Pima County, Arizona Genealogy
Guide to Pima County, Arizona ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and military records.
|Pima County, Arizona|
Location in the state of Arizona, United States Genealogy
Location of Arizona in the U.S.
|Founded||One of the original four counties, 1853|
|Address||110 West Congress St.|
Tucson, Arizona 85701-1317
Telephone: (520) 740-3200
Fax: (520) 798-3531
County Information[edit | edit source]
Pima County, Arizona Record Dates[edit | edit source]
County Courthouse[edit | edit source]
Pima County Superior Courts Bldg.
110 West Congress St.
Tucson, Arizona 85701-1317
Telephone: (520) 740-3200[[Image:]](520) 740-3200
Fax: (520) 798-3531
Clerk Superior Court has marriage, divorce, probate and court records from 1863 
Holdings: criminal, civil (incl. traffic), domestic, real property, divorce, probate, guardianship, marriage.
Beginning in 2010, all civil cases 50 years old and probate cases 100 years old must be sent to the Arizona State Archives for preservation. However, indexes and microfilm copies of those records are available at the courthouse in Legal Records, Room 241. The microfilm is not for public use due to mishandling and degradation. The court's online Record Search contains an index of cases from approximately 1980 through present day.
For downtown parking garage information, please check Pima.gov's Parking Facility Page.
Description[edit | edit source]
The County was named after the Pima Native Americans who are indigenous to this area. The County has Tucson as its seat and the County was created November 9, 1864. The County is located in the south central area of the state.
History[edit | edit source]
Pima County, named for the Pima People, is in southeastern Arizona. Today it is home to Arizona's second largest metropolitan area, which includes Tucson, which is also its county seat, and the location of many records of value to researchers of this area. In 1847 the United States flag was first raised over Tucson by the United States Mormon Battalion, the party that blazed the southern route across to San Diego.
- In 1681, The land that is now Pima County was controled by Spain as part of "Pimeria Alta," which included what is now Sonora, Mexico, and all or part of Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, Pima, Pinal, and Santa Cruz Counties.
- Until 1821 - New Spain controlled land that later would become Arizona. Some records of early settlers may have been sent to an archives in Seville, Spain, or to archives in Mexico City.
- In 1821 - Mexico obtained jurisdiction over the land that later would become Pima County, Arizona. Records of this period may have been sent to archives in Mexico City.
- 18 Aug 1846 - During the war with Mexico, the US took control of Santa Fe and proclaimed sovereignty over the land that later became the New Mexico Territory. Look for records in the National Archives and Records Administration, the Mexico Archives and the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives.
- 4 July 1848 - In the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, Mexico ceded part of present day Arizona. The land south of the Gila River in present day Arizona was not ceded, it remained in control of Mexico. This included all of present day Pima County. Look for records in the National Archives and Records Administration, the Mexico Archives and the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives.
- 30 Dec 1853 - The United States Genealogy bought the Gadsden Purchase from Mexico. It contained land south of the Gila River in present day Arizona, including all of present day Pima County. Look for records in the National Archives and Records Administration, the Mexico Archives, and the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives.
- 4 Aug 1854 - The land acquired in the Gadsden Purchase was officially added to New Mexico Territory. Look for records in the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives.
- 3 Feb 1855 - Dona Ana County gained all the land acquired in the Gadsden Purchase. This county included all of present day Pima County. Look for records in Dona Ana County.
- 1 Feb 1860 - New Mexico created Arizona County from land in Dona Ana County. Arizona County was located entirely within present day Arizona, including all of present day Pima County. Look for records in Dona Ana County.
- 18 Jan 1862 - New Mexico discontinued Arizona County returning the land to Dona Ana County. Look for records in Dona Ana County.
- 24 Feb 1863 - The US created the Arizona Territory from the western half of New Mexico Territory. All previous counties were discontinued for this new territory. Look for records in the Arizona State Library and New Mexico State Records Center and Archives
Parent County[edit | edit source]
Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]
- 1 Feb 1875 - Arizona created Pinal County from lands in Maricopa and Pima counties. This county named for the Pinal mountains. Look for records in Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal counties.
- 1 Feb 1881 - Arizona created Cochise County from the eastern part of Pima County. This county named for Cochise, the great Apache warrior who had died seven years before. Look for records in Cochise and Pima counties.
- 15 Mar 1899 - Arizona created Santa Cruz County from land in Pima County. This county named for the Santa Cruz River. Look for records in Pima and Santa Cruz counties.
An animated map of Arizona County changes is available from the Pima County History (scroll down).
See also Previous Jurisdictions to Land in Arizona showing dates the jurisdictions were created and maps. This will help in determining what jurisdiction your ancestor lived in and where the records are now located.
Record Loss[edit | edit source]
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
Places/Localities[edit | edit source]
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:
Communities[edit | edit source]
Binghampton. Outside of Old Tucson there was a Latter-day Saint settlement called Binghampton. There are a series of leaflets published that contain many of the stories of this community, "Binghampton: The Life and Times of its people since 1892". Author is unknown, but going to the Binghampton Cemetery caretaker is the key to research for these ancestors. See cemetery reference below.
Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]
- Cochise County, Arizona
- Graham County, Arizona
- Maricopa County, Arizona
- Pinal County, Arizona
- Santa Cruz County, Arizona
- Yuma County, Arizona
Resources[edit | edit source]
Cemeteries[edit | edit source]
Census[edit | edit source]
Censuses were conducted in 1866, 1867, 1872, 1874, 1876. They include name, residence, whether head of family, number of single persons over 21, number between 10 and 21, number under 10, and remarks.
In 1882, the census lists name only.
For information regarding extant censuses, also see: Arizona Census
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 date. For more about Arizona denominations, see Arizona Church Records.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Ward and Branch Records
The Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson Archives and Library
Msgr. Donald H. Hughes Pastoral Center at St. Ambrose Parish
300 S. Tucson Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85716
Tel;(520) 886-5201 (Call for Appt.)
The diocese was first established in 1868. The archive's collection includes sacramental registers from across southwest, Bishop's correspondence, ephemera, art and artifacts.
List of Churches and Church Parishes
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Court[edit | edit source]
Other Courts may be located here: Pima County Court Records Directory
Land[edit | edit source]
Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.
See Arizona Land and Property for additional information about early Arizona land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse and where records are currently housed.
Pima County Recorder's Office
Holdings: deeds, mining records, mortgages.
(including records from the Recorder's Office)
Local Histories[edit | edit source]
Local histories are available for Pima County, Arizona 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 Arizona Local Histories.
Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records offers an Arizona Biographical Database.
The University of Arizona has compiled information about communities, history, and research materials relating to Southern Arizona at Through our Parents' Eyes.
For history of western Pima County (Ajo, Why, Lukeville and Tohono O'odham Nation communities) the Ajo Cultural and Historical Inventory Project has identified "where and how to access information on the history and culture of Ajo and western Pima County."
Maps[edit | edit source]
Map of Arizona County changes (1864-1983) at the Pima County Justice Court's site (scroll down).
Military[edit | edit source]
Civil War[edit | edit source]
- 1861-1865 - Arizona Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index - How to Use this Collection
World War II[edit | edit source]
- 1940-1945 - Arizona, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1940-1945 at FamilySearch — index and images - How to Use this Collection
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Newspapers[edit | edit source]
- 1800s-1999 U.S., Newspapers.com Marriage Index, 1800s-1999 at Ancestry - index ($)
- The Chronicling America project lists 255 newspapers which cover areas of Pima County. Using their system one may narrow a search and use the links to the WorldCat system to locate copies of the papers.
- Arizona Newspaper Project -- allows users to search for Pima County newspapers
- Current obituaries for Tucson may be located on the Arizona Daily Star's website.
- Green Valley News and Sun also carries obituaries.
- Ajo Copper News Archives list deaths beginning in 1998 and births in 2000.
- Ajo Cooper News - full-text digital issues in Google News Archive; covers 1975-2009
Finding More Arizona Newspapers[edit source]
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Pima County, Arizona Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:
Obituaries[edit | edit source]
- 1959-2014 - Arizona, Mesa LDS Family History Center, Obituary Index, 1959-2014 at FamilySearch — index - How to Use this Collection
Probate[edit | edit source]
From 1850 to 1864, probate records of Arizona were kept by the probate courts of New Mexico. From 1864 to 1912, the records were handled by county probate courts. 1912 to present, records such as wills, claims, administrations, case files, and calendars are kept in the custody of the clerk of the superior court in the county courthouse.
Online Probate Indexes and Records
Original records held by the Clerk of the Superior Court or the Arizona State Archives. FHL Arizona, Pima Probate Records
Taxation[edit | edit source]
Vital Records[edit | edit source]
Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Arizona Department of Health Services or the county clerk's office of the county where the event occurred.
Pima County Health Department issues certificates for Arizona Births from 1 Jan 1950 and Arizona Deaths from 1 Feb 2008. All other certificates may be ordered from the State Office of Vital Records.
FHL Arizona, Pima Vital Records
Birth Records[edit | edit source]
Online Birth Indexes and Records
- 1855-1930 - Arizona, Birth Certificates and Indexes, 1855-1930 at FamilySearch — index and images - How to Use this Collection
- Arizona Genealogy Birth and Death Certificates (including Pima County) available from the Arizona Department of Health Services. As of 2009, birth certificates from 1855-1933 and death certificates from 1844-1958 are provided in .pdf.
- 1887-1935 - Arizona Birth Certificates, 1887 - 1935 at MyHeritage - index and images
- 1909-1917 - Arizona Select Births and Christenings 1909-1917 at Ancestry.com — index $
- 1909-1917 - Arizona, Birth Certificates, 1909-1917 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection, index
Marriage Records[edit | edit source]
Online Marriage Indexes and Records
- 1864-1943 - 4,742 marriages from 3 Sep 1864 to 20 Sep 1943 are listed on the Western States Marriage Index. Certificates are available from either the Clerk of the Superior Court or the Arizona State Archives.
- 1833-1949 - Arizona, United States Marriages at Findmypast — index $
- 1864-1982 - Arizona Marriage Collection 1864-1982 at Ancestry.com — index $
- 1861-1964 - Arizona, County Marriages, 1871–1964 at FamilySearch — index and browse images, incomplete - How to Use this Collection
- 1888-1908 - Arizona Select Marriages 1888-1908 at Ancestry.com — index $
Death Records[edit | edit source]
Online Death Indexes and Records
- 1870-1963 - Arizona Death Certificates, 1870 - 1963 at MyHeritage ($) - index and images
- 1910-1911 and 1933-1994 - Arizona Select Deaths and Burials 1910-1911 and 1933-1994;at Ancestry.com — index $
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Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]
Arizona Historical Society
949 E. 2nd St.
Tucson, AZ 85719
AHS's Arizona Historical Society Research Library and Archives holds unpublished manuscripts, biographical files, books, maps, newspapers, oral histories, photographs, and more.
Ajo Historical Society
160 S Mission Rd.
Ajo, AZ 85321-2601
Jewish Heritage Center
564 S Stone Ave
PO BOX 889
Tucson, AZ 85701
(Formerly the Jewish Historical Society of Southern Arizona and the Historic Stone Avenue Temple) Closed until further notice as of 12/31/2020.
Jewish Historical Society of Southern Arizona, Genealogy Group
4181 E Pontatoc Canyon Dr
Tucson, AZ 85718
Southern Arizona Genealogical Society (aka Green Valley Genealogical Society)
PO Box 1009
Green Valley, AZ 85622
Pima County Genealogy Society
P.O. Box 16421
Tucson, AZ 85732
Pima County Public Libraries
Joel D. Valdez Main Library
101 N. Stone Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85701
Holdings include: Cele Peterson Arizona Collection (local history), historical Tucson newspapers, assorted other papers, online resources available to library card holders, interlibrary loan
Salzar-Ajo Branch Library
33 Plaza Ajo, AZ 85321
Telephone: (520) 387-6075
Holdings: Ajo Cultural and Historical Inventory Project, newspapers, online resources available to library card holders
Postal History Foundation - Peggy J. Slusser Memorial Philatelic Library
920 N First Ave
Tucson, AZ 85719
Telephone: (520) 623-6652
Collection searchable at: www.library.pima.gov/research/collections/phf.php
Sun City Vistoso Genealogical Society
1565 E Rancho Vistoso
Social Hall/Papago Room
Oro Valley, AZ 85737
University of Arizona
1510 E University Blvd
Tucson, AZ 82721-0055
Telephone: (520) 621-6441
Holdings: Special Collections (manuscripts, photographs, rare books), newspapers, government documents, map collection, ethnic records, directories, Jewish collections
Check website for parking information. Currently at limited access.
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]
- Pima County AZGenWeb
- USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
- FamilySearch Catalog
- Pima County, Arizona Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
References[edit | edit source]
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Pima County, Arizona. Page 56-57 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), 52.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Pima County, Arizona p. 56. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- Wikipedia contributors, "Navajo, Arizona," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navajo_County,_Arizona 7/10/2017.
- Barbara Baldwin Salyer and Jean Powell Banowit, Arizona genealogical and historical research guide : early sources for southern Arizona : including Cochise, Pima, Pinal, and Santa Cruz counties (Tucson, Ariz. : Arizona State Genealogical Society, 2006).
- Williams 108-110
- U.S. Stat., vol. 9, pp. 922-943; Parry, 102: 29-59; Van Zandt, 11, 28-29; Walker and Bufkin, 19, 20A
- U.S. Stat., vol. 10, pp. 1031-1037; Van Zandt, 11, 29, 162
- U.S. Stat., vol. 10, ch. 245/p. 575; Van Zandt, 162; Walker and Bufkin, 21-22
- N.M. Terr. Laws 1854, 4th assy. /p. 57
- N.M. Terr. Laws 1859-1860, 9th assy. /p. 74
- N.M. Terr. Laws 1861-1862, 11th assy. /p. 18
- U.S. Stat., vol. 12, ch. 56/pp. 664-665; Ariz. Terr. Laws 1864, 1st assy./ pp. vii-viii; Van Zandt, 162
- Howell Code, Ariz. Terr. Laws 1864, 1st assy., ch. 2/ pp. 24-25
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- Ariz. Terr. Laws 1875, 8th assy./ pp. 19-20
- Ariz. Terr. Laws 1881, 11th assy./ pp. 4-7
- Ariz. Terr. Laws 1899, 20th assy./ pp. 49-57
- Wikipedia contributors, "Pima County, Arizona," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pima_County,_Arizona, accessed 24 February 2019.
- Arizona Memory Project, "Archives of the Catholic Diocese of Tucson." http://azmemory.lib.az.us/cdm4/index.php?CISOROOT=/rcdhilites&mode=repository