Zapata County, Texas GenealogyEdit This Page

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Guide to Zapata County Texas genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

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Online Records

Zapata County, Texas
Map of Texas highlighting Zapata County
Location in the state of Texas
Map of the U.S. highlighting Texas
Location of Texas in the U.S.
Founded January 22, 1858
County Seat Zapata
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County Courthouse

Zapata County Courthouse
PO Box 789
Zapata, TX 78076
Phone: 956.765.9915 

County Clerk has birth records 1870’s-1930’s,
marriage and land records from 1800’s, probate
and court records from 1900’s; District Clerk 
divorce records; Just of Peace Office has birth
records from 1930’s and death records[1]

Zapata County has had four courthouses, built in 1874, 1901, 1953 and the current courthouse, 2005.

Zapata County Courthouse
County Clerk's Office
Mary Jayne Villarreal-Bonoan - County Clerk
200 E. 7th Avenue, Ste. 138
P.O. Box 789
Zapata, TX 78076
Phone: 956-765-9915
Fax: 956-765-9933
Zapata County Government website



Spanish settlers arrived in 1750. The Texas claim to this land was assured under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848.

Parent County

1858--Zapata County was created 22 January 1858 from Starr and Webb Counties. County seat: Zapata [2]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

1863--Most, if not all, county records were destroyed during military action in 1863.

Places / Localities

Populated Places

Escobas | Falcon | Lopeño | San Ygnacio | Ramireño | Zapata

Neighboring Counties






Local Histories

Local histories are available for Zapata County, Texas 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 Texas Local Histories.

  • Texas' Last Frontier: A Brief History of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, 1917, by Frank Cushman Pierce.
  • Zapata County Roots Revisited, 1990 by Jean Y. Fish.
  • Zapata County Centennial Celebration, 1858–1958, published in 1958, by the Zapata County Centennial Commission.
  • Falcon Dam and the Lost Towns of Zapata, 1971 by Patsy Jeanne Byfield.
  • Zapata County History from the Handbook of Texas Online
  • Texas Museums  ~  List of all museums in Texas  ~  Hidden Ancestors




Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Zapata County, Texas Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:



Probate records of Texas have been kept by the probate clerk in each county courthouse. You can obtain copies of the records from the clerk's office. In most counties, all information pertaining to a probate case is recorded in the "probate minutes."

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 places of residence.

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

See the Wiki page Texas Probate Records for information about how to use probate records.


Texas tax records complement land records and can be used in place of censuses or to supplement the years between censuses. Because only persons who owned taxable property were listed, many residents were not included in tax lists. There may also be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties. For more information, see the wiki page Texas Taxation.

Texas County Tax Rolls, 1846-1910 lists FHL films with county tax lists. The lists vary by county and year. Most records are between the years of 1846 - 1910.

Vital Records

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents.

Certified birth and death certificates or birth and death verifications can be ordered online or by mail at the Texas Vital Records State Department of Health. Copies can also be obtained from the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred and are often less expensive. You can also order them online through a third party company.

Marriages records can be obtained from the county the marriage occurred. Only marriage verifications can be obtained from the Texas Vital Records State Department of Health.

See Texas Vital Records for more information about Vital records in Texas.

Societies and Libraries

Society Hill  ~  Links and addresses to Texas genealogical and historical societies

Family History Centers

Web Sites

  • Zapata County TXGenWeb
  • TXGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the county.
  • Hidden Ancestors  Information on Texas genealogy research as well as genealogy research in general.
  • USGenWeb Texas Archives Vital statistics, maps, obituaries, Bible records, tombstone transcriptions and many other records.


  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Zapata County, Texas. Page 676 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).


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