Matagorda County, Texas Genealogy

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

Matagorda County, Texas
Map of Texas highlighting Matagorda 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 17 March, 1836
County Seat Bay City
Address Matagorda County Courthouse
1700 7th Street
Bay City, TX 77414
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for the canebrakes that once grew along the coast (Matagorda is a Spanish word meaning "thick bush"). The County is located in the southeast area of the state.[1]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Matagorda County Courthouse
1700 7th Street
Bay City, TX 77414
Phone: 979.244.7680

Matagorda County Courthouse - 1896

County Clerk has birth records from 1903,
marriage records from 1838, death records
from 1917, land records from 1827, probate
records form late 1800’s, military records from
1919 and court records from 1981[2]

Matagorda County Courthouse -1848
Matagorda County Courthouse - 1928

County Clerk

1700 Seventh St. 202
Bay City 77414
Phone: 979-244-7680
Fax: 979-244-7688

District Clerk

1700 Seven St. Room 307
Bay City 77414
Phone: 979-244-7621

Matagorda County Courthouse - today

County Clerk
1700 7th Street, Room 202
Bay City, TX 77414-5094
(979) 244-7680

District Clerk
1700 7th Street, Room 307
Bay City, TX 77414
(979) 244-7621

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1903 1838 1903 1981 1827 1827 1829
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1903.
General compliance by the 1930s.

History[edit | edit source]

Part of Stephen F. Austin's Colony.

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1836--Matagorda County was created 17 March 1836 from an Old Mexican Municipality.

  • County seat: Bay City [4]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

See an interactive map of Matagorda County border changes.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Matagorda County For Kids[edit | edit source]

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:[5]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places
Ghost towns
  • Hawley

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Brazoria  • Calhoun  • Jackson  • Wharton

Resources[edit | edit source]

African-American Information[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
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.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 2,124
1860 3,454 62.6%
1870 3,377 −2.2%
1880 3,940 16.7%
1890 3,985 1.1%
1900 6,097 53.0%
1910 13,597 123.0%
1920 16,589 22.0%
1930 17,678 6.6%
1940 20,066 13.5%
1950 21,559 7.4%
1960 25,744 19.4%
1970 27,913 8.4%
1980 37,828 35.5%
1990 36,928 −2.4%
2000 37,957 2.8%
2010 36,702 −3.3%
Source: "".

Churches[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]

Historical Markers[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 Matagorda 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]

Wharton CountyBrazoria CountyJackson CountyCalhoun CountyTX MATAGORDA.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Texas Revolution[edit | edit source]
Mexican-American War[edit | edit source]
Civil War[edit | edit source]
World War I[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

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

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

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

For current obituaries see newspaper sites above

Photographs[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

Schools[edit | edit source]

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]

Voting[edit | edit source]

Societies, Libraries and Museums[edit | edit source]

Matagorda County Genealogical Society
1100 Seventh Street
Bay City, TX 77414-4915

Matagorda County Historical Records
PO Box 275
Blessing, TX 77419-0275

Bay City Public Library
1100 7th St.
Bay City, TX 77414

Palacios Library
326 Main St.
Palacios, TX 77465

Matagorda County Museum
2100 Avenue F.
Bay City, TX 77414

City By the Sea Museum
401 Commerce Street
Palacios, TX 77465

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, "Matagorda, Texas" in ",_Texas. accessed 11/21/2019
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Matagorda County, Texas. Page 669 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Matagorda 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. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Matagorda County, Texas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Texas, Last accessed 13 August 2019.