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Texas Genealogy

Texas state records usually date to at least 1903 though older records can be found if you start looking at individual county offices. But for the main state database, that's the date they start. Texas genealogy usually starts with the standard vital records of birth, death and marriages.

Texas Vital Records

There are some privacy restrictions on vital records in Texas, but the specifics will vary depending on what type of record you are looking for. If you are looking for records of someone you are a direct relative of, then you will not have any difficulties at all. And by direct relative, they mean children, parents, siblings, spouses or grandparents. For more distant relatives or for people not related at all, then the age of the record will matter. Birth certificates will be issued after 75 years, and death records can be ordered after only 25 years in that case.

To order a copy of either a birth or death record, for Texas genealogy purposes or anything else, you need to get the proper forms from the Department of State Health Services website. You can either mail it or take it in person to the Vital Statistics Office in Austin. The fee for either record is currently at $22 (even if they don't find the documents you want).

Marriage records are different and less straight-forward. The Vital Statistics Office can issue verifications of marriages ($20 each) but you can only get copies of actual marriage certificates from the county offices where the marriage happened. The state collection of records for this only goes back to 1966, so anything older will have to come from the county clerk's office anyway. You can also make requests at the county clerk's office for birth and death records that are older than 1903 though records may be incomplete.

The State Archives

There is more to genealogy research than just vital records. The State Archives can provide a number of other avenues for information, and they are typically free to the public if you can visit their research room in person. There are no pre-1903 vital records in their collection but there are many other historical documents that can provide more Texas genealogy data for you.

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission is located in Austin, and they are open to the public for standard weekday business hours. Much of their collection in on microfilm so you really have to visit in person to do your research. There are passport applications, newspaper archives, tax rolls, pension applications and voter's registration collections.

Historical Societies

Of course, you don't have to research Texas genealogy all on your own. By joining a good historical society you can have access to their own collections of material and just get some assistance from other members. There are dozens of groups all through the state, many focusing on individual counties or regions in Texas. The Texas State Genealogy Society and the Texas State Historical Association are two good ones to start with that cover the whole state.

State Resources 

  • Texas Genealogy on GeneaSearch   Look ups, societies, publications available from societies and individuals, lost female ancestors queries, and related links for genealogy research in Texas.
  • Comprehensive Texas Genealogy and History.  Web site includes histories, transcriptions, surnames, home of the Texas friendly email list, family histories, help, links and more.  A great place for beginners and professionals!  Used by teachers. 
  • Genealogy in Texas and Beyond  Current information and great genealogical and historical resource links for anyone doing research in Texas or any state in the United States. Use the search engine tool to search this entire site. Other links at this site include surname pages, societies, and many research tools to aid in your research.




Databases and Indexes

Death Records and Obits


  • Documents of Early Texas   These are among the most referenced of early Texas documents. They have earned a prominent place in the rich history of Texas in the nineteenth century.
  • The Evolution of a State or Recollections of Old Texas Days   From the time he first arrived in Texas in 1827 at the age of nineteen, Noah Smithwick was involved many of the events in the evolution of Texas. For the next thirty-four years before leaving for California just prior to the Civil War, he became closely acquainted with many well-known Texans, several Comanche chiefs, and a large and varied assortment of early Texas pioneers.
  • Great Galveston Storm  Information about the Galveston hurricane and those who died.
  • The Handbook of Texas Online  The Handbook of Texas Online is a multidisciplinary encyclopedia of Texas history, geography, and culture. It comprises more than 23,000 articles on people, places, events, historical themes, institutions, and a host of other topic categories. The scope is broad and inclusive, designed to provide readers with concise, authoritative, and accessible articles that provide factual, nonpartisan accounts on virtually every aspect of Texas history and culture
  • Notable Texans before 1900   Brief biographical information about people who performed key roles in the development of Texas before 1900.
  • Postmasters and Post Offices of Texas  Index of both postmasters and post offices in Texas  
  • Texas History Timeline   Key events in early Texas History.
  • Texian Web is a consortium of web sites dedicated to presentation of high quality material concerning pre-Civil War Texas History on the internet


  • Genealogy Friends of Plano Libraries, Inc.  Genealogy Friends of Plano Libraries sponsor many genealogically related events including:  Annual money-making workshops every October featuring nationally-known speakers;  Free Saturday Morning Seminars every third Saturday, 9:30–noon;  Library Lock-ins, held quarterly;  All-day Workshops held throughout the year.  All activities are announced publicly as they are scheduled. See web page for future events.   Website contains histories of early Collin County, Texas, pioneers, schools, churches, communities, railroads, roads, and many other items of historical interest to those genealogists searching Collin County, Texas.
  • Texas State Electronic Library   Search our Site Texas State Government Texas Records and Information Locator (TRAIL) , Texas Legislature , Courts etc. Other Texas Information Texas libraries , counties, cities.



  • Confederate Pension Records   The Index to Confederate Pension Applications provides the names, county of residence, and pension number of some 54,634 approved, rejected, and home pensions issued by the Texas government between 1899 and 1975.
  • Confederate Indigent Families 
  • Lists (1863-1865)   On November 24, 1863, the Texas Legislature passed a Joint Resolution stating that the government pledged "support and maintenance of [the soldiers'] families during their absence from home." In accordance with this Resolution, an "Act to Support the Families and Dependents of Texas Soldiers" passed on December 15, 1863. 
  • Journal of the Texian Expedition Against Mier   by Gen. Thomas Jefferson Green, first published in 1845
  • Notes from an Unfinished Study of  Fannin and His Men  with biographical sketches  by Harbert Davenport, 1936
  • Texas Adjutant General Service Records 1836-1935    Combines both official service record files from the Adjutant General's Office and alphabetical files created by other agencies which contain records related to an individual's service in a military unit


  • Texas Genealogy Data  Find online data.
  • Texas Surname Queries     Archived surname queries posted by visitors.
  • WPA Life Histories from Texas   These titles are mostly first-person accounts of life in Texas collected during the Great Depression. Subjects include Pioneer Reminiscences, including those of immigrants from Europe; Cowboy and Ranching Reminiscences and Lore, including African-Americans and Hispanics; some discussion of Indians and more.
  • Texas Biographies

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