Shelby County, Texas Genealogy

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Guide to Shelby 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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Shelby County, Texas
Map of Texas highlighting Shelby County
Location in the state of Texas
Map of the U.S. highlighting Texas
Location of Texas in the U.S.
Founded 17 March, 1836
County Seat Center
Address Shelby County Courthouse
200 San Augustine Street

PO Box 1987
Center, Texas 75935-3945

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County Information

County Courthouse

Shelby County Courthouse
200 San Augustine Street
PO Box 1987
Center, Texas 75935-3945
Phone: 936.598.6361

County Clerk has birth, marriage, probate, court and
land records from 1882, death and burial records from
1903; District Clerk has divorce records[1]

County Clerk

P.O. Box 1987
Center 75935
Phone: 936-598-6361
Fax: 936-598-3701

District Clerk

P.O. Box 1953
Center 75935
Phone: 936-598-4164

Shelby County, Texas Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1903 1882 1850 1836 1881


Isaac Shelby.JPG

1750-1826 The county is named after Kentucky's First Governor Isaac Shelby.[2]

1841-1844 This county was the scene of the Regulator-Moderator War.

Parent County

1836--Shelby County was created 17 March 1836 from Old Mexican Municipality.

  • County seat: Center [3]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

1882 The Shelby County courthouse burned May 31, 1882 destroying all records.  [4] Tax lists were forwarded to Austin so still exist. Deed records were "reconstructed" by the county commissioners.[5]

Places / Localities

Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog

Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

DeSoto Parish, Louisiana  • Nacogdoches  • Panola  • Rusk  • Sabine  • Sabine Parish, Louisiana  • San Augustine

Rusk CountyPanola CountyNacogdoches CountyShelby CountyAngelina CountySan Augustine CountySabine CountySabine Parish, LouisianaDeSoto Parish, LouisianaTX SHELBY 2.JPG
About this image


Shelby County TXGenWeb site


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
  • Cemeteries Shelby County TXGenWeb site
  • Cemeteries from the Shelby County Historical Society Museum & Library



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 St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Shelby County, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).



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 Shelby 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.



  • 1914 Map of Angelina, Gregg, Harrison, Cherokee, Houston, Nacogdoches, Panola, Rusk, San Augustine, Shelby, Smith & Trinity at
  • Texas Counties Map. Click on the county to go to the TXGenWeb site.


Mexican-American War
Civil War
Vietnam War


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

TX Newspaper Abstracts (For instructions see WorldCat Online Catalog).


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


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.

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


Online Marriage Indexes and Records


Online Death Indexes and Records


Societies and Libraries

Shelby County Historical Society
Museum and Genealogy Research Library
PO Box 1542
230 Pecan Street
Center, TX; 75935
Telephone Number: 936-598-2613

Shelby County Historical Society Museum and Library
Timpson Area Genealogical and Heritage Society
520 Austin St
PO Box 726
Timpson, TX 75975
Telephone Number: 936-254-2966

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.


  • TXGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the county.
  • FamilySearch Catalog — The catalog is genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) This catalog is different than the indexed Historical Records.


  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Shelby County, Texas. Page 673 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Wikipedia
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. Unknown. Touching Three Centuries, Shelby County Historic Courthouse. [cited 2011 27 April 2011]; Available from:
  5. Unknown. Touching Three Centuries, Shelby County Historic Courthouse. [cited 2011 27 April 2011]; Available from: