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.

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. See also a list of links to county and county seat government run websites.

List of Utah Counties

CountyDate FormedParent CountyCounty Seat
Beaver1866Part of Iron CountyBeaver
Box Elder1856Part of Weber CountyBrigham City
Cache1856Part of Weber CountyLogan
Carbon1894Part of Emery CountyPrice
Daggett1919Part of Uintah CountyManila
Davis1852Original county of State of DeseretFarmington
Duchesne1913Part of Wasatch CountyDuchesne
Emery1880Part of Sanpete CountyCastle Dale
Garfield1882Part of Iron CountyPanguitch
Grand1890Part of Emery CountyMoab
Iron1850Original county of State of DeseretParowan
Juab1850Original county of Territory of UtahNephi
Kane1864Part of Washington CountyKanab
Millard1851Original county of Territory of UtahFillmore
Morgan1862Part of Davis CountyMorgan
Piute1865Part of Beaver CountyJunction
Rich1868Part of Cache CountyRandolph
Salt Lake1852Original county of State of DeseretSalt Lake City
San Juan1880Parts of Kane, Iron, and Piute countiesMonticello
Sanpete1852Original county of State of DeseretManti
Sevier1865Part of Sanpete CountyRichfield
Summit1854Part of Salt Lake and Green River countiesCoalville
Tooele1852Original county of State of DeseretTooele
Uintah1880Part of WasatchVernal
Utah1852Original county of State of DeseretProvo
Wasatch1862Part of Utah and Sanpete countiesHeber City
Washington1852Original county of Territory of UtahSt. George
Wayne1892Part of Piute CountyLoa
Weber1852Original county of State of DeseretOgden

List of 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 established on 17 Jan 1854 by the Utah Territory; it was abolished  on 02 Mar 1861. Area now in Nevada
  • Cedar County was established on 05 Jan 1856 ; it was abolished  on 17 Jan 1862
  • Desert County was established on 03 Mar 1852 ; it was abolished  on 17 Jan 1862
  • Greasewood County was established on 05 Jan 1856 ; it was abolished  on 17 Jan 1862
  • Great Salt Lake County was established on 03 Mar 1852 ; it was renamed  on 29 Jan 1868 Salt Lake County
  • Green River County was established on 03 Mar 1852 ; it was abolished  on 16 Feb 1872
  • Humboldt County was established on 05 Jan 1856 ; it was abolished  on 02 Mar 1861. Area now in Nevada
  • Malad County was established on 05 Jan 1856 ; it was abolished  on 17 Jan 1862 . Area now in Box Elder County
  • Richland County was established on 16 Jan 1864 ; it was renamed  Rich County on 29 Jan 1868.
  • Rio Virgin County was established on 18 Feb 1869 ; it was abolished  on 16 Feb 1872
  • St. Mary’s County was established on 05 Jan 1856 ; it was abolished  on 02 Mar 1861
  • Shambip County was established on 12 Jan 1856 ; it was abolished  on 17 Jan 1862 . Area now in Tooele County

List of 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.

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