History & Facts of Oklahoma Counties

Oklahoma Counties  •  Oklahoma Extinct Counties  •  Oklahoma Burned Courthouses

Oklahoma County records vary widely from county to county both in quality as well as quantity. Some are already very carefully preserved while others have been much abused and mistreated. Some Oklahoma records have merely vanished. For genealogists carrying out research in Oklahoma there's no effective substitute for an on-site search of county court house records.

Oklahoma originally had seven counties when it was first organized as the Oklahoma Territory. These counties were designated numerically, first through seventh. New counties added after this were designated by letters of the alphabet. The first seven counties were later renamed. The Oklahoma Constitutional Convention named all of the counties that were formed when Oklahoma entered statehood in 1907. Only two counties have been formed since then.

Oklahoma Counties

Oklahoma is divided into 77 counties. Oklahoma deeds, probates, and civil court records are located at the county clerk's or clerk of the courts office. Marriage records before statewide recording may be found at the county clerk as well, but records of births and deaths are not available until statewide recording began. Official certificates come from the State Department of Health. The largest percentage of Oklahoma's extant public records were generated in the twentieth century and are generally intact. Send inquiries to the county official at the courthouse address for the appropriate county.

County Date Formed Parent County County Seat
Adair July 16, 1907 Cherokee Lands Stilwell
Alfalfa July 16, 1907 Woods County Cherokee
Atoka July 16, 1907 Choctaw Lands Atoka
Beaver 1890 Oklahoma Territory Beaver
Beckham July 16, 1907 Roger Mills County Sayre
Blaine April 19, 1892 Cheyenne, Arapaho land Watonga
Bryan July 16, 1907 Choctaw Lands Durant
Caddo August 5, 1901 Kowa, Comanche,Apache, Wichita, Caddo lands Anadarko
Canadian May 1890 Oklahoma Territory El Reno
Carter July 16, 1907 Chickasaw lands Ardmore
Cherokee July 16, 1907 Tahlequah District Tahlequah
Choctaw July 16, 1907 Choctaw lands Hugo
Cimarron July 16, 1907 Beaver County Boise City
Cleveland May 1890 Oklahoma Territory Norman
Coal July 16, 1907 Choctaw lands Coalgate
Comanche August 5,1901 Kiowa County, Comanche lands Lawton
Cotton August 27, 1912 Comanche County Walters
Craig July 16, 1907 Cherokee lands Vinita
Creek July 16, 1907 Creek lands Sapulpa
Custer August 19, 1892 Cheyenne & Arapaho land opening Arapaho
Delaware July 16, 1907 Cherokee Jay
Dewey April 19, 1892 Cheyenne & Arapaho land opening Taloga
Ellis July 16, 1907 Day, Woodward Arnett
Garfield September 16, 1893 Cherokee Outlet land Enid
Garvin July 16, 1907 Chickasaw lands Pauls Valley
Grady July 16, 1907 Caddo, Comanche lands Chickasha
Grant September 16, 1893 Cherokee Outletland Medford
Greer 1886 Cherokee lands Mangum
Harmon June 2, 1909 Greer, Jackson Hollis
Harper July 16, 1907 Indian lands, Woods, Woodward Buffalo
Haskell July 16, 1907 Choctaw lands Stigler
Hughes July 16, 1907 Creek lands Holdenville
Jackson July 16, 1907 Greer County Altus
Jefferson July 16, 1907 Comanche, Chickasaw lands Waurika
Johnston July 16, 1907 Chickasaw lands Tishomingo
Kay September 16, 1893 Cherokee Outlet land Newkirk
Kingfisher May 1890 Oklahoma Territory Kingfisher
Kiowa August 5, 1901 Kiowa, Comanche, Apache, Wichita, Caddo lands Hobart
Latimer July 16, 1907 Choctaw lands Wilburton
Le Flore July 16, 1907 Choctaw lands Poteau
Lincoln September 22, 1893 Oklahoma Territory Chandler
Logan May 1890 Oklahoma Territory Guthrie
Love July 16, 1907 Chickasaw Territory Marietta
Major July 16, 1907 Woods County Fairview
Marshall July 16, 1907 Chickasaw lands Madill
Mayes July 16, 1907 Cherokee lands Pryor
McClain July 16, 1907 Chickasaw lands Purcell
McCurtain July 16, 1907 Choctaw lands Idabel
McIntosh July 16, 1907 Creek lans Eufaula
Murray July 16, 1907 Chickasaw lands Sulphur
Muskogee July 16, 1907 Creek lands Muskogee
Noble September 16, 1893 Cherokee Outlet land Perry
Nowata July 16, 1907 Cherokee lands Nowata
Okfuskee July 16, 1907 Creek lands Okemah
Oklahoma May 2, 1890 Oklahoma Territory Oklahoma City
Okmulgee July 16, 1907 Creek lands Okmulgee
Osage July 16, 1907 Osage lands Pawhuska
Ottawa July 16, 1907 Cherokee Nation Miami
Pawnee September 16, 1893 Cherokee Outlet land Pawnee
Payne 1890 Original County Stillwater
Pittsburg July 16, 1907 Choctaw lands McAlester
Pontotoc July 16, 1907 Chickasaw lands Ada
Pottawatomie September 22, 1891 Oklahoma Territory Shawnee
Pushmataha July 16, 1907 Choctaw lands Antlers
Roger Mills April 19, 1892 Cheyene, Araphoe land Cheyenne
Rogers July 16, 1907 Cherokee Nation Claremore
Seminole July 16, 1907 Seminole lands Wewoka
Sequoyah July 16, 1907 Cherokee lands Sallisaw
Stephens July 16, 1907 Comanche Duncan
Texas July 16, 1907 Beaver County Guymon
Tillman July 16, 1907 Comanche County Frederick
Tulsa July 16, 1907 Creek lands Tulsa
Wagoner July 16, 1907 Creek lands Wagoner
Washington July 16, 1907 Cherokee lands Bartlesville
Washita April 19, 1892 Cheyenne, Arapaho Cordell
Woods September 16, 1893 Cherokee Outlet land Alva
Woodward September 16, 1893 Cherokee Outlet land Woodward

Oklahoma Extinct Counties

Oklahoma contains counties that no longer exist. They were organized by the state, provincial, or territorial governing administration. Many of these counties were created and disbanded in the 19th century; county boundaries have changed little since Nineteen hundred in the great majority of states. These counties need to be researched when performing ancestors and family history research. Pay attention where the courthouse records went to if the county was eliminated or merged with a different county.

  • Day County Formed in 1892 from Cheyenne & Arapaho lands. Abolished in 1907; now Ellis County area. Day County in Oklahoma Territory, was abolished at statehood, comprising the northern portion of Roger Mills County and the southern portion of Ellis County. Named for William R. Day
  • A County "A County" was the original designation for Lincoln County, Oklahoma Territory. It included some of the former Absentee Shawnee, Iowa, Kickapoo, and Sac & Fox Lands administered by the Sac & Fox Agency.
  • B County "B County" was the original designation for Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma Territory. It included some of the former Absentee Shawnee, Kickapoo, and Pottawatomie Lands administered by the Sac & Fox Agency.
  • C County "C County" was the original designation for Blaine County, Oklahoma Territory
  • D County "D County" was the original designation for Dewey County, Oklahoma Territory
  • E County "E County" was the original designation for Day County, Oklahoma Territory
  • F County "F County" was the original designation for Roger Mills County, Oklahoma Territory.
  • G County "G County" was the original designation for Custer County, Oklahoma Territory.
  • H County "H County" was the original designation for Washita County, Oklahoma Territory.
  • I County "I County" was the original designation for Caddo County, Oklahoma Territory
  • K County "K County" was the original designation for Kay County, Oklahoma Territory
  • L County "L County" was the original designation for Grant County, Oklahoma Territory.
  • M County "M County" was the original designation for Woods County, Oklahoma Territory.
  • N County "N County" was the original designation for Woodward County, Oklahoma Territory.
  • O County "O County" was the original designation for Garfield County, Oklahoma Territory.
  • P County "P County" was the original designation for Noble County, Oklahoma Territory.
  • Q County "Q County" was the original designation for Pawnee County, Oklahoma Territory.

Oklahoma Counties with Burned Courthouses

The destruction to Oklahoma courthouses drastically has a affect on genealogists in almost every way. Not only are these kinds of historic structures ripped from our lifetimes, so are the documents they stored: marriage, wills, probate, land records, among others. Once destroyed they are lost permanently. Although they have been put on mircofilm, computers and film burn as well. The most heartbreaking aspect of this is the reason that almost all of our courthouses are destroyed as a result of arsonist. Though, don't assume all records were destroyed. Numerous Oklahoma counties have suffered a loss of records due to courthouse fires, floods, and theft.

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