The finding aids are arranged in alphabetical order by office of creation. If there is a completed finding aid for the office, the link occurs at the office name. Contact the archives for information concerning specific records.
Assessor and Collector of Taxes (CR01)
- Assessment (1895 - 1997) – Assessors Abstracts, 1895 – 1914, Block Books 1915 – 1997 (includes Block Book Maps), Building and Land Assessment Cards ca. 1930 – 1980, Insurance Maps (Sanborn) 1925 – 1938.
- Tax Collector (1873 - 1992) For a complete listing of all hard copy tax records in the archives.
- Records on Microfilm (1858 – 1996) - The over 12,000 rolls of film include the following series: Block Books and Maps, 1928 – 1991, Delinquent Tax Returns 1919 – 1996, Tax Rolls and Inventories 1858 – 1983 includes real and personal property, minerals, banks, railroads, mobile homes. Please contact the archives for specific information.
- Voting Records – Poll Tax and Voters Registration Lists (1931 - 1998). Election Maps (1943 - 2010) 156 maps, Voting Precinct Street Guides (1951 - 2007) 6 cu. ft., Microfiche voter registration records (1975 - 2001), Primary Sample Ballott (1978), Voter Statistics (1967 - 1977).
Auditor's Office (CR07)
Bayland Orphan Home (CR30) The entire collection is available online at http://www.footnote.com/. Please note the collection is partially indexed, so use the browse function to view the records.
Minutes, financial and legal records, correspondence and printed materials located in nine bound volumes document the activities and functions of the Board of Trustees of the Bayland Orphan Home from 1867 to 1948. The records were microfilmed in June 2007 and a copy placed at the Clayton Library, Houston, Texas, for public access. It should be noted that a significant number of records have been lost and that all of the volumes may not have been accessible to the public until the present. Therefore, secondary sources concerning the history of the home should be treated accordingly.
Community Development (CR29)
Directors’ and managers’ records, correspondence, memos, reports, budgets, policy and procedure manuals, personnel files, minutes, program records, photographs, and case files document the functions of Harris County Community Development and Harris County Housing Authority from 1977 to 1998.
Constable Precinct 1 (CR45)
Constable Precinct 7 (CR52)
County Attorney (CR44)
Legal documents, pollution control inspection documents, correspondence, notes, and photographs (1981-1994) document the numerous environmental and health violations committed by the Addicks-Fairbanks Road Sand Company and the litigation that followed.
Pollution control inspection documents, correspondence, legal documents, printed materials, notes, and photographs (1970 – 1992) document the investigation of the Allwaste facility, the ensuing litigation and appeals, and the creation of an environmental conference for the tank cleaning industry.
Correspondence, notes, an agenda, legal documents, reports, speeches, printed materials, photographs, and a VHS cassette tape 1971 to 1994 document the interest of the Harris County Attorney's Office in the Brio Superfund site and the related litigation.
Bids and construction specifications, legal documents, correspondence, and photographs (1982-1987) document the deceptive trade policies of Durwood Greene construction and G & S Asphalt, and the ensuing litigation.
Correspondence, legal documents, notes, and audio tapes from 1981 to 2002 document Michael J. Grabowski’s employment as a constable for Precinct 4, his ultimate termination, and the ensuing litigation.
Legal documents, correspondence, notes, printed materials, maps, and photographs (1984-1993) document the investigation of the Weibel landfill, the ensuing litigation, and the restoration of the site to a wetlands area.
Department of Education / Superintendent of Schools (obsolete) (CR10)
District Attorney (CR55)
District Clerk (CR11)
Facilities and Property Management (CR02)
Forty architectural drawings on linen record the competition winning designs of Lang and Witchell Architects of Dallas, Texas, for the Harris County Court House. Originally comprised of 43 sheets of drawings (3 are missing), the drawings include floor plans, exterior elevations, plumbing and heating plans, and architectural details. The existent drawings were copied by D. B. McElroy and R. A. Kinnear of Rice University on waxed linen in 1922 from the original plans that had been severely damaged by mold and insects.
Harris County Archives (CR06)
Harris County Commissioner Precinct 1 (CR32)
Harris County Commissioner Precinct 2 (CR33)
Harris County Commissioner Precinct 3 (CR34)
Unprocessed Records, 1980 – 2003. Approximately 235 cubic feet of unprocessed records including Bond Records, Flood Control, Subject Files, Parks, Hospital District, Maps, Plats, Road and Bridge, Redistricting, and Water Quality Reports document the functions of Precinct 3 in Harris County during the terms of Commissioners Bob Eckels (1973– 1988) and Steve Radack (1989 to present). The General Subject Files are a particularly rich resource of county information.
Bob Y. Eckels (1973 - 1988)
Eleven scrapbooks, photographs, and 41 audio video tapes document the political career and interests of Bob Y. Eckels 1935-1988. Of particular interest is a scrapbook from 1935 concerning the Houston Flood.
Harris County Commissioner Precinct 4 (CR35)
Mercer Arboretum and Botanical Gardens Collection- Newsletters, brochures, manuals, land surveys, guidebooks, and nonprofit affiliate records document the functions and fundraising events relating to the Mercer Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. (1979-1999) .25 cubic feet.
Harris County Flood Control District (CR36)
Harris County Historical Commission (CR56)
Administrative Records (1958-2008), Historical Marker Files (1962-2007), Printed Materials (1966-2005), Serials and Monographs (1842-2006), Photographs (1974-2004), Works of Art (1978-1991), Maps (1900, 1970), Videos (1986-2005), and Artifacts (1973-1975) document the activities and interests of the Harris County Historical Commission.
Catalog of monographs and serials.
Harris County Hospital District (CR28)
Media files consisting of scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, photographs, and video tapes, document the history of the Harris County Hospital District and public health issues from 1938 through 1998.
Harris County Judge (CR31)
Robert (Bob) Randolph Casey (1945 - 1959)
Subject Files (19445 - 1959) and Tuberculosis Case Files (1956 – 1958) document the activities and responsibilities of Harris County Judge Robert (Bob) Casey. The records include minutes, reports, correspondence, memorandums, printed materials, manuals, budgets, maps, building plans, newspaper clippings, and photographs. During his administration Casey was involved in the construction of the Washburn Tunnel, Harris County Psychiatric Ward, Juvenile Detention Ward, and the Harris County Criminal Courthouse and Jail building.
William M. (Bill) Elliott (1959 - 1974)
Subject Files (1930 - 1976) document the activities and responsibilities of Harris County Judge William M. (Bill) Elliott. The records include minutes, reports, correspondence, memorandums, telegrams, printed materials, manuals, budgets, maps, building plans, newspaper clippings, poll lists, election returns, and photographs. Important issues during his term in office included building the Harris County Domed Stadium (Astrodome), establishment of the Harris County Hospital District, and obtaining Addicks Reservoir Dam and surrounding land from the Army Corps of Engineers for a county park.
Jon Lindsay (1975 - 1994)
Subject Files (1961-1992) and 5 Photo Albums (1989 – 1991) document the events in Harris County and the responsibilities of Jon Lindsay during his term in office as Harris County Judge (1975 – 1994). The subject files may contain minutes, correspondence, memorandums, reports, printed materials, financial records, maps, and plans. Four photo albums document the demolition of buildings on Buffalo Bayou and the construction of jails for Harris County. A single album documents the final demolition of the historic Pillot Building on the corner of Fannin and Congress and the construction of a replica on the same site.
Harris County Justice of the Peace Courts
Since the days of the Republic, Justices of the Peace have had various roles in county goernment including power of general administration in addition to their judicial function. With the Constitution of 1876, Justices of the Peace retained their judicial roles and gained that of coroner. In Harris County the establishment of the Office of Medical Examiner in 1957 eliminated the coroner's duties.
Justice Court Dockets (1846 - 1870)
The earliest records of the Justices of the Peace, the Justice Court Dockets, document the most basic delivery of justice and law. Frequently, any existent bound volume was used to record the proceedings. Therefore, in addition to court records, some dockets also contain other records such as early Business Records (JCD03_Ewing and JCD05_Reeves), Notarial Records and Lists of Legal Forms (JCD09_Capronetal), County Clerk Recordings (JCD01_Brashear), and the City of Houston Financial Records (1840 - 1853) (JCD10_Reeves).
Judy Henderson indexed the dockets (2005 - 2007). Every name, date, and cause of action has been recorded. The index reflects the spelling in the dockets so may not correspond to current spelling conventions.
To access information in the Justice Court Dockets:
Indexes - Excel Spreadsheets
A summary of the Inventory of Justice of the Peace records follows by JP office. Because the boundaries of the precincts shifted over time and those boundaries are currently unknown, a broad search is recommended. Please contact the archives for assistance.
Dockets and Fee Books (1870 – 1972) 804 vol.
Small Claims Dockets (1953 – 1974) 3 vol.
Civil Judgment Dockets (1907 – 1912) 13 vol.
Execution Dockets (1903 – 1914) 12 vol.
Forcible Detainer (1916 – 1934) 13 vol.
Marriage Dockets (1911 – 1935) 1 vol.
Grovey v Townsend
Criminal Dockets (1894 – 1997) 278 vol.
Search Warrant Docket (1967 - 1993) 1 vol.
Inquest Records (1889 – 1956) 51 vol.
Harris County Inquest Index 1889 - 1895 with links to digitized records.
Notarial Records Inquest 1889 - 1895.
Case Files (1896 - 1920) 98 cu. ft. includes both JP1 and JP1-2 records. Arranged by docket number. Best access through dockets.
Small Claims Dockets (1953-1972) 4 vol.
Dockets and Fee Books (1930 – 1973) 524 vol.
Indexes (1901 – 1985)37 vol.
Dockets (1942 – 1995) 190 vol.
Criminal Search Warrants (1963 – 1971) 1 vol.
Inquest Records (1919 – 1956) 63 vol.
JP 2 (CR014)
Dockets and Fee Sheets (1907 – 1950) 49 vol.
Indexes (1933 – 1950) 2 vol.
Dockets (1897 – 1996) 96 vol.
Warrants and Affidavits (1938 – 1957) 1 vol.
Inquest Records (1932 – 1956) 18 vol.
JP 2-2 (CR015)
Criminal Dockets (1959 – 1998) 64 vol.
JP 3 (CR016)
Dockets and Fee Books (1917 – 1971) 25 vol.
Indexes (n.d.) 2 vol.
Small Claims Dockets (1952 – 1973) 3 vol.
Dockets (1917 – 1995) 114 vol.
Indexes (1964 – 1976) 6 vol.
Inquest Records (1954 – 1955) 1 vol.
JP 3-2 (CR017)
Criminal Dockets (1973 – 1998) 19 vol.
JP 4 (CR018)
Civil Dockets and Fee Books (1909 – 1950) 3 vol.
Criminal Dockets (1904 – 1997) 146 vol.
JP 4-2 (CR019)
Criminal Dockets (1973 – 1999) 17 vol.
JP 5 (CR020)
Criminal Dockets (1951 – 1999) 35 vol.
JP 5-2 (CR021)
Criminal Dockets (1977 – 1999) 11 vol.
JP 6, 6-2 (CR022, CR023)
Criminal Dockets (1964 – 1999) 32 vol.
JP 7 (CR024)
Civil Dockets (1920 – 1948) 1 vol.
Execution Dockets (1906 – 1907) 2 vol.
Criminal Dockets (1915 - 1999) 50 vol.
JP 7-2 (CR025)
Criminal Dockets (1973 – 1980) 4 vol.
JP 8 (CR026)
Civil Dockets (1930 – 1959) 1 vol.
Criminal Dockets (1894 – 1998) – 61 vol.
JP 8-2 (CR027)
Criminal Dockets (1975 – 1997) 13 vol.
JP Unknown (CR003)
Index to Marriages (1935 – 1939) 2 vol.
Index (n.d.) 2 vol.
Harris County Juvenile Board (CR39)
Harris County Juvenile Probation (CR43)
Case files, correspondence, financial and legal records, scrapbooks, memoranda, newspaper clippings, printed materials, photographs, grant applications, and research analyses (1913 – 1989) document the development and growth of the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department (HCJPD). The collection is divided into three record groups: Administrative Records, Case Files and Children’s Homes. Some records are confidential. Access information begins on page 115 of the Finding Aid.
Ethel Claxton Scrapbooks (1914 - 1939)
Newspaper clippings, invitations, programs, awards, wedding and birth announcements in two scrapbooks (1914 – 1939) created by Ethel A. Claxton, long-time superintendent of the Harris County Training School for Girls (later Mary Burnett Home), reveal the growth of the school, activities of its residents, community support, and Claxton’s relationship with the girls.
The scrapbooks have been digitized and are available through the following links. Due to the fragility of the scrapbooks, all primary reference with the scrapbooks needs to be done online. No blank pages were digitized. Only selected announcements, programs, invitations, and greeting cards have been completely scanned. Some high resolution scans are available. Dates are approximate. These are large PDF files and the downloading time maybe very slow.
Please contact the archives for further information.
Ethel Claxton Scrapbooks, Vol. I, pp 01 - 18 (1914 – 1915)
Ethel Claxton Scrapbooks, Vol. I, pp 19 - 42 (1915 – 1918)
Ethel Claxton Scrapbooks, Vol. I, pp 43 - 62 (1917 – 1923)
Ethel Claxton Scrapbooks, Vol. I, pp 63 - 84 (1923 – 1930)
Ethel Claxton Scrapbooks, Vol. I, pp 85 - 94 (1916 – 1929)
Ethel Claxton Scrapbooks, Vol. I, pp 95 - 112 (1930 – 1933)
Ethel Claxton Scrapbooks, Vol. I, pp 113 - 131 (1932 – 1933)
Ethel Claxton Scrapbooks, Vol. I, pp 133 - 152 (1932 – 1933)
Ethel Claxton Scrapbooks, Vol. I, pp 154 - 179 (1934 – 1935)
Ethel Claxton Scrapbooks, Vol. 2, pp 1 - 24 (1932 – 1935)
Ethel Claxton Scrapbooks, Vol. 2, pp 25 - 50 (1936)
Ethel Claxton Scrapbooks, Vol. 2, pp 51 - 70 (1935 – 1937)
Ethel Claxton Scrapbooks, Vol. 2, pp 71 - 84 (1937)
Ethel Claxton Scrapbooks, Vol. 2, pp 85 - 98 (1937 – 1939)
Harris County Old Folks Home Scrapbook (1922 – 1955, Bulk 1922 – 1929)
After its discovery in an attic, the Heritage Society donated the Old Folks Home Scrapbook to the Harris County Archives. The scrapbook was likely created by either by Superintendent T. W. Harral or his assistant and sister-in-law, Edith Dunham. This extremely fragile record of the opening and first decade of the operation of the Old Folks home on Crosby Road contains newspaper articles, programs, cards, correspondence, and photographs. Of particular interest are the newspaper images and photographs of the home and its residents. The entire scrapbook has been scanned. Clippings and photographs were often filed between pages and have been scanned in order. There may be duplicates. Due to the size of the digital file, please contact the Harris County Archives for a copy of the entire scrapbook or high resolution scans.
Index to Images
“Caring For Harris County’s Aged”
“Harris County Building Country Home for Aged”
County Judge Chester H. Bryan
View of Main Building ca. 1922
Residents ca. 1922
Superintendent and African American Housing ca. 1922
“Over The Hills to the Poorhouse”
“The Circle H Club in Concert” Program
“Houston’s Colored Citizens”
Photograph page (4)
Photograph page (6)
Entrance to Harris County Home
Medical Examiners Office - Institute of Forensic Science (2010) (CR41)
Reports, log books, newspaper clippings, photographs, and autopsies (1954 – 2004) document the transition from the Office of the Justice of the Peace to a professional Medical Examiner’s Office in Harris County for investigating deaths and conducting inquests. The collection is divided into four series: Inquests and Views, Administrative Logs, Case File Clippings, and Photographs.
Harris County Navigation District (CR37)
Harris County Public Library (CR57)
Reports, financial records, correspondence, subject files, printed materials, scrapbooks, photographs, audio / visual materials, and original artwork (1920 – 2009) document the founding, growth, administration, and functions of the Harris County Public Library. Of special interest are the Annual Reports (1922-1944) that record the early functions of the library, the formation of branch libraries, the bookmobile, and the populations they served. Of equal interest are the Scrapbooks and a Photo Album that document the history of branch libraries, the librarians, library constituents, and the bookmobile.
Harris County Records Management (CR04)
- Katrina Message Boards, 2005. Forty-five message boards created by evacuees from New Orleans in the Houston Astrodome document the search for displaced persons after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of the city.
Harris County Sheriff's Department (CR38)
Harris County Social Services (CR08)
Administrative records, WPA Applications, Client Case Files, Burial Records, and Harris County Cemetery logs and a plats (1924 – 1987) document the functions of the social welfare agencies prior to and after the creation of the Harris County Social Services Department.
Harris County Toll Road Authority(CR05)
Patron and general correspondence, patron communications, press releases, reports, publications, membership directories, and 1 VHS tape (1986-2003) document the administrative functions of the Harris County Toll Road Authority.
Port of Houston (CR42)