December 2, 2017Look Ups
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Cochise County has a history filled with Chiricahua Apaches, ranchers, rangers, soldiers, miners, outlaws, and pioneers. It embodies the human spirit. From famous American Indians like Geronimo and Cochise who refused to let their people be subjugated, to the many immigrants who came to work the mines, those who lived in the county in the early years were hardy, wiley, and just pure stubborn. Some came and made their fortunes. Many more came and died early from disease, accident, or violence. Some were rounded up and marched off their native lands.

Today, Cochise County is still regarded as rural, with the largest city being Sierra Vista which had a population of 43,208 in 2016. A neighbor of New Mexico, a stone's throw to Mexico, and a nearby military base all add to the county's uniqueness.

For genealogy research, there are a few things to consider:

  • The county was formed February 1, 1881 from a portion of Pima County. So, some of the earlier genealogy records might actually be located in Pima County.
  • The county seat was located in Tombstone from 1881 until 1929, when it was moved to Bisbee. When the move was made, records of Cochise County offices including correspondence, petitions, plat books, reports, ledgers and civil and criminal case files, mostly from 1881-1885 and 1915-1919 were left behind. Thankfully, they made their way to the Arizona Historical Society in Tucson.
  • Mexico is to the county's southern border, and in the early days it was common for people to cross back and forth freely, both for pleasure like hunting trips and for business like ranching and mining interests. Aqua Prieta and Cananea, Sonoro Mexico, in particular, were popular destinations. Wherever there are footprints there might also be a trail of records.
  • Fort Huachuca was established in 1877 first as a camp, and then as a Fort in 1882. While many vital records of people there made it into the state's record holding, it is worth keeping in mind that the military adds another dimension to Cochise County genealogy research.

I would be remiss not to recognize three people who have significantly contributed to this page: former coordinator Pat Bennet, and transcribers/contributors Vynette Sage and Wilola Follett. This page would be scarcely a shadow of what it is now, without all of their hard work.

I wish you a pleasant, fruitful journey researching the Cochise County AZGenWeb. If you have questions or suggestions on how to improve this web, or, you would like to contribute new information for it, please email me at jean.jorgensen.walker@gmail.com.

Jean Walker

Cochise County AZGenWeb Coordinator

USGENWEB NOTICE: These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit or presentation by any other organization or persons. Persons or organizations desiring to use this material must obtain written consent of the archivist or submitter.

 

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