Rio Virgin County, Utah Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png Utah Gotoarrow.png Rio Virgin County

Rio Virgin County, Utah Territory (or Rio Virgen) was a former county in Utah Territory, Arizona Territory, and Nevada Territory.It was created mostly outside of Utah territory to serve the residents of Mesquite, St. Thomas and Bunkerville which Utah wanted to keep within its influence.

  • The US federal government moved the western boundary of Utah territory east, done on 18 January 1867, and gave that land to Nevada.[1]
  • Utah opposed this loss of land by trying several legal initatives. One of these was creating Rio Virgin county on 18 February 1869.[2] [3] [4]
  • The US federal government surveyed the land, which showed Rio Virgin County was mostly in present-day Nevada, with a little bit in Arizona and Utah.[5]
  • When all legal recourse had been exhasted, Utah accepted the change and discontinued Rio Virgin County on 16 February 1872.[6] [4]
  • The tiny bit of this county actually in Utah was restored to Washington County.[7]

Records for Rio Virgin County, Utah Territory may be found in the following counties due to transfer, creation, or re-recording:

For records of Rio Virgin County see also:

  • Utah State Archives may have a few records from the Utah Territory's Rio Virgin County courts and deeds.

Death Record Substitutes

  • 1870 - U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1885 at Ancestry ($). Includes 1870 Rio Virgin County, Utah Genealogy mortality schedule.


  1. U.S. Stat., vol. 14, ch. 73[1866]/p. 43; Sacks, 25; Van Zandt, p. 158, 165
  2. Utah Terr. Laws 1869, 18th session, ch. 10, p. 7
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 687. At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Book 973 D274 2002.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Chart of County Formation in Utah" in Division of Archives and Records Service at (accessed 11 August 2011).
  5. Deon C. Greer, Atlas of Utah (Ogden, Utah: Utah State College, 1981), 162 and 164. At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Q Book 979.2 E7a.
  6. Utah Terr. Laws 1872, 20th session, ch. 19, sec. 2, p. 28
  7. Greer, 162