Hidalgo County, Texas Genealogy

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

Hidalgo County, Texas
Map of Texas highlighting Hidalgo 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 January 24, 1852
County Seat Edinburg
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County Information[edit | edit source]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Hidalgo County Courthouse
County Clerk's Office
100 N. Closner P O Box 58
Edinburg, TX 78540
Phone: (956) 318-2100

County Clerk has birth, marriage, death, probate,
court and land records; Distric Clerk has divorce records[1]

County Clerk

P.O. Box 58
Edinburg 78540
Phone: 956-318-2100
Fax: 956-318-2105

District Clerk

P.O. Box 487
Edinburg 78540
Phone: 956-318-2200

Hidalgo County has had four county seats: Edinburgh, Hidalgo, Hidalgo, Chapin (Edinburg).  In 1852, the town of La Habitacion was renamed Edinburgh and became the county seat. Later, the name of the town was changed to Hidalgo. After a severe flood in 1886, the town was moved two miles north. Later, Edinburgh was moved away from the Rio Grande River - the present site and town of Hidalgo. In 1908, the town of Chapin became the county seat. In 1911, the town's name was changed to Edinburg.

The last county courthouse in Hidalgo is still standing.  Built in 1886, the building was once two story with a cupola; after a fire in the early 1900s, the building was repaired and rebuilt as one story. 

The 1908 Courthouse at Edinburg served the county for nearly 50 years. It was torn down in 1954, after the opening of the current modern structure. [2] [3]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1903 1852 1903 1852 1848 1852 1829
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1903.
General compliance by the 1930s.

History[edit | edit source]

1750 and 1883--Spanish mission and settlements were established by 1750 and Anglo-American settlements by 1883.

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1852--Hidalgo County was created 24 January 1852 from Cameron and Starr Counties.

  • County seat: Edinburg [5]

The county was named for Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, (1753-1811). Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, the priest known as the "father of Mexican independence," was born on May 8, 1753, at his father's hacienda near Guanajuato, Mexico.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1886--Flood destroyed the town of Hidalgo, which at that time was the county seat. Presumably, the courthouse was also destroyed or heavily damaged.

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

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Brooks  • Cameron  • Kenedy  • Starr  • Willacy

Resources[edit | edit source]

African American[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

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

Additional Cemetery Sources

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

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.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Hidalgo 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.

  • The Centennial Celebration of the Organization of Hidalgo County in Texas, 1952, by the Hidalgo County Centennial Corporation
  • The Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, 1954, by J. Lee and Lillian J. Stambaugh.
  • Hidalgo County History from the Handbook of Texas Online.
  • Texas Museums  ~  List of all museums in Texas  ~  Hidden Ancestors

Maps[edit | edit source]

Brooks CountyKenedy CountyWillacy CountyCameron CountyStarr CountyTamaulipasTX HIDALGO.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Mexican-American War[edit | edit source]
Civil War[edit | edit source]
World War I[edit | edit source]
World War II[edit | edit source]
Korean War[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

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

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

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

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]

Museum of South Texas History
200 N. Closner Blvd.
Edinburg, Texas 78541
Telephone Number: 956-383-6911
The museum's Margaret H. McAllen Memorial Archive holds an extensive collection of regional items, including maps, newspapers, books, genealogical material, audiovisual and digital material, and the largest collection of historical photographs within the lower Rio Grande Valley. The archive's holdings are a source of inspiration for the museum's exhibitions as well as for students, scholars, and others who conduct research here.

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Alamo Public Library
416 N Tower Rd
Alamo, TX 78516
Telephone Number: 956-787-6160

Donna Public Library
301 S Main St
Donna, TX 78537
Telephone Number: 956-464-2221

Dustin Michael Sekula Memorial Library
1906 S Closner Blvd
Edinburg, TX 78539
Telephone Number: 956-383-6246

Elsa Public Library
711 N Hidalgo St
Elsa, TX 78543
Telephone Number: 956-262-3061

Hidalgo Public Library
710 E Texano Dr
Hidalgo, TX 78557
Telephone Number: 956-843-2093

La Joya Municipal Library
925 S Leo Ave
La Joya, TX 78560
Telephone Number: 956-581-4533

McAllen Memorial Library
601 N Main St
McAllen, TX 78501
Telephone Number: 956-688-3300

Mercedes Memorial Library
434 S Ohio St
Mercedes, TX 78570
Telephone Number: 956-565-2371

Pharr Memorial Library
121 E Cherokee Ave
Pharr, TX 78577
Telephone Number: 956-787-3966

Speer Memorial Library
801 E 12th St
Mission, TX 78572
Telephone Number: 956-580-8750

San Juan Public Library
1010 S Standard Ave
San Juan, TX 78589
Telephone Number: 956-702-0926

Weslaco Public Library
525 S Kansas Ave
Weslaco, TX 78596
Telephone Number: 956-968-4533

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

Museums[edit | edit source]

Museum of South Texas History
121 E McIntyre
Edinburg, TX
Phone: (956) 383-6911
Fax: (956) 381-8518 website

Donna Hooks Fletcher Museum
129 S. 8th
Donna, Texas 78537
Phone: (956) 464-9989 website
Wed-Friday 10:00am - 1:00pm, Sat 10:00am - 3:00pm

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Hidalgo County, Texas. Page 666 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. HistoricTexas.net: Hidalgo County http://www3.historictexas.net/hidalgo-county-texas
  3. TexasEscapes.com http://www.texasescapes.com/TOWNS/Edinburg_Texas/HidalgoCountyCourthouseEdinburgTexas.htm
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Hidalgo 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.
  5. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Hidalgo County, Texas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidalgo_County,_Texas, accessed 13 June 2019.