Graham County, Arizona Genealogy

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Graham County, Arizona
Map of Arizona highlighting Graham County
Location in the state of Arizona
Map of the U.S. highlighting Arizona
Location of Arizona in the U.S.
Founded March 10, 1881
County Seat Safford
Address 800 West Main Street

Safford, Arizona 85546
Phone: (928) 428-3310

United StatesGotoarrow.pngArizonaGotoarrow.png Graham County

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Graham County, Arizona

County Courthouse

Graham County Courthouse
800 Main Street
Stafford, Az 85546-1414
Phone: 520-428-3250

  • Clerk of Superior Court has marriage, probate, divorce and court records from 1881
  • Naturalization Records 1907-1973
  • County Recorder has land records [1]

Parent County

  • 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 Arizona. Residents living on Gadsden Purchase land south of the Gila River were part of Mexico until 1854. Some records of this period may have been sent to archives in Mexico City.
  • In 1846 - New Mexico Territory was setup, it included land that later would become Arizona.
  • In 1852 - New Mexico Territory created counties that stretched east and west from the Texas border to the California border, including land that later became Arizona. Land in present-day Graham County, Arizona was once part of Socorro and Doña Ana counties of New Mexico.[2] [3] Records during this period may have been sent to courthouses in their respective New Mexico counties.
  • In 1854 -  the Gadsden Purchase bought from Mexico, this land was added to the already existing Doña Ana County, of New Mexico. It included land in what later became Graham County. Records may have been sent to the Doña Ana County, New Mexico courthouse.
  • In 1863 -  Arizona Territory was created from the western half of New Mexico territory. All previous counties were dissolved, and eventually four new counties were created in the new Arizona Territory.

10 Mar 1881 - Arizona created Graham County from lands in Apache and Pima counties.[4] This county named for Mount Graham, the highest peak in the area. County seat: Safford [5] Look for records in Graham County. Also Apache,and Pima counties.

Boundary Changes

10 Mar 1909 - Arizona created Greenlee County from land in Graham County.[6] This county named for an early Arizona pioneer. Look for records in Graham and Greenlee counties.

See also Previous Jurisdictions to land in Arizona showing dates the jurisdictions were created and where. This will help in determining what jurisdiction your ancestor lived in and where the records are now located.

Record Loss


Populated Places

Aravaipa Central Graham Lone Star Solomon
Artesia Cork Gripe Matthewsville Solomonsville
Ashurst Dublin Hollywood Natches Sunset
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
Calva Glenbar Little Franks Sanchez

Neighboring Counties



Arizona Gravestones Project has listings for most of the cemeteries in Graham county and most of the graves in those cemeteries have pictures of the gravestones.

Cemeteries in Graham County at Find a Grave

Central, Arizona

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.  

Pima, Arizona

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.


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.



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 that were recorded from 1982 to the present can be searched online.

Viewing older records will require a visit to

    Graham County Recorders Office
    921 Thatcher Blvd
    Safford AZ 85546
    (928) 428-3560

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.



Vital Records

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
Telephone: 928-348-0470
Hours 10-4:00 M,T, Sat.

Family History Centers

Introduction to Family History Centers

Safford-Thatcher Arizona
515 11th St
Safford, Graham, Arizona, United States
Telephone: 928-428-7927

This is not a mailing address. Due to limited staff, Family History Centers are unable to respond to mail inquiries.



  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Original Counties of New Mexico Territory (map) at (accessed 9 August 2011).
  4. Ariz. Terr. Laws 1881, 11th assy./ pp. 155-157
  5. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  6. Ariz. Terr. Laws 1909, 25th assy./ pp. 43-56