Lea County, New Mexico Genealogy

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United States
New Mexico
Lea County

Guide to Lea County, New Mexico ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Lovington
Organized: March 7, 1917
Parent County(s): Chaves, Eddy[1]
Neighboring Counties
Andrews (TX)  • Chaves  • Cochran (TX)  • Eddy  • Gaines (TX)  • Loving (TX)  • Roosevelt  • Winkler (TX)  • Yoakum (TX)
See County Maps
Location Map

County Information


Lea County was created in 1917. The county seat is Lovington and was named for Captain Joseph Calloway Lea.[2] The County is located in the southeast area of the state.[3]

County Courthouse

Lea County Courthouse
100 N Main Avenue
PO Box 4C
Lovington, NM 88260
Phone: 505.396.8532
Lea County Website

County Clerk has marriage and probate records from 1917, and land records.[1]

Lea County, New Mexico 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 County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1907 1917 1907 #5 1918 1917 1790
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1907. General compliance by 1930.

Record Loss

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

Boundary Changes

For animated maps illustrating New Mexico County boundary changes, "Rotating Formation New Mexico County Boundary Maps" (1845-1981) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

Populated Places

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit https://newmexico.hometownlocator.com/counties/cities,cfips,025,c,lea.cfm HomeTown Locator]. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[5]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places

History Timeline


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


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

Census Records

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1920 3,545
1930 6,144 73.3%
1940 21,154 244.3%
1950 30,717 45.2%
1960 53,429 73.9%
1970 49,554 −7.3%
1980 55,993 13.0%
1990 55,765 −0.4%
2000 55,511 −0.5%
2010 64,727 16.6%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

Federal Census Records
Federal Censuses were taken for New Mexico starting in 1850. For links to Federal census indexes, see New Mexico Census.

State Census Records

Church Records

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 New Mexico denominations, view the New Mexico Church Records wiki page.

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes



Land and Property Records

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 New Mexico Land and Property for additional information about early New Mexico land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse and where records are currently housed.

Online Land Records

Local Histories

Local histories are available for Lea County, New Mexico 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 New Mexico Local Histories.

Maps and Gazetteers

Lea CountyRoosevelt CountyChaves CountyEddy CountyCochran County, TexasYoakum County, TexasGaines County, TexasAndrews County, TexasWinkler County, TexasLoving County, TexasCulberson County, TexasNM LEA.jpg
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military Records

Revolutionary War

Civil War

World War I

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship



Other Records


Probate Records

Since statehood in 1912, probate matters have been under the jurisdiction of probate courts in each county. Records of guardianship and adoption have usually been transferred to the district courts. In 1953 the district courts were given concurrent jurisdiction with the probate court over all probate matters in each county.

See the wiki page New Mexico Probate Records for information about how to find earlier probate records.

The Family History Library does not have copies of the New Mexico county probate records. They are available at each county courthouse. You can obtain copies by contacting the county clerk.

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 place of residence.

Record types: Wills, estates, guardianships, naturalizations, marriage, and adoption.

Online Probate Records

School Records

Tax Records

New Mexico 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 of some counties. For more information, see the Wiki page New Mexico Taxation.

Vital Records

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. See the Wiki page, New Mexico Vital Records, for additional information about the vital records in New Mexico.

Marriage records - are at the County Clerk's office

Divorce records - are at the office of the County Clerk of Court

Birth and death records - are at the New Mexico Vital Records and Health Statistics Office which has records since 1920 and delayed records since 1880.

See also How to order New Mexico Vital Records, order electronically online or download an application for New Mexico Birth Certificate, Death Certificate Applications to mail.





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.



Hobbs Family History Research Center
3720 N. Grimes
Hobbs, New Mexico, 88240
Telephone: 505-392-6200


Lea County Historical Society
PO Box 1195
Lovington 88260

Lea County Genealogical Society
PO Box 1044
Lovington, New Mexico, 88260

Southeastern New Mexico Genealogical Society
PO Box 5725
Hobbs, New Mexico, 88240


Research Guides


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), New Mexico.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. http://lea.genwebsite.net/ accessed 09/29/2016
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Lea, New Mexico," in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lea_County,_New_Mexico. accessed 8/29/2018
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Lea County, New Mexico. Page 474 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), 470.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Lea County, New Mexico," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lea_County%2C_New_Mexico, accessed 2 February 2019.