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Galveston County, Texas Genealogy

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


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Galveston County, Texas
Map
Map of Texas highlighting Galveston County
Location in the state of Texas
Map of the U.S. highlighting Texas
Location of Texas in the U.S.
Facts
Founded May 15, 1838
County Seat Galveston
Courthouse
TexasGalvestonCourthouse.jpg
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County Information[edit | edit source]


County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Galveston County Courthouse
722 Moody
Galveston, TX 77550
Phone: 409.766.2210


County Clerk has birth and death records,
Clerk has birth and death records 1903 -1910
and 1941-1951, marriage, probate and land
records from 1838 and court records from 1875[1]

County Clerk

P.O. Box 17253
Galveston 77552
Phone:409-766-2200


District Clerk

P.O. Box 17250
Galveston 77552
Phone: 409-766-2292

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1903 1838 1903 1875 1838 1838 1829
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1903. General compliance by the 1930s.


History[edit | edit source]

Galveston Island was the temporary seat of government of the Republic of Texas during the Texas Revolution.

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1838--Galveston County was created 15 May 1838 from Brazoria and Liberty Counties.

  • County seat: Galveston [3]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

See an interactive map of Galveston County border changes.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

Galveston is a very low-lying area in Texas, the county seat being largely on an island, and thus it is vulnerable to weather disasters, mainly being hurricanes, and occasionally, tornadoes.

In September 1900, Galveston suffered what is to this day the worst United States hurricane disaster in terms of loss of life. That storm, known as the Galveston Hurricane, killed over 6,000 people. The hurricane also for all practical purposes swept the island clean, although some structures did survive.

Therefore, unless the record or a duplicate copy or other item that recorded the same data was moved to an inland area prior to September 1900, it is likely the record was destroyed in the hurricane. One should check in nearby counties for any such replications of any records from the Galveston area prior to 1900, such as neighboring counties, regional offices of churches, and other similar repositories, for records from this county. Galveston county courthouse records were spared from destruction as they were kept in a vault that did survive.

Since 1900, a seawall was built along the outward facing shore, and subsequent hurricanes, including Ike in 2008, did somewhat less damage as the seawall for the most part has kept the storm surge produced by any hurricane from over-washing the island by and large. In fact, one can drive along the seawall itself which will give any visitor an idea of just how serious the 1900 disaster really was.

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:[4]

Cities
Villages
Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places

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

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Brazoria  • Chambers  • Harris

Resources[edit | edit source]

African American[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 Epodunk
Names in Stone
See Texas Cemeteries for more information.

Additional Cemetery Sources

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
18504,529
18608,22981.7%
187015,29085.8%
188024,12157.8%
189031,47630.5%
190044,11640.2%
191044,4790.8%
192053,15019.5%
193064,40121.2%
194081,17326.0%
1950113,06639.3%
1960140,36424.1%
1970169,81221.0%
1980195,94015.4%
1990217,39911.0%
2000250,15815.1%
2010291,30916.5%

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.


Lutheran

  • Records of the American Lutheran Church, Galveston County, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

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.


  • Original Land Owners Of Texas  ~  Galveston County  ~  TXGenWeb
  • Lot and Block Book of Texas City, Galveston County, 1902-1911: showing names of property owners, dimensions, lot numbers, block numbers, and street number of each block. Read the book online at the Portal to Texas History.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Galveston 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]

Harris CountyChambers CountyBrazoria CountyTX GALVESTON.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military[edit | edit source]

Mexican-American War[edit | edit source]
Civil War[edit | edit source]
Civil War Battles[edit | edit source]

The following Civil War battles were fought in Galveston County:

  • Map showing Civil War battles in Texas.
World War I[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Galveston 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
  • Newspaperarchive.com ($) has historical newspapers available on-line. Their database has Galveston newspapers from the early 1800's that covered local news on Galveston County residents as well as residents from surrounding counties.

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Probate[edit | edit source]

Probate records of Texas 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 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.

1846-1910 Texas County Tax Rolls lists FHL films with county tax lists. The lists vary by county and year. Most records are between the years of 1846 - 1910.

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. You can also order them online through a third party company.

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]
Divorce[edit | edit source]


Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

East End Historical Association
PO Box 2424
Galveston, TX 77550
Website

Galveston County Genealogical Society
PO Box 1141
Galveston 77550
Website

Dickinson Public Library
1837 Hwy 517 E
Dickinson, TX 77539
Telephone Number: 281-534-3812


Friendswood Public Library
416 S Friendswood Dr
Friendswood, TX 77546
Telephone Number: 281-482-7135
Website


Rosenberg Library
2310 Sealy Ave
Galveston, TX 77550
Telephone Number: 409-763-8854
Website


Genevieve Miller Hitchcock Public Library
8005 Barry Ave
Hitchcock, TX 77563
Telephone Number: 409-986-7814
Website


La Marque Public Library
1011 Bayou Rd
La Marque, TX 77568
Telephone Number: 409-938-9270
Website


Helen Hall Library
100 W Walker St
League City, TX 77573
Telephone Number: (81-554-1111
Website


Mae S Bruce Library
13302 6th St
Santa Fe, TX 77510
Telephone Number: 409-925-5540
Website


Moore Memorial Public Library
1701 9th Ave N
Texas City, TX 77590
Telephone Number: 409-643-5970
Website

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family history centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

505 Deseret Dr
Friendswood, Galveston, Texas, United States
Phone: 281-996-9346
Hours: T 10am-2pm & 6pm-9pm; Th 10am-2pm; F 11am-3pm; Sat (2nd) 11am-3pm.
Closed: Thanksgiving week, two weeks at christmas

3300 77th St
Galveston, Galveston, Texas, United States
Phone: 409-744-7938
Hours: T, Sat by appt; W 7pm-9pm

4655 S Shore Blvd
League City, Galveston, Texas, United States
Phone: 281-535-3034
Hours: T-Th 7pm-9pm; Sat 10am-12pm

  • Society Hill  ~  Links and addresses to Texas genealogical and historical societies

Websites[edit | edit source]

  • Galveston County Archives  ~  USGenWeb Archives Project
  • Galveston 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]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Galveston County, Texas. Page 664 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Galveston 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.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Galveston County, Texas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galveston_County,_Texas, accessed 9 April 2019.
  5. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 9 August, 2012)
  6. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 9 August, 2012)