Wise County, Texas Genealogy
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.
|Wise County, Texas|
Location in the state of Texas
Location of Texas in the U.S.
|Founded||23 January, 1856|
|Address|| Wise County Courthouse|
200 North Trinity Street
PO Box 359
Decatur, Texas 76234-0359
- 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 Obituaries
- 4.11 Probate
- 4.12 Schools
- 4.13 Taxation
- 4.14 Vital Records
- 5 Societies and Libraries
- 6 Websites
- 7 References
Wise County Courthouse
200 North Trinity Street PO Box 359
Decatur, Texas 76234-0359
County Clerk has birth and death records
from 1903, marriage records from 1881,
probate records from 1882, land records
from 1852 and court records
P.O. Box 359
P.O. Box 308
Wise County, Texas Record Dates
1855 The first white settler arrived in 1854 and the first public school opened in 1855.
1860's Just northwest of Fort Worth and Dallas, in the 1860's, "Wise County had more Indian attacks & kidnappings than any other county in Texas".
1880's 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.
1881, 1895--Courthouse and many county records were destroyed by fire.
Places / Localities
Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog
Alvord | Aurora | Balsora | Boonsville | Boyd | Bridgeport | Chico | Cottondale | Decatur | Greenwood | Lake Bridgeport | New Fairview | Newark | Paradise |Rhome | Runaway Bay | Slidell
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
- Alphabetical Headstone Listings for Wise County, 1850-2010 31,537 Names with headstone pictures online
- Wise County Cemetery Location, Maps & Information 101 Cemeteries in Wise County
- 1860-1930 -- Wise County Census Images LARGE images of all year's pages
- 1860 -- 1860 Census Transcription All of Wise County Transcribed with Additional Information, 3,034 names with index
- 1870-1910 -- Wise County Census Indexes of Last Names Only
- 1900-1910 -- Wise County 1900 & 1910 Census Transcriptions & Index of Names, Southwest corner of Wise County only
- 1920 -- 1920 Census All of Wise County Transcribed with Additional Information, 23,117 names with index
- 1930 -- 1930 Census All of Wise County Transcribed with Additional Information, 19,202 names with index (population was less)
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 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.
- Texas Counties Map. Click on the county to go to the 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
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Wise County, Texas Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:
- TX Newspaper Abstracts (For instructions see WorldCat Online Catalog).
- Wise County Messenger
- Bridgeport Index Newspaper 1910-1975 15,377 images of pages with names indexed.
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
Obituaries From The Bridgeport Index
7,106 Newspaper clippings online
Obituary Text From The Wise County Messenger
5,197 Obituaries with complete text
The Wise County Messenger
Link;Decatur paper obituaries
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.
Online Probate Records
- 1800 – 1990 Texas Probate Records at FamilySearch — images
- 1800 – 2000 Texas Wills and Probate Records at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- Old School Pictures & Yearbooks 1900s-1970s Indexed class pictures & yearbooks.
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 '
- 1864-1933 Wise County Recorded Births & Birth Certificates, 1864-1933 Data of 19,202 births with 9,500 certificates online.
- 1926-2009 Birth,Statistics and Announcements 1926-2009 No longer have online. Sent on request.
- 2003 Wise County Messenger Newspaper Birth announcements 2003-present online
Online Marriage Indexes and Records
- 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 Select County Marriage Index 1837-1977 at Ancestry.com — index $
- 1837-1977 Texas, County Marriage Index, 1837-1977 - FamilySearch records collection
- 1866-2001 Wise County Marriages 1866-2001 Bride & Groom & Date of Marriage,10,527 Listings
- 1881-1945 Wise County Marriages 1881-1945 Bride & Groom & Date of Marriage,14,976 Listings
- 1966-2010 Texas, Marriages, 1966-2010 - FamilySearch record collection
- 2000-2009 Wedding Announcements from The Wise County Messenger Newspaper 2000-2009 1,520 with Complete Text
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.
- 1903-1966 Wise County Death Certificates Online - 1903-1966 7,904 images online
- 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 $
- 1903-1990 Wise County Recorded Deaths - 1903-1999 11,324 deaths listed
- 1914-2001 Wise County Funeral Records in Alphabetical Order 1914-2001, 19,000 Pages with older images online
- 1964-1998 Texas Death Index 1964 to 1998 [no images] Name index to Texas Statewide Death Certificates or four million people who have died since 1964.
- 1968-2001 Wise County Divorces 1968-2001 Divorces With Marriage Dates & Number of Children, 5,904 Records
- 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
Bridgeport Historical Museum
812b Halsell Street
- Paradise Historical Society - Links to Paradise Information
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.
- Wise County on the Web - Many local links
- Lake Bridgeport - Pictures & links to information
- Jones Family Funeral Home, Bridgeport Texas
- Hawkins Funeral Homes, Decatur, Bridgeport & Boyd
- 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.
- 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.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).