Van Zandt County, Texas Genealogy

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

Van Zandt County, Texas
Map of Texas highlighting Van Zandt 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 20 March, 1848
County Seat Canton
Address Van Zandt County Courthouse
121 East Dallas Street Room 202
Canton, TX 75103
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Isaac Van Zandt (1813-1847), a member of the Congress of the Republic of Texas. The County is located in the northeast area of the state.[1]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Van Zandt County Courthouse
121 East Dallas Street Room 202
Canton, TX 75103
Phone: 903.567.6503 
Phone: 903-567-7555
Fax: 903-567-6722

County Clerk has birth and death records 1903,
marriage, land, probate and court records from
1848 and military discharge records from 1918;
District Clerk has divorce records from 1848[2]

County Clerk

121 E. Dallas Rm 202
Canton 75103
Phone: 903-567-6503
Fax: 903-567-6722

District Clerk

121 E. Dallas Street Room 302
Canton 75103
Phone: 903-567-6576
Fax: 903-567-1283

Sabine Lake (also known as Jordan's Saline) served as the Van Zandt County's first county seat from 1848-1850. The first courthouse was a crude log building. In 1850 the county seat was moved to Canton, where it has remained. Courthouses were built in Canton in 1850 and 1857. In 1896 a three-story courthouse with a bell tower was built. The current courthouse opened in 1939.

Van Zandt County Government website

Val Zandt County, Texas Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1903 1848 1903 1848 1848 1848 1829
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1903.
General compliance by the 1930s.

History[edit | edit source]

1822, 1839, 1845-- Cherokees occupied the area under a grant from Mexico in 1822 and were removed in 1839. The first post office, grist mill and saw mill were set up in 1845. During the Civil War the county was popularly known as the "Free State of Van Zandt."

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1848--Van Zandt County was created 20 March 1848 from Henderson County.

  • County seat: Canton [4]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

1850-- Wood county was created out of Van Zandt County.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

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

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

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Henderson  • Hunt  • Kaufman  • Rains  • Smith  • Wood

Resources[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 Interment
Names in Stone FamilySearch Places
See Texas Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 1,348
1860 3,777 180.2%
1870 6,494 71.9%
1880 12,619 94.3%
1890 16,225 28.6%
1900 25,481 57.0%
1910 25,651 0.7%
1920 30,784 20.0%
1930 32,315 5.0%
1940 31,155 −3.6%
1950 22,593 −27.5%
1960 19,091 −15.5%
1970 22,155 16.0%
1980 31,426 41.8%
1990 37,944 20.7%
2000 48,140 26.9%
2010 52,579 9.2%
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]

  • Publication -Divorce Records of Van Zandt County, 1848-1920 ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
  • Van Zandt Co. Court Minutes, Vol. A & B 1848-1871 ~ Elvis Allen
  • "Desperate Characters of Van Zandt County" ~ Cheryl Vaughan
  • Reconstruction Records of Van Zandt County, 1867-1874: Voters Registration List 1867-1869, Occupation Taxes 1867-1874 & Poll Taxes for 1872

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 Van Zandt 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.

  • Some History of Van Zandt County, 1919; reprinted, 1977, by Wentworth Manning. Digital book online from the Portal to Texas History.
  • A History of Van Zandt County, 1976 by Margaret Elizabeth Hall.
  • History of Van Zandt County, 1950, by William Samuel Mills.
  • History of Van Zandt County, 1984, by the Van Zandt County History Book Committee.
  • Historical Places in Van Zandt County Many Van Zandt County historical sites and research helps on Bobby Pearce's "Field Guide to Historical Sites in Van Zandt County".
  • Van Zandt County History from the Handbook of Texas Online.
  • Van Zandt County Histories and Biographies, Vol. I ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
  • Van Zandt County Histories and Biographies, Vol. II ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
  • "Daddy Said" ~ Elvis Allen

Maps[edit | edit source]

Hunt CountyRains CountyWood CountySmith CountyHenderson CountyKaufman CountyTX VAN ZANDT.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]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Van Zandt 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

School[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]
Death[edit | edit source]

Online Death Indexes and Records '

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
PO Box 716
Canton 75103

Early Van Zandt County Doctors and Medical Society Minutes and read the minutes from the Medical Society's meetings of the early 1900s.

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]

  • TXGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the county
  • Van Zandt County Genealogical Society: In addition to Society information, this site contains thousands of records and photographs.
  • FamilySearch Catalog — The catalog is genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) This catalog is different than the indexed Historical Records.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Van Zandt, Texas" in ",_Texas. accessed 11/27/2019
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Van Zandt County, Texas. Page 675 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Van Zandt 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, "Van Zandt County, Texas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Texas, Last accessed 29 August 2019.