Washoe County, Nevada Genealogy

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United States
Washoe County

Guide to Washoe County, Nevada ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Information


The county was named after the Washoe people who originally inhabited the area.[1] It is located in the northwest area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Washoe County Courthouse
75 Court Street
PO Box 11130
Reno, NV 89520
Phone: 775.328.3260
Washoe County Website

County Health Department has birth, death and burial records from 1900.
County Clerk has divorce, probate, court and naturalization records from 1862.
County Recorder has land records from 1862 and marriage records from 1871.[3]

Washoe County, Nevada Record Dates

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1900 1871 1900 1862 1862 1862 1850
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1911. General compliance year is unknown.

Record Loss

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

Boundary Changes

Populated Places

The following are locations in the county:[6]

Unincorporated communites
  • Anderson
  • Antelope Valley
  • Arrowcreek
  • Bartley Ranch
  • Beulah
  • Border Town
  • Bronco
  • Buffalo Ranch
  • Caughlin Ranch
  • Copperfield
  • Damonte Ranch
  • Deep Hole
  • Diessner
  • Dodge
  • Flanigan
  • Franktown
  • Galena
  • Glendale
  • Grand View Terrace
  • Heinz
  • Hidden Valley
  • Hot Springs
  • Huffaker
  • Jumbo
  • Lawton
  • Mayberry-Highland Park
  • McCarran (partly in Storey County)
  • Mira Loma
  • Montreux
  • Mustang
  • New Washoe City
  • Northeast Reno
  • Northwest Reno
  • Olinghouse
  • Palomino Valley
  • Panther Valley
  • Patrick
Census-designated places

County Facts
County seat: Reno
Organized: November 25, 1861
Parent County(s): Original county[7]
Neighboring Counties
Carson City (Independent City)  • Humboldt  • Pershing  • Churchill  • Storey  • Placer  • Nevada  • Sierra  • Lassen  • Modoc
See county maps
Location Map
Map Washoe County NV.png

History Timeline


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Washoe County, Nevada online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Nevada Cemeteries for more information

Census Records

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1870 3,091
1880 5,664 83.2%
1890 6,437 13.6%
1900 9,141 42.0%
1910 17,434 90.7%
1920 18,627 6.8%
1930 27,158 45.8%
1940 32,476 19.6%
1950 50,205 54.6%
1960 84,743 68.8%
1970 121,068 42.9%
1980 193,623 59.9%
1990 254,667 31.5%
2000 339,486 33.3%
2010 421,407 24.1%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

The first enumeration for Nevada before it was a state in 1864, was in the 1850 Census in both New Mexico and Utah Territories, but the area had not been divided into counties. Those living there may be in the Utah 1851 Census. For 1860, Nevada was again enumerated in New Mexico and Utah Territories. [8] A partial state census exists for Nevada in 1862 and 1863 and a full state census exists for 1875. [9] See links listed below.

State and Territory Census Records

Federal Census Records

Federal Censuses were taken for the state of Nevada starting in 1870. Although, those living in south-eastern Nevada in 1870 may be enumerated in Utah or Arizona because of disputed boundaries with Nevada.[10] For links to Federal Census indexes, see Nevada Census.

Church Records

Most church records are held by individual churches. For contact information, check a phone directory, such as SearchBug or Dex Knows. Some denominations are gathering their records into a central repository. For more information about these major repositories, see Nevada Church Records.

Church records are usually found in town records rather than on the county level. Search the FamilySearch Catalog - Place Search for the appropriate town in Washoe County.

LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Reno
  • Sparks

Court Records

The 2nd Judicial District Court, State of Nevada, Washoe County, handles divorce and probate as well as other court matters.


Online Directories

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes



Land and Property Records

The county recorder's office keeps land records once the land was transferred to private ownership. Abstracts and indexes for these records are generally available at the county courthouse.

In the FamilySearch Catalog, land records for Nevada are listed in the Place Search under: NEVADA, Washoe – LAND AND PROPERTY

The Washoe County Recorder handles land records.

The grantor/grantee index on this website allows searches of public records from 19 November 1991 to the present. Available images are "unofficial" copies only at $1.00 per page.

For official copies or questions about documents prior to 19 November 1991, call the Washoe County Recorder's office at 775-328-3660 or e-mail record@mail.co.washoe.nv.us

Online Land Records

For more information see Nevada Land and Property

Local Histories

County histories may include biographies of early settlers and residents, church and school information, and local military regiments at the time of publication.

  • Church and Cemetery Records of Washoe County, Nevada. c1971. By Trinity Episcopal Church (Reno, Nevada). Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Online at: At various libraries(WorldCat).
  • Excerpts from Memories of George E. Peckham: Printed by Nevada Historical Society Papers, 1917-1920. c1964. By Nona Parkin. N.p: n.p. At various libraries(WorldCat).
  • General History and Resources of Washoe County, Nevada. c1888. By N. A. Hummel. Reno, Nevada : Evening Gazette Job Print. At various libraries(WorldCat).
  • Granite Creek: A Nevada Stage Station. By Alan H. Patera. Journal Article: Western places : a chronicle of western settlement - v. 2 (1993) - v. 2, no. 1 (Mar. 1993). At various libraries(WorldCat).
  • Hunter's Station, Nevada. By Alan H. Patera. Journal Article: Western places : a chronicle of western settlement - v. 3 (1994-1995) - v. 3, no. 1 (spring 1994). At various libraries(WorldCat).
  • Reno, Hub of the Washoe County: An Illustrated History. c1984. By William D. Rowley. Woodland Hills, California : University of Nevada Reno. At various libraries(WorldCat).
  • The Saga of the Grosch Brothers. By Louis J. Heizmann. Journal Article: Historical review of Berks County - v. 18 (1952) - v. 18, no. 4 (July/Sept. 1953).
  • Sagebrush Chronicles [of] Washoe County. c1971. By David Basso. Reno, Nevada : n.p. At various libraries(WorldCat).

Online County Histories

Google Books has some books about the history and people in Washoe County, Nevada. Try various search terms, including the names of people. Books designated with "Full view" can be read online.

Search FamilySearch Catalog Place Search for Washoe County, Nevada History. See if films are available at a local family history center. Public libraries may have copies of books or order through Interlibrary Loan.

Maps and Gazetteers

Humboldt CountyPershing CountyChurchill CountyLyon CountyStorey CountyNV WASHOE.jpg
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Washoe County, Nevada


Early migration routes to and from Washoe County, Nevada Genealogy for emigrant settlers included:[11][12]

Military Records

Online Collections

These collections are unique to Nevada. You will find nationwide databases for military records on U.S. Military Online Genealogy Records and Nevada Military Records.

Civil War

World War I

World War II

Korea War

Vietnam War

Other Conflicts

For further information see Nevada Military Records.

Naturalization and Citizenship

Online Naturalization Records


For more information, see Nevada Newspapers.

  • Ancestry.com ($) has digital copies of several Reno Nevada newspapers.
  • Genealogy.Bank.com ($) also has digital newspapers for Nevada.
  • NewspaperArchive.com ($) has a collection of digitized Reno newspapers going back to 1870 online. This database is sometimes free at libraries.

Nevada Newspapers Online

Nevada Newspaper Catalogs

  • U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present on Chronicling America - contains a list of all known newspapers and the dates they cover; once you locate a newspaper name, contact the local library to see if they have copies of the newspaper


Other Records


Probate Records

Probate records may include, wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distributions. They may include the decedent’s date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, etc. See Nevada Probate Records for additional information.

School Records

Tax Records

Nevada tax records complement land records and can be used to supplement the years between censuses. There may be gaps of several years in the tax records. Most tax records can be obtained from the county treasurer or assessor. For more information, see the wiki page Nevada Taxation. The Family History Library does not have copies of Nevada tax records (as of June 2013).

Vital Records

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents.

A copy or an extract of most Nevada original records can be purchased from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred. See also Nevada Vital Records. For information about restrictions and costs for certificates, see the CDC Where to Write for Vital Records site.





Research Facilities


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.


Washoe County Public Libraries
301 South Center Street, Reno, NV 89501
Telephone: 775-327-8300 or 775-327-8341



Division of Museums and History/ Nevada Historical Society
1650 North Virginia Street
Reno, NV 89503
Telephone: 775-688-1190

Wellington Historical Society
P. O. Box 36
Wellington, NV 89444

Nevada State Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 20666
Reno, NV 89515-0666
4751 Neil Road
Reno, NV

Nevada Society of the Order of Founders and Patriots of America
1839 Deep Creek Dr
Sparks, NV 89434-1762
Telephone: 775-626-2547

Sparks Heritage Society
814 Victorian Ave.
Sparks, NV 89431

Clark County Nevada Genealogy Society
PO Box 1929
Las Vegas, NV 89125-1929

Nevada Historical Society
1650 North Virginia Street
Reno, NV 89503
Telephone: 775-688-1190
Fax: 775-688-2917

Tri-State Genealogical Society
PO Box 21902
Bullhead City, AZ 86439

Nevada Genealogy Network


Research Guides


  1. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Washoe County, Nevada Genealogy and History”, http://genealogytrails.com/nev/washoe/ accessed 3/28/2017.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Washoe County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washoe_County,_Nevada 3/28/2017.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Washoe County, Oregon page 443, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Washoe County, Nevada. Page 442. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Washoe County, Nevada," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washoe_County%2C_Nevada accessed 15 March 2017.
  7. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  8. William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses (Bountiful, UT: American Genealogical Lending Library, 1985), page 211.
  9. ’'Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 437. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ‘’Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources,’’ 3rd ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 2004), 422. Free online version; FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004; WorldCat entry.
  10. William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses (Bountiful, UT: American Genealogical Lending Library, 1985), page 212.
  11. National Park Service, "California Trail" (map) in California National Historic Trail at http://www.nps.gov/cali/planyourvisit/upload/CALImap1-web.pdf (accessed 5 August 2011).
  12. Wikipedia contributors, "California Trail" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Trail (accessed 5 August 2012).
  13. Wikipedia contributors, "Central Overland Route" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Overland_Route (accessed 4 August 2011).
  14. Wikipedia contributors, "First Transcontinental Railroad" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Transcontinental_Railroad (accessed 2 August 2011).