Churchill County, Nevada Genealogy
Guide to Churchill County, Nevada ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
The county was named Nevada which is a Spanish word meaning snow-capped. It's county seat is Carson City and was founded March 2, 1861. It is located in the North-western area of the state. Churchill County was named for Fort Churchill (which today is actually in Lyon County), which had been named for General Sylvester Churchill, a Mexican-American War hero who was Inspector General of the U.S. Army in 1861. Churchill County was not organized until 1864, and its county seats were Bucklands (1861-64) which is now in Lyon County, La Plata (1864-68), Stillwater (1868-1904) and Fallon (1904-present). In the nineteenth century there were several attempts to eliminate Churchill County because of its small population, but Assemblyman Lemuel Allen was able to stop it on all occasions including convincing the Governor to veto the bill after it had been passed by both houses in 1875.
Churchill County Courthouse
Churchill 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.
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
The following are locations in the county:
- Churchill County records FHL
Business, Commerce, and Occupations
The following web site has additional information on Churchill county cemeteries.
- Interment.net Nevada cemetery records by county.
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.  A partial state census exists for Nevada in 1862 and 1863 and a full state census exists for 1875.  See links listed below.
State and Territory Census Records
- 1862 Territorial Census for Churchill County
- Early Nevada records: certificates of survey, Carson Valley, 1856; 1862 census of Churchill County; 1864 census of Nye County FHL
- Missourians in the 1870 census records of Churchill County, Nevada [and]... Douglas County, Nevada FHL
- 1850 - United States Census, 1850 at FamilySearch Historical Records — index and images; Nevada was included in both the 1850 New Mexico and Utah Territory Censuses.
- 1860 - United States Census, 1860 at FamilySearch Historical Records — index and images; Nevada was included in both the 1860 New Mexico and Utah Territory Censuses.
- 1860 - Nevada, Compiled Census Index, 1860-1910 at Ancestry - ($), index
- 1862-1863 - 1862-1863 Nevada Territory Tax List - Index
- 1875 - Nevada State Census, 1875 at Ancestry.com — ($), index
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. For links to Federal Census indexes, see Nevada Census.
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 of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Emigration and Immigration
Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups
- Churchill County records FHL
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, Churchill – LAND AND PROPERTY
Online Land Records
- Land Patent Search - index to federal patents and homesteads on the Bureau of Land Management website, some images available
- 1796 - 1907 - U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907 at Ancestry - index, info taken from Bureau of Land Management website
- 1861 - 1936 - U.S. Homestead Records 1861-1936 at Ancestry.com - ($), index and images
For more information see Nevada Land and Property
County histories may include biographies of early settlers and residents, church and school information, and local military regiments at the time of publication.
- Some Churchill County, Nevada, records, 1850-1900 : a researchers guide. c2002. By Barbara L. Hodges and Barbara A. Pargament. Fallon, Nevada : Barbara's Place for Genealogy. At various libraries(WorldCat).
- The Humboldt Range: 19th Century Mining Camps. c1995. By Alan H. Patera. Nd. N.p: n.p. At various libraries(WorldCat).
- Trails to Churchill County: Historical and Genealogical Society Quarterly. c1983-. By Churchill County Historical and Genealogical Society (Nevada). Fallon, Nevada : Churchill County Historical and Genealogical Society. At various libraries(WorldCat).
Maps and Gazetteers
- Interactive Formation Boundary Map of Nevada - shows boundary changes for Nevada Counties
- Historical Maps and Atlases of Nevada - maps and atlases of Nevada
Early migration routes to and from Churchill County, Nevada Genealogy for emigrant settlers included:
- California Trail 1844 to 1869 from western Missouri to northern California
- Truckee (River) Trail 1844 crossed the Forty Mile Desert to the Truckee River to follow it west past Reno, Nevada to Donner Pass to Emigrant Gap to Sutter's Fort (Sacramento, California). The exact route varied over the years, the most used being the Nevada City Road and Auburn Emigrant Road combination.
- Carson (River) Trail 1848 (aka Mormon Emigrant Trail) crossed the Forty Mile Desert past the west side of the Carson Sink to pick up the Carson River near Fallon, Nevada up to Hope Valley and Red Lake. The Devil's Ladder then climbed 700 feet (210 m) in half a mile so ropes, chains, and pulleys were required to lift the wagons. Carson Pass was followed by the relatively easy West Pass (Kirkwood, California) and then on to Pollock Pines, Placerville, and Sutter's Fort, California
- Central Pacific Railroad since 1869 from Ogden, Utah to Sacramento, California
- Central Overland Trail 1859-1869 from Salt Lake City, Utah to Carson City, Nevada through central Nevada on a route south of the Humboldt River]
- 1861-1865 - Nevada, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index
- 1863-1866 - Nevada Civil War Volunteers, 1863-1866 ($) at Ancestry — index
World War I
World War II
- Nevada Military Killed in Action in Korea
- U.S. Military Fatal Casualties of the Korean War for Nevada
- Nevada Military Killed in Action in Vietnam
- The Vietnam Veterans Memorial - Nevada
- Vietnam Conflict Casualty Lists - Nevada
For further information see Nevada Military Records.
Naturalization and Citizenship
Online Naturalization Records
For more information, see Nevada Newspapers.
- Churchill County records FHL
- NewspaperArchive.com ($) has a collection of digitized Reno newspapers going back to 1870. This database is sometimes free at libraries.
Nevada Newspapers Online
- GenealogyBank - ($), contains images of Nevada newspapers
- Newspaper Archive - ($), contains images of Nevada newspapers
- Chronicling America - contains images of some Nevada newspapers; searching tips
- Elephind - Free; search engine that retrieves newspaper images from other free newspaper websites
Nevada Newspaper Catalogs
- U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present on Chronicling America - contains a list of all known newspapers and the dates they cover; once you locate a newspaper name, contact the local library to see if they have copies of the newspaper
- In focus: annual journal of the Churchill County Museum Association FHL
- Trails to Churchill County: Historical and Genealogical Society quarterly FHL
Probate records may include, wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distributions. They may include the decedent’s date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, etc. See Nevada Probate Records for additional information.
Nevada tax records complement land records and can be used to supplement the years between censuses. There may be gaps of several years in the tax records. Most tax records can be obtained from the county treasurer or assessor. For more information, see the wiki page Nevada Taxation. The Family History Library does not have copies of Nevada tax records (as of June 2013).
A copy or an extract of most Nevada original records can be purchased from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred. See also Nevada Vital Records. For information about restrictions and costs for certificates, see the CDC Where to Write for Vital Records site.
- 1975 - 2012 Nevada Birth Index 1975-2012 at Ancestry ($)
- Birth records of Churchill County, Nevada FHL
- 1809 - 2011 Western States Marriage Index, 1809-2011 - Index, incomplete, list of counties included
- 1956 - 2005 Nevada Marriage Index 1956-2005 at Ancestry ($)
- Churchill County records FHL v. 3. Marriage records/notices:Churchill County marriage records 1903-1920 Marriage notices from newspapers 1894-1920
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.
Churchill County Library
553 S Maine St
Fallon, NV 89406
Churchill County Museum and Archives
1050 South Maine Street
Nevada State Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 20666
Reno, NV 89515-0666
Clark County Nevada Genealogy Society
PO Box 1929
Las Vegas, NV 89125-1929
Nevada Historical Society
1650 North Virginia Street
Reno, NV 89503
Tri-State Genealogical Society
ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA, NEVADA
PO Box 21902
Bullhead City, AZ 86439
- USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
- FamilySearch Catalog - The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection. Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records
- Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK)
- Nevada Genealogy Network
- Some Churchill County, Nevada, Records, 1850-1900: A Researchers guide FHL
- Genealogy Trails History Group, “Churchill County, Nevada Genealogy and History”, http://genealogytrails.com/nev/ accessed 3/27/2017.
- Wikipedia contributors, "Churchill County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churchill_County,_Nevada 3/27/2017.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Churchill County, Oregon page 442, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Churchill County, Nevada. Page 442. 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), 428.
- Wikipedia contributors, "Churchill County, Nevada," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churchill_County%2C_Nevada accessed 10 March 2017.
- William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses (Bountiful, UT: American Genealogical Lending Library, 1985), page 211.
- ’'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.
- William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses (Bountiful, UT: American Genealogical Lending Library, 1985), page 212.
- National Park Service, "California Trail" (map) in California National Historic Trail at http://www.nps.gov/cali/planyourvisit/upload/CALImap1-web.pdf (accessed 2 August 2011).
- Wikipedia contributors, "First Transcontinental Railroad" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Transcontinental_Railroad (accessed 2 August 2011).
- Wikipedia contributors, "Central Overland Route" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Overland_Route (accessed 4 August 2011).