Wise County, Texas Genealogy
Guide to Wise County Texas genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
- 1 County Courthouse
- 2 History
- 3 Places / Localities
- 4 Resources
- 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
The first white settler arrived in 1854 and the first public school opened in 1855.
Just northwest of Fort Worth and Dallas, in the 1860's, "Wise County had more Indian attacks & kidnappings than any other county in Texas".
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--Courthouse and many county records were destroyed by fire.
Places / Localities
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.
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|
|1976-2008||Obituaries From The Bridgeport Index||7,106 Newspaper clippings online|
|2000-2009||Obituary Text From The Wise County Messenger||5,197 Obituaries with complete text|
|Recent||The Wise County Messenger||Link - Decatur paper obituaries|
|Recent||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.
- 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 '
- Wise County Recorded Births & Birth Certificates, 1864-1933 Data of 19,202 births with 9,500 certificates online.
- Wise County Messenger Newspaper Birth announcements 2003-present online
- Birth,Statistics and Announcements 1926-2009 No longer have online. Sent on request.
'Original Birth Records on Microfilm
Online Marriage Indexes and Records
- Wise County Marriages 1881-1945 Bride & Groom & Date of Marriage,14,976 Listings
- Wise County Marriages 1866-2001 Bride & Groom & Date of Marriage,10,527 Listings
- Wedding Announcements from The Wise County Messenger Newspaper 2000-2009 1,520 with Complete Text
Original Marriage Records on Microfilm
Online Death Indexes and 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 Family Search and is tied to images of the Texas death certificates. Few certificates are available prior to 1903.
- Texas Death Index 1964 to 1998 [no images] Name index to Texas Statewide Death Certificates or four million people who have died since 1964.
- Wise County Death Certificates Online - 1903-1966 7,904 images online
- Wise County Recorded Deaths - 1903-1999 11,324 deaths listed
- Wise County Funeral Records in Alphabetical Order 1914-2001, 19,000 Pages with older images online
Original Death Records on Microfilm
- Wise County Divorces 1968-2001 Divorces With Marriage Dates & Number of Children, 5,904 Records
Societies and Libraries
- Wise County Historical Society - Museum in Decatur
- Bridgeport Historical Society - Bridgeport History & Museum
- Paradise Historical Society - Links to Paradise Information
Family History Centers
- 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.
- 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).