Bell County, Texas Genealogy

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Guide to Bell County Texas ancestry, family history, and genealogy research page. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

Bell County, Texas
Map of Texas highlighting Bell County
Location in the state of Texas, United States Genealogy
Map of the U.S. highlighting Texas
Location of Texas in the U.S.
Founded March 15, 1891
County Seat Belton
Address Bell County Courthouse
550 E 2nd Street PO Box 480
Belton, TX 76513
Phone: 254.933.5174
Bell County Website
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for Peter Hansborough Bell, the third governor of Texas. The County is located in the central area of the state.[1]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

County Clerk has birth and death records from 1903,
marriage, probate and land records from 1850,
military records and school census; Clerk District Court
has divorce records from 1850, court and naturalization

County Clerk

P.O. Box 480
Belton 76513
Phone: 254-933-5165
Fax: 254-933-5176

District Clerk

P.O. Box 909
Belton 76513
Phone: 254-933-5190
Fax: 254-933-5199
Bell County Website

Bell County, Texas Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1903 1850 1903 1852 1850 1850 1829
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1903. General compliance by the 1930s.

Quick History[edit | edit source]

Settled, abandoned and resettled several times due to Indian troubles.

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Bell_County,_Texas

Parent County[edit | edit source]

22 January 1850: Bell County was created from Milam County. [4]

The county was named for Peter H. Bell, (1812-1898). Peter Hansborough Bell, governor of Texas, was born on May 12, 1812, in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. He engaged in business in Petersburg until he left Virginia to fight for the independence of Texas.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1891--The treasurer's office of the Bell County Courthouse caught fire, March 15, 1891. Probably arson. No record loss. [5]

Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[6]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places
Ghost towns
  • Aligator
  • Donahoe
  • Okay
  • Old Troy
  • Sefcikville
  • Sparta
  • Stringtown

‡This populated place also has portions in an adjacent county or counties

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Burnet  • Coryell  • Falls  • Lampasas  • McLennan  • Milam  • Williamson

Resources[edit | edit source]

African American[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemetery records often reveal birth, marriage, death, relationship, military, and religious information.

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
FindAGrave Family History Library FindAGrave
TX Gravestones WorldCat Tombstone Project
Billion Graves (name) Cemeteries of TX
USGW Archives Texas Cemeteries
Billion Graves Linkpendium
TXGenWeb Interment
FamilySearch Places
See Texas Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 4,799
1870 9,771 103.6%
1880 20,518 110.0%
1890 33,377 62.7%
1900 45,535 36.4%
1910 49,186 8.0%
1920 46,412 −5.6%
1930 50,030 7.8%
1940 44,863 −10.3%
1950 73,824 64.6%
1960 94,097 27.5%
1970 124,483 32.3%
1980 157,889 26.8%
1990 191,088 21.0%
2000 237,974 24.5%
2010 310,235 30.4%
Source: "".

Church[edit | edit source]

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death/burial date and place. For general information about Texas denominations, view the Texas Church Records wiki page.

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court[edit | edit source]

Land[edit | edit source]

After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions, including deeds and mortgages, have been recorded by the county. You can obtain copies of these land records by writing to the county clerk at the county courthouse. For more information, see Texas Land and Property.

The FamilySearch Catalog lists microfilm copies of deeds, trust deeds, and mortgages of many counties.

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Bell County, Texas Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Texas Local Histories.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Lampasas CountyMcLennan CountyFalls CountyMilam CountyWilliamson CountyBurnet CountyCoryell CountyTX BELL.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Mexican-American War[edit | edit source]
Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

World War I[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Off-line Newspaper Information
Online Newspapers

Online Newspaper Abstracts
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Bell County, Texas Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

TX Newspaper Abstracts (For instructions see WorldCat Online Catalog).

Probate[edit | edit source]

Probate records of Texas, United States Genealogy have been kept by the probate clerk in each county courthouse. You can obtain copies of the records from the clerk's office. In most counties, all information pertaining to a probate case is recorded in the "probate minutes."

Content: Probate Records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their places of residence.

Record types: Wills, estates, guardianships, naturalizations, marriage, adoption, and birth and death records.

See the Wiki page Texas Probate Records for information about how to use probate records.

Online Probate Indexes and Records

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Texas tax records complement land records and can be used in place of censuses or to supplement the years between censuses. Because only persons who owned taxable property were listed, many residents were not included in tax lists. There may also be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties. For more information, see the wiki page Texas Taxation.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents.

Certified birth and death certificates or birth and death verifications can be ordered online or by mail at the Texas Vital Records State Department of Health. Copies can also be obtained from the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred and are often less expensive.

Marriages records can be obtained from the county the marriage occurred. Only marriage verifications can be obtained from the Texas Vital Records State Department of Health.

See Texas Vital Records for more information about Vital records in Texas.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Online Birth Indexes and Records

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Online Marriage Indexes and Records

Death[edit | edit source]

Online Death Indexes and Records

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Bell County Genealogical Society
c/o P.O. Box 1493
100 West Adams Avenue
Temple, TX 76501

Lena Armstrong Public Library
(City of Belton)
301 E. 1st Avenue
Belton, TX 76513
Phone: 254-933-5830
Fax: 254-933-5831

Harker Heights Public Library
400 Indian Trail
Harker Heights, TX 76548
Phone: 254-953-5491

Killeen Public Library
205 E. Church Ave
Killeen, TX 76541
Phone: 254-501-8990

Temple Public Library
100 West Adams Ave
Temple, TX 76501
Phone: 254-298-5556

Temple College
Hubert M. Dawson Library
2600 South First Street
Temple, TX 76504
Phone: 254-298-8426
or 800-60-4636 ext 8426 (Texas only)

University of Mary Hardin Baylor
Townsend Memorial Library
900 College Street
Belton, TX 76513
Phone: 254-295-4637

Bell County Historical Commission
Bell County Historic Courthouse
101 E. Central Avenue
First Floor, Room 117
Belton, TX 76513
Phone: 254-933-5917

Central Texas Genealogical Society
West Waco Library and Genealogy Center
5301 Bosque Blvd., Suite 275
Waco, TX 76710

Salado Historical Society
PO Box 251
Salado, TX 76571

Sons of the American Revolution

Sons of Confederate Veterans

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Bell County, Texas," in,_Texas. accessed 07/25/2019
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Bell County, Texas. Page 659 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Bell County, Texas . Page 658-677 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 655-665.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  5. Belton, TX Courthouse Fire, Mar 1891
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Bell County, Texas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Texas, accessed 26 March 2019.