Bell County, Texas Genealogy
Guide to Bell County Texas genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
- 1 County Courthouse
- 2 Quick History
- 3 Places/Localities
- 4 Resources
- 5 Web Sites
- 6 References
Bell County Courthouse
550 E 2nd Street PO Box 480
Belton, TX 76513
County Clerk has birth and death records from 1903,
marriage, probate and land records from 1850,
military records and school census; Clerk District Court
has divorce records from 1850, court and naturalization
Quick HistorySettled, abandoned and resettled several times due to Indian troubles.
The county was named for Peter H. Bell, (1812-1898). Peter Hansborough Bell, governor of Texas, was born on May 12, 1812, in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. He engaged in business in Petersburg until he left Virginia to fight for the independence of Texas.
1891--The treasurer's office of the Bell County Courthouse caught fire, March 15, 1891. Probably arson. No record loss. 
- Cemeteries of Bell County - transcriptions and photographs - USGenWeb Archives Project
- Bell County Cemeteries - transcriptions and photos - TXGenWeb
- Moffat Cemetery, Temple BillionGraves
- St. Joseph Cemetery, Burlington BillionGraves
- FindAGrave - transcriptions and photos - Bell County Cemeteries
- 1860 Bell County Census - USGenWeb Archives Project
- 1870 Bell County Census - USGenWeb Archives Project
- 1880 Bell County Census - USGenWeb Archives Project
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.
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 ====Local histories are available for Bell 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.
- Bell County Bibliography - TXGenWeb
- Bell County Photographs - TXGenWeb
- Surnames - TXGenWeb
- Historical Timeline - Wikipedia
- Belton 1881 Panoramic Map from the Amon Carter Museum.
- Bell County Maps
- Hometown Locator map
- Texas Counties Map. Click on the county to go to the Texas Genweb site
- Military in Bell County - USGenWeb Archives Project
- Bell County Rangers and Confederate Vet Muster List - USGenWeb Archives Project
- Confederate Pension Applications - USGenWeb Archives Project
- Confederate Indigent Families - USGenWeb Archives Project
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Bell County, Texas Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:
- TX Newspaper Abstracts (For instructions see WorldCat Online Catalog).
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.
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.
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.
See Texas Vital Records for more information about Vital records in Texas.
- Texas Death Index 1964 to 1998 [no images] Name index to Texas Statewide Death Certificates or four million people who have died since 1964.
- Texas Death Records 1890 – 1976 [with images]
Name index and images of statewide death certificates, 1890-1976. The name index has been created by FamilySearch and is tied to images of the Texas death certificates. Few certificates are available prior to 1903
== Societies and Libraries == ==== Family History Centers
==== Lena Armstrong Public Library (City of Belton)
301 E. 1st Avenue
Belton, Texas 76513 [ MAP ]
(254) 933-5831 fax Harker Heights Public Library
400 Indian Trail
Harker Heights, TX 76548 [ MAP ]
254-953-5491 Killeen Family History Library
(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
1410 S 2nd St
Killeen, Bell, TX 76541 [ MAP ]
Killeen Public Library
205 E. Church Ave
Killeen, Texas 76541 [ MAP ]
Temple Public Library
100 West Adams Ave
Temple TX 76501 [ MAP ]
Circulation Desk: (254) 298-5556
Reference Desk: (254) 298-5702 Temple College
Hubert M. Dawson Library
2600 South First Street
Temple, Texas 76504 [ MAP ]
or (800)460-4636 ext 8426 (Texas only) University of Mary Hardin Baylor
Townsend Memorial Library
900 College St
Belton, TX 76513 [ MAP ]
(254) 295-4637 *Introduction to LDS Family History Centers
Bell County Historical Commission
PO Box 712
Belton TX 76513-0712
Office is in the restored Bell County Courthouse (Belton)
Central Texas Genealogical Society
West Waco Library and Genealogy Center
5301 Bosque Blvd Suite 275
Waco, Texas 76710 [ MAP ]
East Bell County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 1493
Temple, TX 76503
Meeting Location: Temple Public Library (McLane Room)
Salado Historical Society
Salado Historical Society
PO Box 251
Salado, Texas, 76571
Sons of the American Revolution
Heart of Texas Chapter
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Major Robert M. White Camp #1250
Location: Cotton Patch Cafe, Temple Mall
- The Bell County TXGenWeb Project, a member of The TXGenWeb Project, an affiliate of The USGenWeb Project.
- The USGenWeb Archives Project for Bell County.
- The USGenWeb Archives Project for Bell County. (Backup site)
- FamilySearch.org Family History Library Catalog for Bell County.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Bell County, Texas. Page 659 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002. Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name "HBG" defined multiple times with different content
- GenDisasters.com Belton, TX Courthouse Fire, Mar 1891 http://www3.gendisasters.com/texas/7346/belton-tx-courthouse-fire-mar-1891