Wise County, Texas GenealogyEdit This Page

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Guide to Wise County Texas ancestry, family history, and genealogy research page. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

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County Courthouse

Wise County Courthouse
200 North Trinity Street PO Box 359
Decatur, Texas 76234-0359
Phone: 940.627.3351 

County Clerk has birth and death records
from 1903, marriage records from 1881,
probate records from 1882, land records
from 1852 and court records[1]


The first white settler arrived in 1854 and the first public school opened in 1855.

Just northwest of Fort Worth and Dallas, in the 1860's, "Wise County had more Indian attacks & kidnappings than any other county in Texas".

In the early days of Wise County there were very large cattle ranches and homestead farms. Starting in the 1880's, coal was mined near the town of Bridgeport. Later limestone rock crushers and gas production became important.

Parent County

1856--Wise County was created 23 January 1856 from Cooke County.
County seat: Decatur [2]

Record Loss

1881--Courthouse and many county records were destroyed by fire.

Places / Localities

Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog

Populated Places

Alvord | Aurora | Balsora | Boonsville | Boyd | Bridgeport | Chico | Cottondale | Decatur | Greenwood | Lake Bridgeport | New Fairview | Newark | Paradise |Rhome | Runaway Bay | Slidell

Neighboring Counties

Cooke  • Denton  • Jack  • Montague  • Parker  • Tarrant

Clay CountyMontague CountyCooke CountyJack CountyWise CountyDenton CountyPalo Pinto CountyParker CountyTarrant CountyTX WISE.JPG
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Cemetery records often reveal birth, marriage, death, relationship, military, and religious information.

Online Grave Transcripts Published Grave Transcripts County Cemetery Directories


Family History Library




Names in Stone


Billion Graves

Billion Graves

Cemeteries of Texas

Names in Stone

See Texas Cemeteries for more information.
Additional Cemetery Sources



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/burial date and place. For general information about Texas denominations, view the Texas Church Records wiki page.



After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions, including deeds and mortgages, have been recorded by the county. You can obtain copies of these land records by writing to the county clerk at the county courthouse. For more information, see Texas Land and Property.

The FamilySearch Catalog lists microfilm copies of deeds, trust deeds, and mortgages of many counties.

Local Histories

Local histories are available for Wise 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.





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


1960-1989 (most 1970s) Obituaries From Local Papers 4,160 Newspaper clippings online
1910-1975 (only a few in older years) Whole Newspaper Pages - The Bridgeport Index Most years have names indexes
1976-2008 Obituaries From The Bridgeport Index 7,106 Newspaper clippings online
2000-2009 Obituary Text From The Wise County Messenger 5,197 Obituaries with complete text
Recent The Wise County Messenger Link - Decatur paper obituaries
Recent The Bridgeport Index Link - Bridgeport paper obituaries


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.


Online Birth Indexes and Records '

'Original Birth Records on Microfilm


Online Marriage Indexes and Records

Original Marriage Records on Microfilm


Online Death Indexes and Records

Original Death Records on Microfilm


Societies and Libraries

Wise County Heritage Museum
1602 S Trinity St
Decatur, TX 76234

Email Us

Bridgeport Historical Museum
812b Halsell Street
Bridgeport, Texas

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. See [[Introduction to LDS Family History Centers|Family History Center] for more information. Search the [https://familysearch.org/ask/help#localResource online FHC director for a nearby family history center.



  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Wise 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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  • This page was last modified on 1 October 2015, at 16:24.
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