Washoe County, Nevada Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png Nevada Gotoarrow.png Washoe County

Guide to Washoe County, Nevada ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and military records.


Washoe County, Nevada
Map of Nevada highlighting Washoe County
Location in the state of Nevada
Map of the U.S. highlighting Nevada
Location of Nevada in the U.S.
Founded November 25, 1861
County Seat Reno
Address Washoe County Courthouse
75 Court Street
PO Box 11130
Reno, NV 89520
Phone: 775.328.3260
Washoe County Website

Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
* For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.




In the FamilySearch Catalog Place Search on FamilySearch, for Washoe, Nevada, look at the list of records for Cemeteries. Films can be sent to family history centers. Public libraries may have copies of the books or can obtain them through Interlibrary Loan.

LDS Cemetery Records, US Vol. 23, page 4 - Washoe Cemetery, Washoe

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
NVGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
NVGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
NV Interment
Billion Graves

Church Records

Most church records are held by individual churches. For contact information, check a phone directory, such as SearchBug or Dex Knows. Some denominations are gathering their records into a central repository. For more information about these major repositories, see Nevada Church Records.

Church records are usually found in town records rather than on the county level. Search the FamilySearch Catalog - Place Search for the appropriate town in Washoe County.

LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Reno
  • Sparks

Court Records

The 2nd Judicial District Court, State of Nevada, Washoe County, handles divorce and probate as well as other court matters.


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political or Religious Groups




Local histories are available for Washoe County, Nevada 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 Nevada Local Histories.

Washoe County, Nevada

Google Books has some books about the history and people in Washoe County, Nevada. Try various search terms, including the names of people. Books designated with "Full view" can be read online.

Search FamilySearch Catalog Place Search for Washoe County, Nevada History. Order films from a local Family History Center. Public libraries may have copies of books or order through Interlibrary Loan.

Land and Property

The county recorder's office keeps land records once the land was transferred to private ownership. Abstracts and indexes for these records are generally available at the county courthouse.

In the FamilySearch Catalog, land records for Nevada are listed in the Place Search under: NEVADA, Washoe – LAND AND PROPERTY

The Washoe County Recorder handles land records.

The grantor/grantee index on this website allows searches of public records from 19 November 1991 to the present. Available images are "unofficial" copies only at $1.00 per page.

For official copies or questions about documents prior to 19 November 1991, call the Washoe County Recorder's office at 775-328-3660 or e-mail record@mail.co.washoe.nv.us




Early migration routes to and from Washoe County, Nevada Genealogy for emigrant settlers included:[2][3]

Military History and Records

Civil War

Naturalization and Citizenship


  • NewspaperArchive.com ($) has a collection of digitized Reno newspapers going back to 1870 online. This database is sometimes free at libraries.

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


Probate Records

Probate records may include, wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distributions. They may include the decedent’s date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, etc. See Nevada Probate Records for additional information.

Public Records



Washoe County Courthouse
75 Court Street
PO Box 11130
Reno, NV 89520

County Health Department has birth, death and burial records from 1900.
County Clerk has divorce, probate, court and naturalization records from 1862.
County Recorder has land records from 1862 and marriage records from 1871. [6]

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.




  • Wellington Historical Society
    P. O. Box 36
    Wellington, NV 89444
  • Nevada - ENC IOOF Independent Order of Odd Fellows
    PO Box 7053
    Reno, NV 89510-7053
    Phone: (775) 348-7461
  • Nevada - LEA IOOF Independent Order of Odd Fellows
    PO Box 7053
    Reno, NV 89510-7053
    Phone: (775)-348-7461
    Daughters of the American Revolution
    SOUTH RENO, Nevada
  • Nevada Society of the Order of Founders and Patriots of America
    J. Coats
    1839 Deep Creek Dr
    Sparks, NV 89434-1762
  • Sparks Heritage Society
    814 Victorian Ave.
    Sparks, NV 89431


Nevada tax records complement land records and can be used to supplement the years between censuses. There may be gaps of several years in the tax records. Most tax records can be obtained from the county treasurer or assessor. For more information, see the wiki page Nevada Taxation. The Family History Library does not have copies of Nevada tax records (as of June 2013).

Vital Records

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

A copy or an extract of most Nevada original records can be purchased from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred. See also Nevada Vital Records. For information about restrictions and costs for certificates, see the CDC Where to Write for Vital Records site.



  • The Nevada State Library and Archives has marriage licenses for Washoe County from 1862 to 1872. The original marriage certificate registers are in the county recorder's office and have not been microfilmed by the Family History Library.
  • Western States Marriage Index over 3,775 marriages from 13 Apr 1862 to 11 Jan 1919
  • Nevada, Marriage Index, 1956-2005





  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. National Park Service, "California Trail" (map) in California National Historic Trail at http://www.nps.gov/cali/planyourvisit/upload/CALImap1-web.pdf (accessed 5 August 2011).
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "California Trail" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Trail (accessed 5 August 2012).
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Central Overland Route" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Overland_Route (accessed 4 August 2011).
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "First Transcontinental Railroad" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Transcontinental_Railroad (accessed 2 August 2011).
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Washoe County, Oregon page 443, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.