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Nevada County records differ extensively from county to county in either quality and quantity. Some have already been carefully conserved while some have been much misused and overlooked. Many Nevada records have purely vanished. For genealogists carrying out research in Nevada you will find no valuable substitute to have an on-site search of county courthouse records.
Nevada is divided into 16 counties and and one independent city. On November 25, 1861, the first Nevada Territorial Legislature established nine counties. Nevada was admitted to the Union on October 31, 1864 with eleven counties. In 1969, Ormsby County and Carson City were consolidated into a single municipal government known as Carson City.
Carson City, the state capital, is also an independent city, which doesn't belong to any county. However, it has a similar status to that of the 16 counties in the state. Carson City used to be the county seat of Ormsby County, but the two were consolidated in 1969. Each of the 16 counties in Nevada has a sheriff, board of commissioners, district attorney, public administrator, and other various officials with specific jobs to do. Each town and city in Nevada was granted a charter from the state legislature, and many of the cities and towns operate using a governmental system including town council members and a mayor.
Each county may have its own records on file. However, many county records can be found on microfilm at the FHL and at the Nevada State Library and Archives.
County recorders are responsible for most county land records. However, two counties have their land records at the county assessor's office. The court records are maintained by the clerk of the courts and the probate records are maintained by the county clerks in each county. The county pages below contains contact information for each county's offices. The Nevada State Library and Archives has a list of which county offices hold which types of records.
|County||Date Formed||Parent County||County Seat|
|Carson City||1969||Founded 1858, consolidated with Ormsby County in 1969.||Carson City|
|Churchill||November 25, 1861||Original County in the Nevada Territory||Fallon|
|Clark||February 5, 1909||Lincoln County||Las Vegas|
|Douglas||November 25, 1861||Original County in the Nevada Territory||Minden|
|Elko||March 5, 1869||Lander County||Elko|
|Esmeralda||November 25, 1861||Original County in the Nevada Territory||Goldfield|
|Eureka||March 1, 1873||Lander County||Eureka|
|Humboldt||December 20, 1855||Original County in the Nevada Territory||Winnemucca|
|Lander||December 19, 1862||Original County in the Nevada Territory||Battle Mountain|
|Lincoln||February 26, 1866||Nye County and territory ceded by Arizona.||Pioche|
|Lyon||November 25, 1861||Original County in the Nevada Territory||Yerington|
|Mineral||February 10, 1911||Esmeralda County||Hawthorne|
|Nye||February 16, 1864||Esmeralda County||Tonopah|
|Pershing||March 18, 1919||Humboldt County||Lovelock|
|Storey||November 25, 1861||Original County in the Nevada Territory||Virginia City|
|Washoe||November 25, 1861||Original County in the Nevada Territory||Reno|
|White Pine||March 2, 1869||Lander County||Ely|
Nevada has counties that no longer are in existence. They were created by the state, provincial, or territorial governing administration. Most of these counties were created and disbanded in the 19th century; county borders have changed little since Nineteen hundred in the great number of states. These counties really should be checked out when you are conducting genealogy research. Pay attention where the courthouse records went to if the county was abolished or joined with a different county.
The damage to Nevada courthouses significantly has a bearing on genealogists in almost every way. Not only are these kinds of historic buildings torn from our lifetimes, so are the archives they stored: marriage, wills, probate, land records, among others. Once destroyed they're destroyed permanently. Although they have already been placed on mircofilm, computers and film burn up too. The most tragic side of this is the reason that virtually all of our courthouses are destroyed from arsonist. However, you cannot assume all records were destroyed. A number of Nevada counties have dealt with a loss of records due to courthouse fires, floods, and theft.