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
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.
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||1868||One of the original five counties||Laramie|
|Big Horn||1890||Sheridan County, Johnson County, and Fremont County||Basin|
|Campbell||1911||Weston County and Crook County||Gillette|
|Carbon||1868||One of the original five counties.||Rawlins|
|Converse||1888||Albany County and Laramie County||Douglas|
|Crook||1875||Laramie County and Albany County||Sundance|
|Hot Springs||1911||Fremont County, Big Horn County, and Park County||Thermopolis|
|Johnson||1875||Carbon County and Sweetwater County||Buffalo|
|Laramie||1867||One of the original five counties||Cheyenne|
|Park||1909||Big Horn County||Cody|
|Sublette||1921||Fremont County and Lincoln County||Pinedale|
|Sweetwater||1867||One of the original five counties||Green River|
|Uinta||1869||One of the original five counties||Evanston|
|Washakie||1911||Big Horn County||Worland|
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.