Arizona Map & Atlas Guide

Any Historical Arizona Map can indicate who owned specific property in the state and which towns held the county seat at the time.  This information is a valuable starting point for your research pointing you to the right location of records.

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Solving Research Problems with a Arizona Maps – If you have started your family research, you might have experienced trouble with trying to identify Arizona city borders and names that have changed over the course of time. This can make it difficult to understand where your ancestors’ information is kept.

Because Arizona historic maps were usually commissioned by the county seat, they often display information about the county, including town names. Reading a Arizona map from the time period you are researching can help tremendously in solving these problems by leading you to the correct town records. It can also give you other leads, such as the location of city directories or old post offices in Arizona.

Arizona Map of Counties

Arizona Map of Counties

Choosing the Best Arizona Map – If you have a large source of maps to choose from, try starting with the area where your ancestors resided and looking for the maps with the most detail.  You can determine a lot by seeing if the area was still rural or more developed, and how far it was to the nearest city.  This can shed light on your family’s lifestyle and occupation. Were they farmers who lived in the country, or merchants who traveled often to a nearby city?  A map can give you an idea of what occupations were possible.

All of the Sanborn maps of Arizona are on microfilm at the Arizona State Archives. County and city maps in various sizes may be purchased from the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Map collections are also found at Arizona State University and the University of Arizona. The Arizona Historical Society lists several thousand maps from the Spanish era to the present.

The United States Geological Survey has a large map library in Flagstaff that is open for research and is located at the USGS Library.

Arizona Map of County Formations For The Years 1852-1983

These Arizona maps shows the historical changes to Arizona counties from 1852 to 1983.

arizona
Arizona County Formation Years and Map Abbreviations
1852 1854 1855 1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1871 1873 1875 1877 1879
1881 1889 1891 1895 1899 1909 1983                
unorg. = unorganized
g. = gained
w. = with
fr. = from
atmt. = attachment
exch = exchanged
nca.= non county area
ch. = changed
Ap - Apache
Cch - Cochise
Ccn - Cococino
Gi - Gila
Gra - Graham
Gre - Greenlee
LP - La Paz
Ma - Maricopa
Mo - Mohave
Na - Navajo
Pim - Pima
Pin - Pinal
SC - Santa Cruz
Ya - Yavapai
Yu - Yuma

Arizona Maps & Atlases

1880 Arizona MapThe David Rumsey Historical Arizona Map Collection is scanned from original copies so you can see Arizona as our ancestors saw them over a hundred years ago.

Some Arizona map years (not all) have cities, railroads, P.O. locations, township outlines and other features useful to the Arizona researcher.

U.S. State Map Guides