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New Mexico County records vary widely from county to county in both quality and quantity. Some have been carefully preserved while others have been much abused and neglected. Some New Mexico records have simply disappeared. For genealogists doing research in New Mexico there is no effective replace for an on-site search of county courthouse records.
New Mexico is divided into 33 counties. There were originally nine counties formed in 1852. Santa Ana County, New Mexico Territory, one of the nine original counties, was annexed in 1876 to Bernalillo County, New Mexico.
The county seat's county clerk's office retains some probate records, as well as plats, surveys, mining records, deeds, land records, and records pertaining to marriages. They also have files containing mortgages, liens, powers of attorney, military discharges and other documents and affidavits. The district clerk's office holds records pertaining to probate matters.
The New Mexico State Records Center and Archives has records on file that predate formal county organizations and certain counties may also have similar records on file from Mexican and Territorial times.
|County||Date Formed||Parent County||County Seat|
|Bernalillo||January 6, 1852||One of the nine original counties.||Albuquerque|
|Catron||February 25, 1921||Part of Socorro County.||Reserve|
|Chaves||February 25, 1889||Part of Lincoln County.||Roswell|
|Cibola||June 19, 1981||Part of Valencia County.||Grants|
|Colfax||January 25, 1869||Part of Mora County.||Raton|
|Curry||February 25, 1909||Parts of Quay and Roosevelt Counties.||Clovis|
|De Baca||February 28, 1917||Parts of Chaves and Guadalupe Counties.||Fort Sumner|
|Dona Ana||January 6, 1852||One of the nine original counties.||Las Cruces|
|Eddy||February 25, 1889||Part of Lincoln County.||Carlsbad|
|Grant||January 30, 1868||Part of Doña Ana County.||Silver City|
|Guadalupe||February 26, 1891||Part of San Miguel County.||Santa Rosa|
|Harding||March 4, 1921||Parts of Mora and Union Counties.||Mosquero|
|Hidalgo||February 25, 1919||Part of Grant County.||Lordsburg|
|Lea||March 7, 1917||Parts of Chaves and Eddy Counties.||Lovington|
|Lincoln||January 16, 1869||Part of Socorro County.||Carrizozo|
|Los Alamos||March 16, 1949||Parts of Sandoval and Santa Fe Counties.||Los Alamos|
|Luna||March 16, 1901||Parts of Doña Ana and Grant Counties.||Deming|
|McKinley||February 23, 1899||Part of Bernalillo County.||Gallup|
|Mora||February 1, 1860||Part of Taos County.||Mora|
|Otero||January 30, 1899||Parts of Doña Ana and Lincoln Counties.||Alamogordo|
|Quay||February 28, 1903||Part of Guadalupe County.||Tucumcari|
|Rio Arriba||January 6, 1852||One of the nine original counties.||Tierra Amarilla|
|Roosevelt||February 28, 1903||Parts of Chaves and Guadalupe Counties.||Portales|
|San Juan||February 24, 1887||Part of Bernalillo County.||Bernalillo|
|San Miguel||January 6, 1852||Part of Rio Arriba County.||Aztec|
|Sandoval||March 10, 1903||One of the nine original counties.||Las Vegas|
|Santa Fe||January 6, 1852||One of the nine original counties.||Santa Fe|
|Sierra||April 3, 1884||Parts of Doña Ana and Socorro Counties.||Truth or Consequences|
|Socorro||January 6, 1852||One of the nine original counties.||Socorro|
|Taos||January 6, 1852||One of the nine original counties.||Taos|
|Torrance||March 16, 1903||Parts of Bernalillo and Valencia Counties.||Estancia|
|Union||February 23, 1893||Parts of Colfax, Mora and San Miguel Counties.||Clayton|
|Valencia||January 6, 1852||One of the nine original counties.||Los Lunas|
New Mexico has counties that no longer exist. They were established by the state, provincial, or territorial government. Most of these counties were created and disbanded in the 19th century; county boundaries have changed little since 1900 in the vast majority of states. These counties need to be looked at when doing genealogy research. Pay close attention where the courthouse records went to if the county was abolished or combined with another county.
The damage to courthouses greatly has a bearing on genealogists in every way. No only are these historic structures torn from our lifetimes, so are the records they housed: marriage, wills, probate, land records, and others. Once destroyed they're lost forever. Although they have been placed on mircofilm, computers and film burn too. The most heartbreaking side of this is the reason that nearly all of our courthouses are destroyed at the hands of arsonist. Although, not all records were lost. Many New Mexico counties have suffered a loss of records due to courthouse fires, floods, and theft.