Grayson County, Texas Genealogy
Guide to Grayson County Texas genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
- 1 County Courthouse
- 2 History
- 3 Record Loss
- 4 Populated Places
- 5 Small Communities and Archaic Place Names
- 6 Neighboring Counties
- 7 Resources
- 8 Cemeteries
- 9 Churches
- 10 Schools
- 11 Historical Markers
- 12 Railroads
- 13 Court
- 14 Land
- 15 Local Histories
- 16 Maps of Grayson County
- 17 Military
- 18 Newspapers
- 19 Probate
- 20 Taxation
- 21 Vital Records
- 22 Societies and Libraries
- 23 Web Sites
- 24 References
Grayson County Courthouse
The Grayson County Courthouse & Official Flag
The first courthouse was constructed in 1847 and torn down in 1858, the story passed down is that some men were drunk and made a bet on how many eggs were in a goose's nest under the building; so they tore it down to find out!
This old photograph had this statement attched; "I, J.P. Loving, do hereby certify that the above photogrpah is a true picture of the first court house built in the present town of Sherman, Texas, and that it was customary for juries trying cases in said court house to retire to the shade of the old Pecan tree, then standing on the public square to consider their verdict" signed Jesse P. Loving.
The pecan tree he mentioned was used as a bank of sorts. People would hang their saddlebags and other personal property on or under the old pecan tree and they knew everything would be safe on their reurn. Even bags of gold were left there undisturbed. No one is ever known to have violated the sanctity of this 'bank'.
Grayson County is located at the top of Texas and is home to the famed Preston Road. This road was a major pioneer road, crossing the Red River into Texas. Just to the east of the Preston Road was the Shawnee Trail, the first cattle drive road in Texas. This cattle trail crossed the Red River in a natural rock formed cattle shute and herds passed through the Indian Nations in Oklahoma to reach the railheads in Kansas.The Butterfield Overland Mail route also passed through Grayson county, this land was a vital link for pioneers entering the West.
Above is an Old Bois d' Arc Tree in a field of Indian Blanket Flowers. This area of Texas is a rich land, beautiful with rolling hills, prairie grasses; native pecan, oak, hackberry, elms, black walnut, chinaberry, blackjack, and more, and of course our famous Bois d'arc trees forrest the land.
Bois d'arc trees were a cash crop in the 1800's, used as a windbreak and a living livestock fence, this tree originated in Grayson County and its neighbor to the east, Fannin County, Texas and is one of the few trees left in the world that is prehistoric. It was ironic for the American Soldiers from Texas to have to break through the Bois d'arch hedges of France and Germany in WWI & WWII. Every one of the trees that impeded our tanks and troups, came from 'back home'. This tree is called by many names, hedgeapple, horseapple, Texas orange, Osage Orange, ironwood and other names. It was of course named for its main historical use, 'Wood of the Bow'. Bows made of Bois d'arc wood were found anciently deep in South America. The Natives traded the bows and the wood far and wide.
Grayson County is home to the two Americans' to receive France's highest honor, the French Legion of Honor. Dwight D. Eisenhour, who was born in Denison, Grayson County and Thomas V. Munson, who saved Europe's grape & wine industy by his research and development of using grafts of our Texas native grapevine stock to save them from extinction.
Lake Texoma, one of largest reservoirs in the United States was a project envolving placing a large dam just North of Denison,Texas in the 1940's and is a very popular vacation spot today. It is the home of two wildlife habitats. This lake ended most of the flooding from the Red River.
Grayson County is a beautiful place to live.
Parent County was Fannin County - Grayson County was formed May 17, 1846
County seat: Sherman 
Grayson County Frontier Village in Denison, Texas is a place where Grayson County history is brought to life. It also houses a database of Katy Railroad Workers and has a research center in the museum building. They are glad to help patrons with their genealogical search.
1930 Fire--The Third Grayson County courthouse was burned by a mob on May 9, 1930.  However ALL of the vital records, land records, and most court records were saved from this fire. The courthouse had records in fire proof rooms and storage areas.
Sherman is the county seat, other towns and communities alphabetically; Bells (formerly called Bailey Junction, Gospel Ridge, Bellsplain and Belvue); Collinsville (previously called Springville and Toadsuck); Denison; Dorchester; Gordonville; Gunter; Howe (first called Summit); Luella; Pottsboro; Sadler, Southmayd; Tioga; Tom Bean; Van Alstyne; Whitesboro (previous names-City of Divide, The Wolfe Path; White Settlement; White Colony); and Whitewright. Visit My Grayson County Town Page
Small Communities and Archaic Place Names
Ambrose, Basin Springs, Bethel, Blackmon Chapel; Blanks Community; Bliss; Cannon; Carpenters Bluff; Cedar Mills; Center; Choctaw; Desert; Devoignes; Dixie; Dripping Springs; Elmont; Ellsworth; Enterprise; Farmington; Fink; Friendship; Gage; Georgetown; Hackberry; Hagerman; Hayhurst; Highway; Ida; Jamison (Jameson); Kentuckytown; Knollwood; Locust;Macomb; Mantua; Marilee; Nance Prairie; Needle Ridge (Christian Chapel Community); Norton; Oak Grove; Oxford Community; Pilot Grove; Pink Hill; Plainview; Preston; Quillen; Red Branch; Red River City; Rock Creek; Rose Hill; Sanborn; Sandusky; Sedalia (also called Yakima); Smith Oaks; South Gale; Sperry; Warner Junction; Washita Bend; Waterloo; Whitemound; Whiterock; ; and Woodlake (also called Tanyard Springs). I'm sure I'll find more!
- Grayson County,Texas ~ TXGenWeb- maps, biographical and historical data, cemeteries, obituaries, articles and all kinds of useful information.
- Grayson County, Texas - Official County Website
- Online books about Grayson County, Texas
- The Handbook of Texas Online - Searchable
- Biographical Souvenir of Texas - 1889
Grayson County's beautiful rolling green hills hold more than 200 cemeteries.
- There are more than 200 cemeteries in Grayson County,Texas. I have been working for more than 13 years on collecting - cemetery data, tombstone photographs and new info being added every week.
- I have made a Google Map of Grayson County Cemeteries.
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.
- Grayson County Churches, Photographs, Historical Markers, Links Books ~ onlne!
- Many Grayson County Books are online and complete!
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.
- Land Records are kept in the Grayson County Clerk's Office.
- Very early records made during the Republic of Texas are found in Fannin County's Courthouse and in the Texas State Archives.
Local histories are available for Grayson 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.
- A history of Grayson County, Texas / Mattie Davis Lucas (Mrs. W. H. Lucas) and Mita Holsapple Hall (Mrs. H. E. Hall) 1936
- An Illustated History of Grayson County, Texas , by Graham Landrum, 1960- Included in this book is a pioneer index that covers people from the 1830's to 1870.
- History of Grayson County, Texas ( 2 Vols 1979 & 1981) by Grayson County Frontier Village
- Ancestors and Decendants of Grayson County, Texas - by the Grayson County Genealogical Society 1980
- Black Friday ~ May 15, 1896 ~ The Sherman Cyclone
- Online Books about Grayson County and Grayson County people.
Maps of Grayson County
- Texas Counties Map. Click on the county to go to the Texas Genweb site
- Maps of Grayson County & Texas
- Grayson County Military history is a proud one. Useful links and information.
- Perrin Air Force Base was located in Grayson County. View various webpages about it, in the link listed for military history above.
- Historical Research Center - Hillsboro, Tx., has one of the worlds best Confederate Research & Civil War collections.
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Grayson 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.
- All Probate records, insanity hearings and guardianship records are in the County Clerk's Office. Email the clerk's office for details about the record you are requesting.
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.
- Tax Rolls are available through interlibrary loan and also through any FHC near you 1846-1910.
- Tax records are kept in the County Clerks Office with more recent records in the Tax Assessors Office.
- City of Denison (Land) Tax records are being placed online. this is an ongoing project by the Denison, Texas Genealogical Society's Online Document Project
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.
- Death Records 1964-1998Texas, Death Index, 1964-1998 (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Texas Death Records 1890 – 1976 [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.
- Tips and advice on Grayson County, Texas Records
- County Clerks Office
Societies and Libraries
- Denison, Texas Genealogical Society
- Martha Jefferson Randolph Chapter NSDAR
- Grayson County Genealogical Society information can be found through the Sherman Public LIbrary.
Family History Centers
- Grayson County,Texas ~ TXGenWeb web site. Has maps, biographical and historical data, online books, cemeteries, obituaries, articles and all kinds of useful information.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- Sherman, TX Grayson County Courthouse Burned by Mob, May 1930 http://www3.gendisasters.com/texas/17865/sherman-tx-grayson-county-courthouse-burned-mob-may-1930