Galveston County, Texas Genealogy
Guide to Galveston County Texas ancestry, family history, and genealogy research page. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, immigration records, and military records.
|Galveston County, Texas|
Location in the state of Texas
Location of Texas in the U.S.
|Founded||May 15, 1838|
- 1 County Information
- 2 History
- 3 Places / Localities
- 4 Resources
- 4.1 African American
- 4.2 Cemeteries
- 4.3 Census
- 4.4 Church
- 4.5 Court
- 4.6 Land
- 4.7 Local Histories
- 4.8 Maps
- 4.9 Military
- 4.10 Newspapers
- 4.11 Obituaries
- 4.12 Probate
- 4.13 Taxation
- 4.14 Vital Records
- 5 Societies and Libraries
- 6 Websites
- 7 References
Galveston County Courthouse
Galveston, TX 77550
County Clerk has birth and death records,
Clerk has birth and death records 1903 -1910
and 1941-1951, marriage, probate and land
records from 1838 and court records from 1875
P.O. Box 17253
P.O. Box 17250
Galveston County, Texas Record Dates
Galveston Island was the temporary seat of government of the Republic of Texas during the Texas Revolution.
- County seat: Galveston 
See an interactive map of Galveston County border changes.
Galveston is a very low-lying area in Texas, the county seat being largely on an island, and thus it is vulnerable to weather disasters, mainly being hurricanes, and occasionally, tornadoes.
In September 1900, Galveston suffered what is to this day the worst United States hurricane disaster in terms of loss of life. That storm, known as the Galveston Hurricane, killed over 6,000 people. The hurricane also for all practical purposes swept the island clean, although some structures did survive.
Therefore, unless the record or a duplicate copy or other item that recorded the same data was moved to an inland area prior to September 1900, it is likely the record was destroyed in the hurricane. One should check in nearby counties for any such replications of any records from the Galveston area prior to 1900, such as neighboring counties, regional offices of churches, and other similar repositories, for records from this county. Galveston county courthouse records were spared from destruction as they were kept in a vault that did survive.
Since 1900, a seawall was built along the outward facing shore, and subsequent hurricanes, including Ike in 2008, did somewhat less damage as the seawall for the most part has kept the storm surge produced by any hurricane from over-washing the island by and large. In fact, one can drive along the seawall itself which will give any visitor an idea of just how serious the 1900 disaster really was.
Places / Localities
Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog
Bayou Vista | Clear Lake Shores | Dickinson | Friendswood | Galveston | Hitchcock | Jamaica Beach | Kemah | La Marque | League City | Santa Fe | Texas City
Bacliff | Bolivar Peninsula | San Leon
Algoa | Bayview | Crystal Beach | Gilchrist | High Island | Port Bolivar
- 1865-1870 Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records(images) - FamilySearch
- Texas African American Griots ~ USGenWeb
- AfriGeneas ~ African Ancestored Genealogy
- Texas African American Genealogy ~ Access Genealogy
Cemetery records often reveal birth, marriage, death, relationship, military, and religious information.
|Tombstone Transcriptions Online||Tombstone Transcriptions in Print||List of Cemeteries in the county|
|FindAGrave||Family History Library||FindAGrave|
|Billion Graves (name)||Cemeteries of TX|
|GenWeb Archives||Texas Cemeteries|
|Billion Graves (cemetery)||TX Gravestones|
|Names in Stone|
|See Texas Cemeteries for more information.|
Additional Cemetery Sources
- African American Cemeteries Online ~ Partial index/transcriptions of African American cemeteries
- Cemetery Junction ~ Links to cemetery transcriptions
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.
- Records of the American Lutheran Church, Galveston County, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).
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.
- Original Land Owners Of Texas ~ Galveston County ~ TXGenWeb
- Lot and Block Book of Texas City, Galveston County, 1902-1911: showing names of property owners, dimensions, lot numbers, block numbers, and street number of each block. Read the book online at the Portal to Texas History.
Local histories are available for Galveston 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.
- The Early History of Galveston, 1916, by Joseph O. Dyer. Read the book online at archive.org. Read the book online at The Portal to Texas History.
- The Port of Galveston and the State of Texas, 1890, by Andrew Morrison. Read the book online at archive.org.
- The Complete Story of the Galveston Horror, c1900 by John Coulter. Read the book online at archive.org.
- Texas Museums ~ List of all museums in Texas ~ Hidden Ancestors
- Historical Maps ~ From the Republic to the Turn of the Century ~ Hidden Ancestors
- Texas Counties Map. Click on the county to go to the Texas TXGenWeb site.
- 1838 - 1900 - Texas Muster Roll Index Cards at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- Military Resources ~ Links to research Civil War to Operation Enduring Freedom ~ Hidden Ancestors
- Fallen Heroes ~ Partial Index of casualties from Civil War to Operation Enduring Freedom ~ Hidden Ancestors
- Honoring Our Veterans ~ Partial index of veterans from Civil War to Operation Enduring Freedom ~ Hidden Ancestors
- 1861 - 1865 - Texas, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index
- 1861 - 1865 - Texas, Civil War Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index
- Confederate Pension Applications ~ Texas State Library and Archives Commission
- Confederate Indigent Families ~ USGenWeb Archives Project
- 1864 Muster List, Easley's ~ USGenWeb Archives Project
Civil War Battles
The following Civil War battles were fought in Galveston County:
- Map showing Civil War battles in Texas.
World War I
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Galveston County, Texas Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:
- TX Newspaper Abstracts (For instructions see WorldCat Online Catalog).
- Home Town News - Texas Newspaper Index with links
- Newslink - Texas Newspaper List (sorted by publication frequency)
- The Olden Times - Historic Texas News Online
- Newspaperarchive.com ($) has historical newspapers available on-line. Their database has Galveston newspapers from the early 1800's that covered local news on Galveston County residents as well as residents from surrounding counties.
- Galveston County Obituaries ~ TXGenWeb
- Obituary Resources ~ Links to research and locate obituaries ~ Hidden Ancestors
- USGenWeb Archives Obituary Project ~ Texas
- Afrigeneas ~ African American death notices, obituaries and funeral programs compiled by users from current newspapers and historical sources
- Obituary Depot ~ Texas Newspaper Citations
- Obituary Project ~ Hidden Ancestors
- Obituary Daily Times ~ Citations to over 15,000,000 obituaries including interactive search function
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.
Online Probate Records
- 1800–1990 Texas Probate Records at FamilySearch — images
- 1800–2000 Texas Wills and Probate Records at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- Search Tax, Criminal, Land and Wills Records ~ Ancestry.com (subscription)
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.
1846-1910 Texas County Tax Rolls lists FHL films with county tax lists. The lists vary by county and year. Most records are between the years of 1846 - 1910.
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.
See Texas Vital Records for more information about Vital records in Texas.
Online Birth Indexes and Records
- 1903-1935 Texas, Birth Certificates (images and index) - FamilySearch
- 1903-1997 Texas Birth Index (index) - FamilySearch
Online Marriage Indexes and Records
- 1814-1909 and 1966-2011 Texas Marriage Collection at Ancestry.com — index $
- 1837-1973 Texas, Marriages - FamilySearch record collection
- 1837-1977 Texas County Marriage Records - FamilySearch. Index to a variety of marriage records (registers, licenses, intentions to marry, etc.) from select counties in Texas.
- 1837-1977 Texas Select County Marriage Index at Ancestry.com — index $
- 1966-2005 Texas Marriage Records - Hidden Ancestors
- 1966-2010 Texas, Marriages - FamilySearch record collection
- 1890-1976 Texas Death Records [with images] Name index and images of statewide death certificates, 1890-1976. The name index has been created by FamilySearch and is tied to images of the Texas death certificates. Few certificates are available prior to 1903.
- 1903-1973 Texas Deaths and Burials (index) - FamilySearch
- 1903-1982 Texas Death Certificates at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1903-2000 Texas, Death Index, 1903-2000 (index) - FamilySearch
- 1964-1998 Texas Death Index [no images] Name index to Texas Statewide Death Certificates or four million people who have died since 1964.
- 1977-1986 Texas Deaths at FamilySearch.org — index
- 1968-2005 Texas Divorce Records ~ Hidden Ancestors
- 1968-2010 Texas Divorce Index at FamilySearch.org — index
- 1968-2011 Texas Divorces at Ancestry.com — index $
- 1850-1930 USGenWeb Census Project Texas
Societies and Libraries
East End Historical Association
PO Box 2424
Galveston, TX 77550
Galveston County Genealogical Society
PO Box 1141
Dickinson Public Library
1837 Hwy 517 E
Dickinson, TX 77539
Telephone Number: 281-534-3812
Friendswood Public Library
416 S Friendswood Dr
Friendswood, TX 77546
Telephone Number: 281-482-7135
2310 Sealy Ave
Galveston, TX 77550
Telephone Number: 409-763-8854
Genevieve Miller Hitchcock Public Library
8005 Barry Ave
Hitchcock, TX 77563
Telephone Number: 409-986-7814
La Marque Public Library
1011 Bayou Rd
La Marque, TX 77568
Telephone Number: 409-938-9270
Helen Hall Library
100 W Walker St
League City, TX 77573
Telephone Number: (81-554-1111
Mae S Bruce Library
13302 6th St
Santa Fe, TX 77510
Telephone Number: 409-925-5540
Moore Memorial Public Library
1701 9th Ave N
Texas City, TX 77590
Telephone Number: 409-643-5970
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 family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.
505 Deseret Dr
Friendswood, Galveston, Texas, United States
Hours: T 10am-2pm & 6pm-9pm; Th 10am-2pm; F 11am-3pm; Sat (2nd) 11am-3pm.
Closed: Thanksgiving week, two weeks at christmas
3300 77th St
Galveston, Galveston, Texas, United States
Hours: T, Sat by appt; W 7pm-9pm
4655 S Shore Blvd
League City, Galveston, Texas, United States
Hours: T-Th 7pm-9pm; Sat 10am-12pm
- Society Hill ~ Links and addresses to Texas genealogical and historical societies
- Galveston County Archives ~ USGenWeb Archives Project
- Galveston County ~ TXGenWeb
- TXGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the county.
- USGenWeb Texas Archives Vital statistics, maps, obituaries, Bible records, tombstone transcriptions and many other records.*FamilySearch Catalog The catalog is genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) This catalog is different than the indexed Historical Records.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Galveston County, Texas. Page 664 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 9 August, 2012)
- Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 9 August, 2012)