Shelby County, Texas Genealogy and History

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My name is Lana and I am your host for Shelby County in the state of Texas. Many of my ancestors passed through Shelby County and some settled there. My immediate family even lived in Center for a short while. There is a history there that I am just discovering. We welcome all your comments and feedback. If you have data that you would like to contribute to this web site, please Email me.


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Shelby County
Isaac Shelby 
Isaac Shelby

Shelby County was first organized under the Mexican government as Tenehaw Municipality; Nashville, founded in 1824, was the most important town. In 1836 the Congress of the Republic of Texas established Shelby County, named for Isaac Shelby, hero of the American Revolution and governor of Kentucky. The name of the town Nashville was changed to Shelbyville, and Shelbyville became the county seat, which it remained until 1866, when the county seat was moved to Center.

The courthouse in Center, along with all county records, was destroyed by fire in 1882. A new courthouse, modeled on an Irish castle, was designed by the architect John Joseph Emmett Gibson, an Irish immigrant. It was completed in 1885 and was recognized in the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.  The courthouse still housed the county government in 1984. In 1840 disputes over land titles and fraudulent land transactions led to the opposition of two factions, the Regulators and the Moderators, and a series of armed conflicts that came to be known as the Regulator-Moderator War.

Shelby County's white inhabitants overwhelmingly supported the secession movement during the winter of 1860-61. When the secession ordinance was submitted for popular approval in February of 1861, county voters approved the measure by a vote of 333 to 28. They also wholeheartedly supported the war effort of the Confederacy that followed. One county source estimated that as many as 750 men from Shelby County served in either state or Confederate army units. Shelby County was never occupied by Union forces, and thus escaped the destruction which devastated other parts of the South. Nonetheless, the war years were difficult for the county's citizens.  
[Excerpts from: Cecil Harper, Jr., "SHELBY COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online. Published by the Texas State Historical Association]

Cities and Towns

Arcadia * Brooklyn * Center  * Dreka * Huxley * Joaquin
Possum Trot *
 Shelbyville * Tenaha * Timpson * Weaver

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Online Data

Church Histories / Records

County Records

Family Bibles and Records

Military Records

Miscellaneous Data

School Records

Wills/Probate Records

Website Updates:
July 2014: Crime News for T.S. TREADWAY: Visiting News for PAUL WIPPRECHT: Added RAMAH CEMETERY, County History, THE WAR OF SHELBY COUNTY, Ramah cemetery, FANNIE MYERS, North Jericho cemetery, MATHIAS MYERS

Jan 2014:  bio for NEAL; 1883 Pensioners; marriage announcement for HEIRSTON-CRAIG; bio for BEAIRD, FAIN


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