Van Zandt County, Texas Genealogy
Guide to Van Zandt County Texas ancestry, family history, and genealogy research page. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
|Van Zandt County, Texas|
Location in the state of Texas
Location of Texas in the U.S.
|Founded||20 March, 1848|
|Address|| Van Zandt County Courthouse|
121 East Dallas Street Room 202
Canton, TX 75103
- 1 County Information
- 2 History
- 3 Places / Localities
- 4 Resources
- 4.1 Cemeteries
- 4.2 Census
- 4.3 Church
- 4.4 Court
- 4.5 Land
- 4.6 Local Histories
- 4.7 Maps
- 4.8 Military
- 4.9 Newspapers
- 4.10 Probate
- 4.11 School
- 4.12 Taxation
- 4.13 Vital Records
- 5 Societies and Libraries
- 6 Websites
- 7 References
Van Zandt County Courthouse
121 East Dallas Street Room 202
Canton, TX 75103
County Clerk has birth and death records 1903,
marriage, land, probate and court records from
1848 and military discharge records from 1918;
District Clerk has divorce records from 1848
121 E. Dallas Rm 202
121 E. Dallas Street Room 302
Sabine Lake (also known as Jordan's Saline) served as the Van Zandt County's first county seat from 1848-1850. The first courthouse was a crude log building. In 1850 the county seat was moved to Canton, where it has remained. Courthouses were built in Canton in 1850 and 1857. In 1896 a three-story courthouse with a bell tower was built. The current courthouse opened in 1939.
Van Zandt County, Texas Record Dates
1822, 1839, 1845-- Cherokees occupied the area under a grant from Mexico in 1822 and were removed in 1839. The first post office, grist mill and saw mill were set up in 1845. During the Civil War the county was popularly known as the "Free State of Van Zandt."
1848--Van Zandt County was created 20 March 1848 from Henderson County.
- County seat: Canton 
1850-- Wood county was created out of Van Zandt County.
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
Places / Localities
Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog
Ben Wheeler | Canton | Edgewood | Edom | Fruitvale | Grand Saline | Martin's Mill | Van | Wills Point
Cemetery records often reveal birth, marriage, death, relationship, military, and religious information.
|Online Grave Transcripts||Published Grave Transcripts||County Cemetery Directories|
|Family History Library|
|See Texas Cemeteries for more information.|
Additional Cemetery Sources
- Cemetery Listings Cemeteries of Van Zandt County with photos and some bios of folks buried there from the Van Zandt County TXGenWeb site.
- Graveyards of Van Zandt County, SE Section, Vol. A ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
- Graveyards of Van Zandt County, NE Section, Vol. B ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
- Graveyards of Van Zandt County, NW Section, Vol. C ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
- Graveyards of Van Zandt County, SW Section, Vol. D ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
- Graveyards of Van Zandt County, Vol. E (Hillcrest, Haven of Memories and other cemeteries) ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
- 1860 Census Records - Van Zandt County-1860 ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
- 1870 Census Records - Van Zandt County-1870 ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
- 1880 Census Records - Van Zandt County-1880 ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
- 1900 Census Records - Van Zandt County-1900 ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
- "1890 in Van Zandt County"-Various County Records ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society [census substitute]
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.
- Divorce Records of Van Zandt County, 1848-1920 ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
- Van Zandt Co. Court Minutes, Vol. A & B 1848-1871 ~ Elvis Allen
- "Desperate Characters of Van Zandt County" ~ Cheryl Vaughan
- Reconstruction Records of Van Zandt County, 1867-1874: Voters Registration List 1867-1869, Occupation Taxes 1867-1874 & Poll Taxes for 1872
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 are available for Van Zandt 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.
- Some History of Van Zandt County, 1919; reprinted, 1977, by Wentworth Manning. Digital book online from the Portal to Texas History.
- A History of Van Zandt County, 1976 by Margaret Elizabeth Hall.
- History of Van Zandt County, 1950, by William Samuel Mills.
- History of Van Zandt County, 1984, by the Van Zandt County History Book Committee.
- Historical Places in Van Zandt County Many Van Zandt County historical sites and research helps on Bobby Pearce's "Field Guide to Historical Sites in Van Zandt County".
- Van Zandt County History from the Handbook of Texas Online.
- Van Zandt County Histories and Biographies, Vol. I ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
- Van Zandt County Histories and Biographies, Vol. II ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
- "Daddy Said" ~ Elvis Allen
- Texas Counties Map. Click on the county to go to the TXGenWeb site
- 1838 - 1900 Texas Muster Roll Index Cards 1838-1900 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1890 Veterans of Van Zandt County Muster Rolls, Civil War Pensioners, 1890 Texas Union Soldier Schedule, World War I Casualties, World War I Draft Registrations (by town), World War II Veterans with pictures, from the Van Zandt County TXGenWeb site.
- 1845 - 1848 US American Volunteer Soldiers Mexican War 1845-1848 at Ancestry.com — index $
- 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
- Civil War Veterans of Van Zandt County ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Van Zandt County, Texas Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:
- TX Newspaper Abstracts (For instructions see WorldCat Online Catalog).
- Canton Herald newspaper
- Van Banner newspaper
- Wills Point Chronicle
- Van Zandt County News
- Grand Saline Sun
- Edgewood Enterprise.
- Early Obituaries & Death Notices of Van Zandt County, Vol. I, 1884-1900 ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
- Early Obituaries & Death Notices of Van Zandt County, Vol. II, 1901-1907 ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
- Early Obituaries & Death Notices of Van Zandt County, Vol. III, 1908-1913 ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
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 1800-1990 at FamilySearch — images
- 1800 – 2000 Texas Wills and Probate Records 1800-2000 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- School Days in Van Zandt County, Vol. I ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
- School Days in Van Zandt County, Vol. II ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
- School Days in Van Zandt County, Vol. III ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
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
- 1840-1981 Texas, Births and Christenings, 1840-1981 - FamilySearch
- 1903-1935 Texas, Birth Certificates, 1903-1935 (images and index) - FamilySearch
- 1903-1997 Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997 (index)- FamilySearch
- 1814-1909 and 1966-2011 Texas Marriage Collection 1814-1909 and 1966-2011 at Ancestry.com — index $
- 1837-1973 Texas, Marriages, 1837-1973 - FamilySearch record collection
- 1837-1977 Texas, County Marriage Index, 1837-1977 - FamilySearch records collection
- 1837-1977 Texas Select County Marriage Index 1837-1977 at Ancestry.com — index $
- 1848-1909 Van Zandt County Marriage Book, Vol. I, 1848-1909 ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
- 1909-1931 Van Zandt County Marriage Book, Vol. II, 1909-1931 ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
- 1932-1950 Van Zandt County Marriage Book, Vol. III, 1932-1950 ~ Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
- 1966-2010 Texas, Marriages, 1966-2010 - FamilySearch record collection
Online Death Indexes and Records '
- 1890-1976 Texas Death Records 1890 – 1976 [with images]
Name index and images of statewide death certificates, 1890-1976. The name index has been created by Family Search and is tied to images of the Texas death certificates. Few certificates are available prior to 1903.
- 1903-1973 Texas Deaths and Burials 1903-1973 at FamilySearch.org — index
- 1903-1982 Texas Death Certificates 1903-1982 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1964-1998 Texas Death Index 1964 to 1998
- 1964-1998 Texas, Death Index, 1964-1998 - Name index to Texas Statewide Death Certificates or four million people who have died since 1964.
- 1977-1986 Texas Deaths 1977-1986 at FamilySearch.org — index
- 1968-2005 Texas Divorce Records 1968 - 2005 (index) - Hidden Ancestors
- 1968-2010 Texas Divorce Index 1968-2010 at FamilySearch.org — index
- 1968-2011 Texas Divorces 1968-2011 at Ancestry.com — index $
Societies and Libraries
Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
PO Box 716
Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 1388
Canton, Texas 75103-1388
Telephone Number; 903-567-5012
The location is at the court house annex. They have published Graveyards of Van Zandt Co., Tx - Vol A-E,and Marriage Record Books of Van Zandt Co. The library is open from 9am -4 pm Monday thru Friday and 9 am - 1pm Saturday- staffed by local volunteers who know about the county.
- Early Van Zandt County Doctors and Medical Society Minutes and read the minutes from the Medical Society's meetings of the early 1900s.
- OPHGR (Organization for the Preservation of Historical and Genealogical Records)
P. Vinson, President
These folks go to county courthouses, churches and other places where old documents and records are housed. They either scan the very old records with their oversized scanner or they transcribe those old documents and then publish them as books. Membership is $10.00/year if you have an email address and you get their Newsletter sent to you quarterly. Visit their website for Publication Listings as well as membership information.
They also host several workshops during the year. Topics include: Beginning Researcher, Internet Research, Beginner Computer Help as well as Native American/Melungeon/African American Research.
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
- Van Zandt County Genealogical Society: In addition to Society information, this site contains thousands of records and photographs.
- 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), Van Zandt County, Texas. Page 675 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).