original designation for Kay County, Oklahoma Territory
- L County “L County” was the original designation for Grant County, Oklahoma Territory.
- M County “M County” was the original designation for Woods County, Oklahoma Territory.
- N County “N County” was the original designation for Woodward County, Oklahoma Territory.
- O County “O County” was the original designation for Garfield County, Oklahoma Territory.
- P County “P County” was the original designation for Noble County, Oklahoma Territory.
- Q County “Q County” was the original designation for Pawnee County, Oklahoma Territory.
Oklahoma Counties with Burned Courthouses
The destruction to Oklahoma courthouses drastically has a affect on genealogists in almost every way. Not only are these kinds of historic structures ripped from our lifetimes, so are the documents they stored: marriage, wills, probate, land records, among others. Once destroyed they are lost permanently. Although they have been put on mircofilm, computers and film burn as well. The most heartbreaking aspect of this is the reason that almost all of our courthouses are destroyed as a result of arsonist. Though, don’t assume all records were destroyed. Numerous Oklahoma counties have suffered a loss of records due to courthouse fires, floods, and theft.