Guide to Ancestry and Family Tree Records
Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and other explorers from Spain came to the area that is now Texas throughout the 1500s and 1600s. Some Spanish explorers actually settled near what is now El Paso in 1685, in an area they called Ysleta. Then, in 1685, a French colony was established at Matagorda Bay by Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle. Although, that colony didn’t last very long.
In 1821, a group of Americans settled near the Brazos River. Stephen F. Austin led that group, which came to the area shortly after it gained independence from Spain and came under Mexican control. A very short war took place between the government of Mexico and the American settlers around that time.
Then, in 1836, the Independent Republic of Texas was formed. Sam Houston was soon named the president of that republic. That short war included the battles of San Jacinto and the Alamo. The Mexican War then took place between 1846 and 1848, due largely to border disputes stemming from Texas gaining its statehood in 1845.
Texas Counties – The Republic of Texas existed from March 2, 1836, to February 19, 1846. The State of Texas was created as the 28th state on December 29, 1845. Texas borders Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Mexico. Texas has 254 Counties. The Texas State Capital is in Austin and the state government website is http://www.texas.gov/.
Select a Texas county to view information & records pertaining to each County
Texas Genealogy Record Guides
Getting Started with Texas Genealogy and Family Trees
Methods for Searching for Texas Genealogy Data – Massive and historic, the State of Texas is also a land where an amazing number of people and families have connections. This is why there are so many resources for those seeking for Texas genealogy materials. Whether you want to learn about an ancestor in the early days of the state or a connection to the Civil War, you will have a good chance of locating the data here.
Looking for Texas Genealogy Information – Today, we get details anything through the Internet, and this is why all genealogists should begin their research at a computer. When starting any search for Texas genealogy information you can go online and use the digital archives available, and even obtain copies of historical materials or documents.
Of course, even though there is a lot online, it does not mean that all that you might require for Texas genealogy will be available digitally. This means that any research for Texas genealogy has to also take the many different offline locations into consideration too. Once you identify your best offline resources for Texas genealogy, you can search more effectively.
Best Approaches for Texas Genealogy Research – Most state genealogy research work starts in the public records, and these tend to fall under three headings or categories. You must learn the differences as you begin searching for Texas genealogy, and they are:
- Vital Records – these are birth, marriage, divorce and death records from county, state, and national archives. They can include cemetery or obituary information, census records, newspaper items, military records, immigration and naturalization details, and passenger lists and records as well. These tend to be available as online or offline resources for Texas genealogy.
- State Records – ranging from probate information to surname lists, state census information, private manuscripts, newspapers, military or veterans information, marriage details, maps, land records, genealogical folders, estate information, deeds, death records, cemetery information, birth certificates and more, these are available as online and offline resources for Texas genealogy.
- Local Records – state research will generally start in a county clerk’s office or website, and then move on to historical societies, local genealogical societies, small local libraries, and school or college libraries for Texas genealogy materials. These are items that are usually offline and viewable by appointment or special arrangement.
Best Sources for Texas Genealogy Information – What are the best sites and resources for Texas genealogy information? Below, we have listed details and links for some of the best for Texas genealogy work:
- Vital Statistics Unit, Texas Department of Health, P.O. Box 12040, Austin, TX 78711-2040; Website: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w/texas.htm .
This is the way to obtain birth, death, marriage and divorce records either via a written request or even online.
Additional state and local records can be found at the:
- Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building, Capitol Complex, 1201 Brazos St., Austin TX 78711-2040;
Website: http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/arc/genfirst.html . This website and location provide a seemingly unlimited number of resources for Texas genealogy research. From information about Confederate Prisoners to telephone directories, it is possible to get an impressive array of materials.
Texas Genealogy Databases and other Helpful Links
These websites below will provide a lot of significant state-specific details to those in search for Texas genealogy data.