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Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in Harris County, Texas.

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Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca may have visited the area in 1529. French traders recorded passing through in the 18th century. Spaniards attempted to establish a fort in the area around the same time, but did not persist for long.

The first recorded European settlers in Harris County arrived in 1822. Their schooner sailed into Galveston Bay and ran aground on the Red Fish Bar. Some of those passengers traveled further up the bay system, but it is not known whether they settled up Buffalo Bayou or the San Jacinto River. One of these passengers, a Mr. Ryder, settled at what is now known as Morgan's Point, Texas. Also in 1822, John Iiams settled his family at Cedar Point after sailing from Berwick's Bay, Louisiana. Dr. Johnson Hunter arrived just after Iiams. He also wrecked his boat near Galveston. He settled at Morgan's Point and was a grantee of land there. Nathaniel Lynch settled in the area and operated a ferry.

In 1824, the land empresario, Stephen F. Austin convened at the house of William Scott for the purpose of conveying titles for Mexican headrights. He was joined by the land commissioner, Baron von Bastrop, and Austin's secretary, Samuel May Williams. About thirty families gained legal titles to land in what would later be known as Harris County. A few immigrants settled on Buffalo Bayou in these early years, including Moses Callahan, Ezekial Thomas, and the Vince brothers.

Nicolas Clopper arrived in the Galveston Bay area from Ohio in the 1820s. He attempted to develop Buffalo Bayou as a trading conduit for the Brazos River valley. He acquired land at Morgan's Point in 1826. John Richardson Harris (1790–1829), for whom the county was later named, arrived in 1824. Harris had moved his family to Sainte Genevieve, Missouri Territory, where they had been residing until the early 1820s.

Harris was granted a league of land (about 4,428 acres) at Buffalo Bayou. He platted the town of Harrisburg in 1826, while he established a trading post and a grist mill there. He ran boats transporting goods between New Orleans and Harrisburg until his death in the fall of 1829.

The First Congress of the Republic of Texas established Harrisburg County on December 22, 1836. The original county boundaries included Galveston Island, but were redrawn to its current configuration in May 1838.

Adjacent Counties


  • Baytown (part)
  • Bellair
  • Bunker Hill Village
  • Deer Park
  • El Lago
  • Friendswood (part)
  • Galena Park
  • Hedwig Village
  • Hilshire Village
  • Houston (part, County Seat)
  • Humble
  • Hunters Creek Village
  • Jacinto City
  • Jersey Village
  • Katy (part)
  • La Porte
  • League City (part)
  • Missouri City (part)
  • Nassau Bay
  • Pasadena
  • Pearland (part)
  • Piney Point Village
  • Seabrook (part)
  • Shoreacres
  • South Houston
  • Southside Place
  • Spring Valley Village
  • Stafford (part)
  • Taylor Lake Village
  • Tomball
  • Waller (part)
  • Webster
  • West University Place

Other Communities: Aldine, Airline, Alief, Atascocita, Bammel, Barker, Barrett, Beaumont Place, Bridgeland, Cedar Bayou, Channelview, Champions Forest, Cimarron, Cinco Ranch (part), Cloverleaf, Coady, Crosby, Cypress, Dyersdale, East Aldine, Fall Creek, Highlands, Hockley, Houmont Park, Huffman, Hufsmith, Kinwood, Klein, Kleinbrook, Kohrville, Louetta, Lynchburg, McNair, Mission Bend (part), North Houston, Northcliffe, Northcliffe Manor, Northgate Forest, Remington Ranch, Rose Hill, Satsuma, Sheldon, Spring, Traces, Westfield and The Woodlands



Nat'l Reg. of Hist. Places

USS Harris County - LST 822

Genealogy Trails


US GenWeb

Harris County Public Library

Houston Public Library

Houston Genealogical Forum

Texas History Archives

Johnson Space Center

Space Center Houston