Zapata County, Texas Genealogy
Guide to Zapata County Texas ancestry, family history, and genealogy research page. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
|Zapata County, Texas|
Location in the state of Texas, United States Genealogy
Location of Texas in the U.S.
|Founded||January 22, 1858|
County Information[edit | edit source]
Description[edit | edit source]
The County was named for Colonel Jose Antonio de Zapata, a rancher in the area who rebelled against Mexico. The County is located in the south-central area of the state. 
County Courthouse[edit | edit source]
Zapata County has had four courthouses. The first was built in 1874, the second in 1901, the third in 1953. The current courthouse was completed in 2005.
Zapata County Courthouse
- County Clerk : birth records 1870s-1930s, marriage and land records from 1800s, probate and court records from 1900s
- District Clerk : divorce records
- Justice of Peace : births from 1930s, deaths 
200 E. 7th Ave. Ste. 138
Zapata, TX 78076
200 E. 7th Ave. Ste. 119
Zapata, TX 78076
Justice of the Peace
As of 2019 there are four different precincts for the Justice of the Peace. A list can be found on their website.
Zapata County, Texas Record Dates[edit | edit source]
General compliance by the 1930s.
History[edit | edit source]
1750 and 1848-- Spanish settlers arrived in 1750. The Texas claim to this land was assured under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848.
Parent County[edit | edit source]
- County seat: Zapata 
Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]
Record Loss[edit | edit source]
1863--Most, if not all, county records were destroyed during military action in 1863.
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:
Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]
Resources[edit | edit source]
African American[edit | edit source]
- 1865 - 1870 Texas, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records, 1865-1870 (images) - FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection
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|
|BillionGraves (name)||Cemeteries of TX|
|GenWeb Archives||Texas Cemeteries|
|Names in Stone|
|See Texas Cemeteries for more information.|
Additional Cemetery Sources
- Texas Historic Cemeteries ~ Partial indexes to historic cemeteries
- African American Cemeteries Online ~ Partial index/transcriptions of African American cemeteries
- Texas Escapes Listing of Texas cemeteries with transcriptions and lots of pictures.
Census[edit | edit 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.
Local Histories[edit | edit source]
Local histories are available for Zapata 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.
- Texas' Last Frontier: A Brief History of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, 1917, by Frank Cushman Pierce.
- Zapata County Roots Revisited, 1990 by Jean Y. Fish.
- Zapata County Centennial Celebration, 1858–1958, published in 1958, by the Zapata County Centennial Commission.
- Falcon Dam and the Lost Towns of Zapata, 1971 by Patsy Jeanne Byfield.
- Zapata County History from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Texas Museums ~ List of all museums in Texas ~ Hidden Ancestors
Maps[edit | edit source]
- Zapata County Maps
- Historical Maps ~ From the Republic to the Turn of the Century ~ Hidden Ancestors
- Texas Counties Map. Click on the county to go to the Texas Genweb site
- FamilySearch Places: Map of cities and towns in this county - How to Use FS Places
Military[edit | edit source]
- 1838 - 1900 - Texas Muster Roll Index Cards 1838-1900 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- Military Resources ~ Links to research Civil War to Operation Enduring Freedom ~ Hidden Ancestors
- Fallen Heroes ~ Partial Index of casualties from Civil War to Operation Enduring Freedom ~ Hidden Ancestors
- Honoring Our Veterans ~ Partial index of veterans from Civil War to Operation Enduring Freedom ~ Hidden Ancestors
Mexican-American War[edit | edit source]
- 1845 - 1848 - US American Volunteer Soldiers Mexican War 1845-1848 at Ancestry.com — index $
Civil War[edit | edit source]
- 1861 - 1865 - Texas, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index
- 1861 - 1865 - Texas, Civil War Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index
- Confederate Pension Applications ~ Texas State Library and Archives Commission
- 1890 Union Veteran Schedule for Zapata County
World War I[edit | edit source]
Newspapers[edit | edit source]
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Zapata County, Texas Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:
- TX Newspaper Abstracts (For instructions see WorldCat Online Catalog).
- Home Town News - Texas Newspaper Index with links
- Newslink - Texas Newspaper List (sorted by publication frequency)
- The Olden Times - Historic Texas News Online
- Texas Digital Newspaper Program at The Portal to Texas History
Obituaries[edit | edit source]
- Obituary Resources ~ Links to research and locate obituaries ~ Hidden Ancestors
- USGenWeb Archives Obituary Project ~ Texas
- Afrigeneas ~ African American death notices, obituaries and funeral programs compiled by users from current newspapers and historical sources
- Obituary Depot ~ Texas Newspaper Citations
- Obituary Project ~ Hidden Ancestors
- Obituary Daily Times ~ Citations to over 15,000,000 obituaries including interactive search function
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
- 1800 – 1990 Texas Probate Records at FamilySearch — images
- 1800 – 2000 Texas Wills and Probate Records at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- Search Tax, Criminal, Land and Wills Records ~ Ancestry.com (subscription)
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. 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.
- 1846-1910 Texas, County Tax Rolls 1846-1910 at findmypast ($) — index and images
Vital Records[edit | edit source]
Certified birth and death certificates or birth and death verifications can be ordered online or by mail at the Texas Vital Records State Department of Health. Copies can also be obtained from the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred and are often less expensive.
See Texas Vital Records for more information about Vital records in Texas.
Birth[edit | edit source]
Online Birth Indexes and Records
- 1840 - 1981 Texas Births and Christenings, 1840-1981 at FamilySearch.org — index - How to Use this Collection
- 1903 - 1935 Texas Birth Certificates, 1903-1935 (images and index) - FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection
- 1903 - 1997 Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997 (index only) - FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection
- 1926-1995 Texas Births, 1926 - 1995 at MyHeritage ($) — index
Marriage[edit | edit source]
Online Marriage Indexes and Records
- 1802-2010 Texas, United States Marriages at Findmypast — index $
- 1814-1909 and 1966-2011 Texas Marriage Collection 1814-1909 and 1966-2011 at Ancestry.com — index $
- 1837-1965 Texas, County Marriage Records, 1837-1965 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1837-1973 Texas, Marriages, 1837-1973 at FamilySearch — index
- 1837-1977 Texas, County Marriage Index, 1837-1977 at FamilySearch — index
- 1837-1977 Texas Select County Marriage Index 1837-1977 at Ancestry.com — index $
- 1966-2005 Texas Marriage Records 1966 - 2005 - Hidden Ancestors
- 1966 - 2010 Texas Marriages, 1966-2010 - FamilySearch record collection - How to Use this Collection
- 1966-2016 Texas Marriages and Divorces at MyHeritage ($) — index
Death[edit | edit source]
Online Death Indexes and Records
- 1890-1976 Texas Death Records 1890 – 1976 [with images]
Name index and images of statewide death certificates, 1890-1976. The name index has been created by Family Search and is tied to images of the Texas death certificates. Few certificates are available prior to 1903.
- 1903-1973 Texas Deaths and Burials 1903-1973 at FamilySearch.org — index
- 1903-1982 Texas Death Certificates 1903-1982 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1903 - 2000 Texas Death Index, 1903-2000 (index) - FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection
- 1964-1998 Texas Death Index 1964 to 1998 Texas Death Index, 1964-1998 - FamilySearch Historical Records Name index to Texas Statewide Death Certificates or four million people who have died since 1964.
- 1977-1986 Texas Deaths 1977-1986 at FamilySearch.org — index
Divorce[edit | edit source]
- 1968-2005 Texas Divorce Records 1968 - 2005 - Hidden Ancestors
- 1968-2010 Texas Divorce Index 1968-2010 at FamilySearch.org — index
- 1968-2011 Texas Divorces 1968-2011 at Ancestry.com — index $
- 1850-1930 USGenWeb Census Project Texas 1850 - 1930
- 1966-2016 Texas Marriages and Divorces at MyHeritage ($) — index
Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]
Southwest Texas Genealogical Society
PO Box 295
[Southwest Texas Genealogical Society Website]
Zapata County Historical Commission
Zapata, TX 78076
Links and addresses to Texas genealogical and historical societies
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]
- Zapata County TXGenWeb
- TXGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the county.
- USGenWeb Texas Archives Vital statistics, maps, obituaries, Bible records, tombstone transcriptions and many other records.
- 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]
- Wikipedia contributors, "Zapata, Texas" in "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zapata_County,_Texas. accessed 11/27/2019
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Zapata County, Texas. Page 676 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Zapata 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.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- Wikipedia contributors, "Zapata County, Texas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zapata_County,_Texas, Last accessed 30 August 2019.