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Texas is the second most populous and the second most extensive of the 50 states in the United States of America, and the most extensive state of the 48 contiguous United States. Located in the South Central United States, Texas shares an international border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the south, and borders the US states of New Mexico to the west, Oklahoma to the north, Arkansas to the northeast, and Louisiana to the east. Texas has an area of 268,820 square miles, and a growing population of 25.7 million residents.

Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth-largest in the United States, while San Antonio is the second largest in the state and seventh largest in the United States. Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest United States metropolitan areas, respectively. Other major cities include El Paso and Austin—the state capital. Texas is nicknamed the Lone Star State to signify Texas as a former independent republic and as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico. The "Lone Star" can be found on the Texas state flag and on the Texas state seal today.

Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes that resemble both the American South and Southwest. Although Texas is popularly associated with the Southwestern deserts, less than 10% of the land area is desert. Most of the population centers are located in areas of former prairies, grasslands, forests, and the coastline. Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal swamps and piney woods, to rolling plains and rugged hills, and finally the desert and mountains of the Big Bend.

The term "six flags over Texas" came from the several nations that had ruled over the territory. Spain was the first European country to claim the area of Texas. France held a short-lived colony in Texas. Mexico controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence, becoming an independent Republic. In 1845 it joined the United States as the 28th state. The state's annexation set off a chain of events that caused the Mexican–American War in 1846. A slave state, Texas declared its secession from the United States in early 1861, joining the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. After the war and its restoration to the Union, Texas entered a long period of economic stagnation.

One Texas industry that thrived after the Civil War was cattle. Due to its long history as a center of the industry, Texas is associated with the image of the cowboy. The state's economic fortunes changed in the early 20th century, when oil discoveries initiated an economic boom in the state. With strong investments in universities, Texas developed a diversified economy and high tech industry in the mid-20th century. As of 2010 it shares the top of the list of the most Fortune 500 companies with California at 57. With a growing base of industry, the state leads in many industries, including agriculture, petrochemicals, energy, computers and electronics, aerospace, and biomedical sciences. It leads the nation in export revenue since 2002 and has the second-highest gross state product.




 Texas Counties

Click on a Texas County link below to go to that county's Texas Genealogy & History Network website.

County Name
Seat
Date Formed
Named for
Anderson CountyPalestine
1846
Kenneth Lewis Anderson
Andrews CountyAndrews
1876
Richard Andrews
Angelina CountyLufkin
1846
Hainai Native American woman "Little Angel"
Aransas CountyRockport
1871
Aransas Bay
Archer CountyArcher City
1858
Branch Tanner Archer
Armstrong CountyClaude
1876
Texas pioneer family
Atascosa CountyJourdanton
1856
Spanish word for "boggy"
Austin CountyBellville
1836
Stephen F. Austin
Bailey CountyMuleshoe
1876
Peter James Bailey
Bandera CountyBandera
1856
Bandera Pass
Bastrop CountyBastrop
1836
Felipe Enrique Neri, Baron de Bastrop
Baylor CountySeymour
1858
Henry Weidner Baylor
Bee CountyBeeville
1857
Barnard Elliott Bee, Sr.
Bell CountyBelton
1850
Peter Hansborough Bell
Bexar CountySan Antonio
1836
San Antonio de Béxar
Blanco CountyJohnson City
1858
The Blanco River
Borden CountyGail
1876
Gail Borden, Jr.
Bosque CountyMeridian
1854
The Bosque River
Bowie CountyBoston
1840
James Bowie
Brazoria CountyAngleton
1836
Brazoria, Texas
Brazos CountyBryan
1841
The Brazos River
Brewster CountyAlpine
1887
Henry Percy Brewster
Briscoe CountySilverton
1876
Andrew Briscoe
Brooks CountyFalfurrias
1911
John Abijah Brooks
Brown CountyBrownwood
1856
Henry Stevenson Brown
Buchel County (historical)Marathon
1887
Annexed in 1897 to Brewster County.
Burleson CountyCaldwell
1846
Edward Burleson
Burnet CountyBurnet
1852
David Gouverneur Burnet
Caldwell CountyLockhart
1848
Mathew Caldwell
Calhoun CountyPort Lavaca
1846
John C. Calhoun
Callahan CountyBaird
1858
James Hughes Callahan
Cameron CountyBrownsville
1848
Ewen Cameron
Camp CountyPittsburg
1874
John Lafayette Camp
Carson CountyPanhandle
1876
Samuel Price Carson
Cass CountyLinden
1846
Lewis Cass
Castro CountyDimmitt
1876
Henri Castro
Chambers CountyAnahuac
1858
Thomas Jefferson Chambers
Cherokee CountyRusk
1846
The Cherokee tribe
Childress CountyChildress
1876
George Campbell Childress
Clay CountyHenrietta
1857
Henry Clay
Cochran CountyMorton
1876
Robert E. Cochran
Coke CountyRobert Lee
1889
Richard Coke
Coleman CountyColeman
1858
Robert M. Coleman
Collin CountyMcKinney
1846
Collin McKinney
Collingsworth CountyWellington
1876
James Collinsworth
Colorado CountyColumbus
1836
Colorado River of Texas
Comal CountyNew Braunfels
1846
The Comal River
Comanche CountyComanche
1856
The Comanche tribe
Concho CountyPaint Rock
1858
The Concho River
Cooke CountyGainesville
1848
William Gordon Cooke
Coryell CountyGatesville
1854
James Coryell
Cottle CountyPaducah
1876
George Washington Cottle
Crane CountyCrane
1887
William Carey Crane
Crockett CountyOzona
1875
David Crockett
Crosby CountyCrosbyton
1876
Stephen Crosby
Culberson CountyVan Horn
1911
David Browning Culberson
Dallam CountyDalhart
1876
James Wilmer Dallam
Dallas CountyDallas
1846
George Mifflin Dallas
Dawson CountyLamesa
1846
Nicholas Mosby Dawson
Dawson County (historical)unknown
1858
Formed 1858 in present Kinney Co. & Uvalde Co. Abolished 1866. Not to be confused with current Dawson County.
Deaf Smith CountyHereford
1876
Erastus "Deaf" Smith
Delta CountyCooper
1870
Its triangular shape, much like the Greek letter Delta
Denton CountyDenton
1846
John Bunyan Denton
DeWitt CountyCuero
1846
Green DeWitt
Dickens CountyDickens
1876
J.A. Dickens
Dimmit CountyCarrizo Springs
1858
Philip Dimmitt
Donley CountyClarendon
1876
Stockton P. Donley
Duval CountySan Diego
1858
Burr Harrison DuVal
Eastland CountyEastland
1858
William Mosby Eastland
Ector CountyOdessa
1887
Mathew Ector
Edwards CountyRocksprings
1858
Haden Edwards
El Paso CountyEl Paso
1848
El Paso del Norte
Ellis CountyWaxahachie
1849
Richard Ellis
Encinal County (historical)Encinal
1856
Abolished 1899 - annexed to Webb County
Erath CountyStephenville
1856
George Bernard Erath
Falls CountyMarlin
1850
The Falls on the Brazos
Fannin CountyBonham
1837
James Walker Fannin
Fayette CountyLa Grange
1837
Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette
Fisher CountyRoby
1876
Samuel Rhoads Fisher
Floyd CountyFloydada
1876
Dolphin Ward Floyd
Foard CountyCrowell
1891
Robert Levi Foard
Foley County (historical)Guovanga Spring
1887
Annexed in 1897 to Brewster County
Fort Bend CountyRichmond
1837
A blockhouse in a bend of the Brazos River
Franklin CountyMount Vernon
1875
Benjamin Cromwell Franklin
Freestone CountyFairfield
1850
A type of peach grown in the area.
Frio CountyPearsall
1858
The Frio River
Gaines CountySeminole
1876
James Gaines
Galveston CountyGalveston
1838
Bernardo de Gálvez
Garza CountyPost
1876
José Antonio de la Garza
Gillespie CountyFredericksburg
1848
Robert Addison Gillespie
Glasscock CountyGarden City
1887
George Washington Glasscock
Goliad CountyGoliad
1836
Its county seat, named in turn as an anagram of Miguel Hidalgo
Gonzales CountyGonzales
1836
Rafael Gonzales
Gray CountyPampa
1876
Peter W. Gray
Grayson CountySherman
1846
Peter Wagener Grayson
Greer County (historical)unknown
1960
Separated from Texas in 1896 by U.S. Supreme Court ruling in United States v. State of Texas.
Gregg CountyLongview
1873
John Gregg
Grimes CountyAnderson
1846
Jesse Grimes
Guadalupe CountySeguin
1846
The Guadalupe River
Hale CountyPlainview
1876
John C. Hale
Hall CountyMemphis
1876
Warren DeWitt Clinton Hall
Hamilton CountyHamilton
1856
James Hamilton Jr.
Hansford CountySpearman
1876
John M. Hansford
Hardeman CountyQuanah
1858
Bailey Hardeman
Hardin CountyKountze
1858
The Hardin family
Harris CountyHouston
1836
John Richardson Harris
Harrison CountyMarshall
1839
Jonas Harrison
Hartley CountyChanning
1876
Oliver C. and Rufus K. Hartley
Haskell CountyHaskell
1858
Charles Ready Haskell
Hays CountySan Marcos
1848
John Coffee Hays
Hemphill CountyCanadian
1876
John Hemphill
Henderson CountyAthens
1846
James Pinckney Henderson
Hidalgo CountyEdinburg
1852
Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
Hill CountyHillsboro
1853
George Washington Hill
Hockley CountyLevelland
1876
George Washington Hockley
Hood CountyGranbury
1866
John Bell Hood
Hopkins CountySulphur Springs
1846
David Hopkins
Houston CountyCrockett
1837
Sam Houston
Howard CountyBig Spring
1876
Volney Eskine Howard
Hudspeth CountySierra Blanca
1917
Claude Benton Hudspeth
Hunt CountyGreenville
1846
Memucan Hunt, Jr.
Hutchinson CountyStinnett
1876
Andrew Hutchinson
Irion CountyMertzon
1889
Robert Anderson Irion
Jack CountyJacksboro
1856
Patrick & William Jack
Jackson CountyEdna
1836
Andrew Jackson
Jasper CountyJasper
1836
William Jasper
Jeff Davis CountyFort Davis
1887
Jefferson Davis
Jefferson CountyBeaumont
1836
Thomas Jefferson
Jim Hogg CountyHebbronville
1913
James Stephen Hogg
Jim Wells CountyAlice
1911
James Babbage Wells Jr.
Johnson CountyCleburne
1854
Middleton Tate Johnson
Jones CountyAnson
1854
Anson Jones
Karnes CountyKarnes City
1854
Henry Karnes
Kaufman CountyKaufman
1848
David Spangler Kaufman
Kendall CountyBoerne
1862
George Wilkins Kendall
Kenedy CountySarita
1921
Mifflin Kenedy
Kent CountyJayton
1876
Andrew Kent
Kerr CountyKerrville
1856
James Kerr
Kimble CountyJunction
1858
George C. Kimbell
King CountyGuthrie
1876
William Phillip King
Kinney CountyBrackettville
1850

Henry Lawrence Kinney

Kleberg CountyKingsville
1913
Robert Justus Kleberg
Knox CountyBenjamin
1858
Henry Knox
La Salle CountyCotulla
1858
René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle
Lamar CountyParis
1840
Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar
Lamb CountyLittlefield
1876
George A. Lamb
Lampasas CountyLampasas
1856
The Lampasas River
Lavaca CountyHallettsville
1842
The Lavaca River
Lee CountyGiddings
1874
Robert Edward Lee
Leon CountyCenterville
1846
Disputed: Martín De León or the león, a local variety of yellow wolf
Liberty CountyLiberty
1836
Named for Liberty, Mississippi
Limestone CountyGroesbeck
1846
Limestone deposits in the region
Lipscomb CountyLipscomb
1876
Abner Smith Lipscomb
Live Oak CountyGeorge West
1856
Texas live oak tree
Llano CountyLlano
1856
The Llano River
Loving CountyMentone
1931
Oliver Loving
Lubbock CountyLubbock
1876
Thomas Saltus Lubbock
Lynn CountyTahoka
1876
William Lynn
Madison CountyMadisonville
1853
James Madison
Marion CountyJefferson
1860
Francis Marion
Martin CountyStanton
1876
Wylie Martin
Mason CountyMason
1858
Lt. George T. Mason or Gen. Richard Barnes Mason
Matagorda CountyBay City
1836
The canebrakes. Matagorda is Spanish for "fat bush")
Maverick CountyEagle Pass
1856
Samuel Augustus Maverick
McCulloch CountyBrady
1856
Benjamin McCulloch
McLennan CountyWaco
1850
Neil McLennan
McMullen CountyTilden
1858
John McMullen
Medina CountyHondo
1848
Pedro Medina
Menard CountyMenard
1858
Michel Branamour Menard
Midland CountyMidland
1885
Named for its location halfway between Ft. Worth & El Paso
Milam CountyCameron
1836
Benjamin Rush Milam
Mills CountyGoldthwaite
1887
John T. Mills
Mitchell CountyColorado City
1876
Asa and Eli Mitchell
Montague CountyMontague
1857
Daniel Montague
Montgomery CountyConroe
1837
Montgomery County, Alabama
Moore CountyDumas
1876
Edwin Ward Moore
Morris CountyDaingerfield
1875
William Wright Morris
Motley CountyMatador
1876
Junius William Mottley
Nacogdoches CountyNacogdoches
1836
Nacogdoche Native American tribe
Navarro CountyCorsicana
1846
José Antonio Navarro
Newton CountyNewton
1846
John Newton
Nolan CountySweetwater
1876
Philip Nolan
Nueces CountyCorpus Christi
1846
The Nueces River
Ochiltree CountyPerryton
1876
William Beck Ochiltree
Oldham CountyVega
1876
Williamson Simpson Oldham
Orange CountyOrange
1852
An orange grove planted by early settlers on the Sabine River
Palo Pinto CountyPalo Pinto
1856
Palo Pinto Creek
Panola CountyCarthage
1846
Native American word for cotton
Parker CountyWeatherford
1855
Isaac Parker
Parmer CountyFarwell
1876
Martin Parmer
Pecos CountyFort Stockton
1871
The Pecos River
Perdido County (historical)unknown
1824
Formed in 1824 & forgotten during the upheavals of the 1840s. Perdido was abolished in 1858 & again in 1871.
Polk CountyLivingston
1846
James Knox Polk
Potter CountyAmarillo
1876
Robert Potter
Presidio CountyMarfa
1850
Presidio del Norte - 18th century fort & settlement on the Rio Grande
Rains CountyEmory
1870
Emory Rains
Randall CountyCanyon
1876
Horace Randal
Reagan CountyBig Lake
1903
John H. Reagan
Real CountyLeakey
1913
Julius Rea
Red River CountyClarksville
1836
The Red River of Texas
Reeves CountyPecos
1883
George Robertson Reeves
Refugio CountyRefugio
1836
Spanish mission Nuestra Señora del Refugio,
Roberts CountyMiami
1876
John S. Roberts
Robertson CountyFranklin
1837
Sterling Clack Robertson
Rockwall CountyRockwall
1873
Named for a submerged stone wall found by its initial settlers
Runnels CountyBallinger
1858
Hiram Runnels
Rusk CountyHenderson
1843
Thomas Jefferson Rusk
Sabine CountyHemphill
1836
The Sabine River
San Augustine CountySan Augustine
1836
Presumably Augustine of Hippo
San Jacinto CountyColdspring
1870
The Battle of San Jacinto
San Patricio CountySinton
1846
Its former county seat San Patricio de Hibernia
San Saba CountySan Saba
1856
The San Saba River
Santa Fe County (historical)unknown
1848
Formed in 1848 from lands ceded by Mexico. Included area of New Mexico east of the Rio Grande. Abolished under the Compromise of 1850.
Schleicher CountyEldorado
1887
Gustav Schleicher
Scurry CountySnyder
1876
William Read Scurry
Shackelford CountyAlbany
1858
Jack Shackelford
Shelby CountyCenter
1836
Isaac Shelby
Sherman CountyStratford
1876
Sidney Sherman
Smith CountyTyler
1846
James Smith
Somervell CountyGlen Rose
1875
Alexander Somervell
Starr CountyRio Grande City
1848
James Harper Starr
Stephens CountyBreckenridge
1858
Alexander Hamilton Stephens
Sterling CountySterling City
1891
W. S. Sterling
Stonewall CountyAspermont
1876
Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
Sutton CountySonora
1887
John Schuyler Sutton
Swisher CountyTulia
1876
James Gibson Swisher
Tarrant CountyFort Worth
1849
Edward H. Tarrant
Taylor CountyAbilene
1858
Edward, George, and James Taylor
Terrell CountySanderson
1905
Alexander Watkins Terrell
Terry CountyBrownfield
1876
Frank Terry
Throckmorton CountyThrockmorton
1858
William Edward Throckmorton
Titus CountyMt. Pleasant
1846
Andrew Jackson Titus
Tom Green CountySan Angelo
1874
Thomas Green
Travis CountyAustin
1840
William Barret Travis
Trinity CountyGroveton
1850
The Trinity River
Tyler CountyWoodville
1846
John Tyler
Upshur CountyGilmer
1846
Abel Parker Upshur
Upton CountyRankin
1887
John C. & William F. Upton
Uvalde CountyUvalde
1850
The Cañón de Ugalde, a nearby battlefield
Val Verde CountyDel Rio
1885
The Mexican-American War Battle of Val Verde
Van Zandt CountyCanton
1848
Isaac Van Zandt
Victoria CountyVictoria
1836
Guadalupe Victoria
Walker CountyHuntsville
1846
Samuel Hamilton Walker
Waller CountyHempstead
1873
Edwin Waller
Ward CountyMonahans
1887
Thomas William Ward
Washington CountyBrenham
1836
George Washington
Webb CountyLaredo
1848
James Webb
Wegefarth County (historical)unknown
1873
Abolished on August 21, 1876. It was named after C. Wegefarth.
Wharton CountyWharton
1846
William Harris & John Austin Wharton
Wheeler CountyWheeler
1876
Royal Tyler Wheeler
Wichita CountyWichita Falls
1858
Wichita Native American tribe
Wilbarger CountyVernon
1858
Josiah P. & Mathias Wilbarger
Willacy CountyRaymondville
1911
John G. Willacy
Williamson CountyGeorgetown
1848
Robert McAlpin Williamson
Wilson CountyFloresville
1860
James Charles Wilson
Winkler CountyKermit
1887
Clinton Winkler
Wise CountyDecatur
1856
Henry Alexander Wise
Wood CountyQuitman
1850
George Tyler Wood
Worth County (historical)unknown
1850
Abolished in the Compromise of 1850.
Yoakum CountyPlains
1876
Henderson King Yoakum
Young CountyGraham
1856
William Cocke Young
Zapata CountyZapata
1858
Antonio Zapata
Zavala CountyCrystal City
1846
Lorenzo de Zavala

 

 


Texas Records


Birth Records - The Texas Department of State Health Services has records from 1903 to present. Records for the last 75 years considered private and will only be provided to certain individuals. To obtain current information on who may obtain a record, how to submit a request and an official request form, see the Texas Department of State Health Services website or write to Texas Vital Records, Department of State Health Services, P.O. Box 12040, Austin, TX 78711-2040.

For older birth records you will have to write to the County Clerk of the applicable county. The existence of birth records prior to 1903 will vary widely from county to county. Local historical societies and genealogy collections in local libraries may be able to provide some information.

Death Records - The Texas Department of State Health Services has records from 1903 to present. Records for the last 25 years considered private and will only be provided to certain individuals. To obtain current information on who may obtain a record, how to submit a request and an official request form, see the Texas Department of State Health Services website or write to Texas Vital Records, Department of State Health Services, P.O. Box 12040, Austin, TX 78711-2040.

Marriage Records - The Texas Department of State Health Services can provide a verification letter of marriage for Texas marriages from 1966 to present. This is NOT a marriage license. To obtain a certified copy of a marriage license you must contact the County or District Clerk in the county or district where the marriage took place.

Local historical societies and genealogy collections in local libraries may be able to provide some information.

Divorce Records - The Texas Department of State Health Services can provide a verification letter of divorce for Texas divorces from 1968 to present. This is NOT a copy of the divorce decree. To obtain a certified copy of a copy of the divorce decree you must contact the County or District Clerk in the county or district where the divorce took place.

Local historical societies and genealogy collections in local libraries may be able to provide some information.