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Revision as of 19:50, 14 July 2014
Guide to Graham County Arizona genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
|Graham County, Arizona|
Location in the state of Arizona
Location of Arizona in the U.S.
|Founded||March 10, 1881|
|Address|| 800 West Main Street|
Safford, Arizona 85546
- 1 County Courthouse
- 2 Places/Localities
- 3 Resources
- 4 Societies and Libraries
- 5 Family History Centers
- 6 Websites
- 7 References
Graham County Courthouse
800 Main Street
Stafford, Az 85546-1414
- Clerk of Superior Court has marriage, probate, divorce and court records from 1881
- Naturalization Records 1907-1973
- County Recorder has land records 
- 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.
- 24 Aug 1821 - The Treaty of Cordoba was signed by Spain, which recognized Mexico's independence. The land in present day Arizona became part of Mexico. Land north of the Gila River was claimed by the State of Alta California and the State of New Mexico. Land south of the Gila River was in the State of Sonora. Look for records in the Spain and Mexico Archives.
- 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. The land in present day Graham County was split between the US and Mexico. Look for records in the National Archives and Records Administration, the Mexico Archives and the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives.
- 9 Jan 1852 - New Mexico redefined the boundaries of previous counties and created new ones to cover all the land within its territory. Land in present-day Graham County, Arizona was once part of Socorro and Doña Ana counties of New Mexico.   Look for records in Dona Ana and Socorro counties.
- 30 Dec 1853 - The United States bought the Gadsden Purchase from Mexico. It contained land in Arizona south of the Gila River, including part of the land in present day Graham 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, it became non-county land. 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. Its boundary stretched across present day Arizona to the Baja California border. This county included part of the land in present day Graham 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 and Yavapai counties. Both of these counties named for Indian tribes. Look for records in Pima and Yavapai counties.
- 14 Feb 1879 - Arizona created Apache County from land in Yavapai County. This county named for the Apache Indians. Look for records in Apache and Yavapai counties.
10 Mar 1881 - Arizona created Graham County from lands in Apache and Pima counties.  County seat: Safford  This county named for Mount Graham, the highest peak in the area. Look for records in Graham, Apache and Pima counties.
See also 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.
For a list of record loss in Arizona counties see: Arizona Counties with Burned Courthouses
|Bonita||Eden||Indian Hot Springs||Old Columbine||Swift Trail Junction|
|Bryce||Ellison Place (hist.)||Kimball||Pima||Tanque|
|Buena Vista||Emery||Klondyke||Point of Pines||Thatcher|
|Bylas||Fort Thomas||Layton||Safford||Turkey Flat|
|Cactus Flat||Geronimo||Lebanon||San Jose||Whitlock Cienega|
- Apache County, Arizona
- Cochise County, Arizona
- Gila County, Arizona
- Greenlee County, Arizona
- Navajo County, Arizona
- Pima County, Arizona
- Pinal County, Arizona
- Arizona Cemetery Transcription and Photo Project
- BillionGraves.com - Provides photos and GPS locations of grave markers.
- Cyndi's List - Cemeteries & funeral homes
In the Town of Central there are two burial sites. The Old Central Cemetery and new Central Cemetery. They are not far apart from each other. Online memorials can be seen at Find A Grave for both of these cemeteries.
The Old Cemetery has many early settlers buried there, the first being in 1885. It is located in a flood plain. Since it was flooded so often , it was advocated that a new burial site was needed on higher ground. The new site is located on a hill to the northwest of the old site. Harry W. Layton worked to obtain the permit for the new cemetery on land that he donated for that purpose. They planned to begin burials on the north end of the cemetery. The first burial was in October, 1920. They found the ground was so hard to dig that after two days of trying, they had to get dynamite. They finished just in time to see the funeral procession coming up the hill. After this difficulty, the burials were made in the south end of the cemetery.
These cemeteries were maintained until recently, by the Central Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There are still present day burials in the Old Central Cemetery, but most are in the Central Cemetery.
In the Town of Pima there are three known burial sites. The original site, known as the Old Pima Cemetery was established in 1879. You can view online memorials of the 15 interments in this cemetery at Find A Grave. The cemetery was moved when the railroad came into the Gila Valley, since the right of way went directly through the cemetery. See more detailed information at this website, Old Pima Cemetery by Wilma Carter Rhinehart.
The Pima Cemetery is located in the southwest part of town at 800 South 400 West, Pima, Arizona, 85543. You can view online memorials for the more than 2100 interments at Find a Grave. The cemetery is maintained buy the Town of Pima. They can be contacted at the Town Hall, 110 West Center Street, Pima, Arizona, 85543. Phone (928) 485-2611.
The Rogers Family Cemetery is a private historical cemetery located at 574 West 300 South, Pima, Arizona. There are 15 interments there that can be viewed online at Find A Grave.
For tips on accessing Graham 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 Church and Branch Records: Artesia, Ashurst, Bryce, Central, Eden, Emery, Ft. Thomas, Graham, Hubbard, Kimball, Layton (Safford), Lebanon, Mathews, Pima, Safford, Solomonsville, Thatcher, Thatcher East and Thatcher West.
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.
Most of the land in Arizona was originally obtained from the US federal government by patent. These General Land Office Records are searchable online and most have free images of patents to download. The minimum information needed for a search is the state where the land is located and the name of the person receiving the patent. Surveys and Land Status Records can also be searched here.
Land Records in Graham County from 1982 to the present can be searched online. Viewing older records will require a visit:
- Graham County Recorders Office
- 921 Thatcher Blvd
- Safford AZ 85546
- (928) 428-3560
Local histories are available for Graham 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.
Graham Guardian (Safford, Ariz.) 1895-1923 is available for searching free Online. Click Browse Issues tab.
Safford Rattler (Safford, Ariz.) 1896-189? is also available Online.
Finding More Arizona Newspapers
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Graham 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, Graham - 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.
3,480 marriages from 1881 to 1926 are listed on the Western States Marriage Index.
Societies and Libraries
Graham County Historical Society and Museum
3430 W. Main St. (Hwy 70)
Thatcher, AZ 85552
Hours 10-4:00 M,T, Sat.
Family History Centers
515 11th St
Safford, Graham, Arizona, United States
This is not a mailing address. Due to limited staff, Family History Centers are unable to respond to mail inquiries.
- Graham County, AZ History, Records, Facts and Genealogy (Genealogy Inc)
- USGenWeb for Graham county Arizona. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county.
- Family History Library Catalog
- Graham County, Arizona Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Gila County, Arizona p. 56. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- Beers, 100; "Mexican War of Independence," New Handbook of Texas, 4:698
- 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
- William Thorndale, and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1987), 26. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 X2th.
- Original Counties of New Mexico Territory (map) at http://www.nmgs.org/Graphics/nmcoun-orig.jpg (accessed 9 August 2011).
- N.M. Terr. Laws 1851, 1st assy., 1st sess./p. 119; N.M. Terr. Laws 1851, 1st assy., 2d sess. /pp. 266, 292
- 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
- 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 1879, 10th assy./ pp. 96-97
- Ariz. Terr. Laws 1881, 11th assy./ pp. 155-157
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- Ariz. Terr. Laws 1909, 25th assy./ pp. 43-56