Nevada Court Records – A Guide to Courthouse Research

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State Courthouse RecordsNevada Government records cover a broad range of genealogy subject areas that can help you as part of your research, such as land ownership, courts, taxes, and naturalization’s. Given that Nevada court records cover such a wide selection of topics, they could aid you in many different ways. As an example, they could aid you in finding ancestors’ residences, identify occupations, locate financial information, determine citizenship status, or shed light on relationships between individuals. The whole thing relies upon on the type of court records that the ancestors” names show up in. For Definitions of all court terms see the Genealogy Encyclopedia.

Nevada Courthouse records change extensively from county to county in both level of quality and volume. You will find different kinds of court records that are most likely to possess information related for your genealogical research below.


State Court Records

Nevada Court Records

Nevada Territory was created on March 2, 1861. Then, James Nye was appointed as governor by President Lincoln, who also created three federal district judgeships in Nevada Territory. Most of the cases in those judgeships involved mining disputes, but some involved criminal cases.

The modern-day Nevada court system is similar to the court systems of several other states in the southwestern United States. It begins with the civil cases regarding local or city ordinances, which are under the jurisdiction of the municipal courts. Twenty-three judges in the state currently hear those cases. The next level is the justice court, which has sixty-two judges available to try their cases. Those cases include domestic problem injunctions and some civil cases. Next comes the district court (consisting of thirty-four judges), which tries criminal and civil cases, as well as cases involving probate issues, divorces, and minors. It also handles appeals from lower court systems. Finally, there’s the Nevada State Supreme Court. Five justices sit on the Supreme Court and it is their job to review cases from the district courts, accept writs, and listen to appeals from the other courts that are below them.

Every court system level also has clerks, offices and record systems of its own. Therefore, it is important to search in the court office that had jurisdiction over a particular case, if you are looking for information pertaining to that case. You may be able to determine which court to contact by first contacting the Administrative Office of the Courts. See Also Research In Court Records.


State Land Records

Nevada Land Records

Several states, including Nevada, received land grants from the federal government. The Homestead Act, which was a Congressional Act, passed on January 1, 1863. However, the first Nevada U.S. District Land Office was actually opened in Carson City the year before. Later on, other Nevada offices followed in the following years: Auston (1867), Belmont (1868), Elko (1872), Eureka (1873), Pioche (1874)

Many of the Nevada land office transaction records can be found in either the Nevada State Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or at the National Archives. State land patents, as well as land records for Carson County (Utah Territory) can be found at the Nevada State Library and Archives. The BLM website also has an indexed list of Nevada land office grants.

Several minerals, including gold and silver, were discovered in 1859 at the Comstock Mine. People quickly came to the state to seek their fortunes, as a result. In the late 1800s, however, the mine’s resources were depleted. Nevertheless, for more than 50 years, Nevada was economically dependent upon the mining industry. There were 200 different mining districts in 1866, for example. Each district performed certain tasks, such as transferring claim titles, drawing up abstracts, recording land instruments, and recording deeds. So, they acted in a similar way to how court systems would act. The Nevada State Library and Archives holds mineral and mining-related documents from various counties.

The Nevada State Library and Archives holds paperwork from mining corporations from 1861 to 1926. The Nevada Secretary of State’s Office has all of the records from 1926 onward. It also has mine inspection records from 1909 to 1974 on file. Those files include the mine and county supervisor names, hoist operator licenses from 1922 to 1971, and records of non-fatal and fatal mining accidents from 1909 to 1971.

Each county recorder’s office in Nevada usually holds the land records from after the time of the first grant for pieces of land in that particular county. See Also Guide to U.S. Land Records Research


State Probate Records

Nevada Probate Records

The county clerk’s office in each Nevada county contains that county’s probate records, including estate records and guardianship records. See Also Guide to U.S. Probate Records Research


State Tax Records

Nevada Tax Records

Tax records are generally kept at the county courthouse in the county where the property is located. Each county courthouse also has tax assessment rolls on file. Local newspapers publish tax assessment rolls each year. So, researchers can also find that information by looking through old newspapers, either the originals, or microfilmed copies. The 1891 and 1892 assessment rolls for each county have been duplicated and the copies can be found at the Nevada State Library and Archives, Division of Archives and Records. The 1862 to 1950 assessment rolls for Ormsby County can also be found there. The Internal Assessment Lists from 1963 to 1866 for Nevada Territory are on microfilm at the FHL. They are also being indexed online by the Nevada GenWeb Project. See Also Guide to U.S. Tax Records Research


State Immigration Records

Nevada Immigration & Naturalization Records

Many of the immigrants to Nevada were Basques or Yugoslavians. The University of Nevada, Reno has a Basque Studies Library. It contains wonderful Basque resources relating to Basques in Idaho, Nevada, and Oregon. In fact, its Basque collection is the largest in the United States or anywhere else, other than Europe. See Also Guide to U.S. Immigration Records Research


State Government Records

Nevada County & City Government Links

Nevada contains 16 counties and one independent city. Each of the 16 counties in Nevada has a sheriff, board of commissioners, district attorney, public administrator, and other various officials with specific jobs to do. Each town and city in Nevada was granted a charter from the state legislature, and many of the cities and towns operate using a governmental system including town council members and a mayor.. Each county is the local level of government within its borders.

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 Nevada 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. Nevada State Government is located in Carson City.

State of Nevada County & City Government Links
County

Government

County Seat

Government

County

Government

County Seat

Government

Carson City (Independent city) Lincoln Pioche
Churchill Fallon Lyon Yerington
Clark Las Vegas Mineral Hawthorne
Douglas Minden Nye Tonopah
Elko Elko Pershing Lovelock
Esmeralda Goldfield Storey Virginia City
Eureka Eureka Washoe Reno
Humboldt Winnemucca White Pine Ely
Lander Battle Mountain