Santa Cruz County, Arizona Genealogy
Guide to Santa Cruz County, Arizona ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and military records.
|Santa Cruz County, Arizona|
Location in the state of Arizona
Location of Arizona in the U.S.
|Founded||March 15, 1899|
|Address|| 2150 N Congress Dr.|
Nogales, AZ 85621
- 1 County Information
- 2 County Courthouse
- 3 History
- 4 Places/Localities
- 5 Resources
- 6 Societies and Libraries
- 7 Family History Centers
- 8 Websites
- 9 References
Santa Cruz County, Arizona Record Dates
Santa Cruz County Courthouse
2150 North Congress Drive
P O Box 1265
Nogales, AZ 85628-1265
Clerk Superior Court has marriage,
divorce, probate and Court Records from 1899,
military records 1888-1085
and adoption records from 1940 
The County was named in the late 17th century by Father Kino. Santa Cruz means "holy cross" in Spanish. The County has Nogales as its seat and the County was created March 15, 1899. The County is located in the south central area of the state.
Santa Cruz County lies directly south of Tucson. The town of Nogales is the county seat. Nogales is also a major border crossing between the United States and Mexico, and is part of a 'twin border city' situation. The Santa Cruz river runs north out of Mexico towards Tucson.
The historic Catholic mission near Tubac on I-19 was significant in the history of the area. However, any records that were produced when this was an active parish were not kept there, but may be in the Diocese in Tucson. Other missions are also nearby, mainly San Xavier which is in Pima County closer to Tucson.
- 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 Santa Cruz 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 Santa Cruz 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 bought the Gadsden Purchase from Mexico. It contained land south of the Gila River in present day Arizona, including all of present day Santa Cruz 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 Santa Cruz 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 Santa Cruz 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
- 10 Nov 1864 - Arizona created Pima County. This county named for the Pima Indians. Look for records in Pima County.
See 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.
For animated maps illustrating Arizona county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Arizona County Boundary Maps" (1852-1993) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
|Agua Linda||Carmen||Kino Springs||Otero||Sotos Crossing (hist.)|
|Alto||Casa Piedra||Lochiel||Partridge (hist.)||Trench Camp|
|Calabasas||Hacienda Los Encino||Old Glory||Ruby||Washington Camp|
The following web sites may have additional information on Santa Cruz County cemeteries.
- Interment.net Arizona cemetery records by County.
For tips on accessing Santa Cruz County, Arizona Genealogy census records online, see: Arizona Census.
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 general information about Arizona denominations, view the Arizona Church Records wiki page. LDS Ward and Branch Records
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.
Local histories are available for Santa Cruz 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.
- 1861 - 1865 - Arizona Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index
Finding More Arizona Newspapers
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Santa Cruz County, Arizona Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:
From 1850 to 1864 during the territorial period, probate records of Arizona were kept by the probate courts of New Mexico. Then until 1912, the records were handled by county probate courts. Since then probate 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.
The FamilySearch Catalog lists films of probate records. To find the records for this county, use the Subjects Search for Arizona, Santa Cruz - Probate records.
Online Probate Records
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 , the county clerk's office of the county where the event occurred or order electronically online.
Online Birth Indexes and Records
Online Marriage Indexes and Records
- Many early marriages are listed on the Western States Marriage Index.
- The Tumacacori National Historical Park has created a website with searchable Spanish Mission Records as well as an annotated bibliography of the Tohono O'odham (Papago Indians). Also included are transcribed marriage records from the Cathedral of Culiacan in Spanish:
- 1833-1949 - Arizona, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
- 1864-1982 - Arizona Marriage Collection 1864-1982 at Ancestry.com — index $
- 1871-1964 - Arizona, County Marriages, 1871–1964 at FamilySearch.org — index and browse images, incomplete
- 1888-1908 - Arizona Select Marriages 1888-1908 at Ancestry.com — index $
Online Death Indexes and Records
- 1910-1911 and 1933-1994 - Arizona Select Deaths and Burials 1910-1911 and 1933-1994;at Ancestry.com — index $
Societies and Libraries
Pimeria Alta Historical Society
136 North Grand Ave.
Nogales, AZ 85621
PO Box 2281
Nogales, AZ 85628
Hours 10-4 Thurs.-Sat
Family History Centers
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. Introduction to Family History Centers
621 W Green Pl
Nogales, Santa Cruz, Arizona, United States
This is not a mailing address. Due to limited staff, Family History Centers are unable to respond to mail inquiries.
- Santa Cruz County AZGenWeb
- Santa Cruz County, AZ History, Records, Facts and Genealogy (Genealogy Inc)
- USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
- FamilySearch Catalog
- Santa Cruz County, Arizona Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- Alice Eichholz, Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, Revised ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992), 13-28. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 1992
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Santa Cruz County, Arizona p. 56. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- Wikipedia contributors, "Santa Cruz, Arizona," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Cruz_County,_Arizona 7/10/2017.
- 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
- Ariz. Terr. Laws 1899, 20th assy./ pp. 49-57
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).