Genealogy and Local History in Esmeralda County, Nevada

A Guide and Resource for Researchers

Part of the USGenWeb Project and the NVGenWeb Project

InformationLocation, History, etc.ContentsRelated Project Sites
Nevada Map Showing the Location of Esmeralda County


This site is designed to provide information useful in researching family history, genealogy, and local history related to Esmeralda County, Nevada. It includes information on archives and libraries, published and unpublished sources of information, and, whenever possible, indexes and online transcriptions of source material. There are also pages which include researchers' surname interests related to Esmeralda County families. Anything that relates to genealogy or history in Esmeralda County is a candidate for inclusion.

If you know of any Esmeralda County resources that should be included, please let me know. You can also address any other comments or questions to Robert Bremer.

Good luck with your genealogical and historical research in Esmeralda County, Nevada.

Location, History, etc.

Esmeralda County is located in southwestern Nevada and is bordered by Nye County on the north and east, Inyo County (California) on the south and west, Mono County (California) on the west, and Mineral County on the west and north. The county has a total area of 3,589 square miles, and in the year 2000 it had a population of 971 and was the least populated county in Nevada.

The county seat is Goldfield which is the largest town in the county. Other towns or former towns include Dyer, Gold Point, Lida, Silver Peak, and others. The county has always been sparsely settled except during the first decade of the 20th century when the population of Goldfield reached perhaps as many as 30,000. Like other areas of the Great Basin, the altitude is high. The weather is generally dry and especially hot in the summer and cold in the winter.

Esmeralda County was created in 1861 as one of the original counties in Nevada. Nye County was created in 1864 from the eastern part of Esmeralda County. Mineral County was created in 1911 from the northern half of Esmeralda County. The original county seat was Aurora (now in Mineral County) until 1883. Hawthorne (now in Mineral County) was the county seat from 1883 to 1907, and Goldfield became the county seat in 1907.

Esmeralda County grew as a result of a gold mining boom in the early years of the 20th century, but the economy and population sharply declined by World War I. A fire in Goldfield in 1923 destroyed much of the town which never recovered.

Esmeralda means "emerald" in Spanish. The county name came from the earlier Esmeralda Mining District, and it is believed that the district had been named after a character called Esmeralda in Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

The highest point in Nevada, Boundary Peak at 13,147 feet, is located within the boundaries of Esmeralda County.


Related Project Sites

The following USGenWeb Project websites are for counties which border Esmeralda County.

USGenWeb Logo                 NVGenWeb Logo

Compiled and maintained by Robert Bremer
Created Mar. 15, 2003

Copyright ©2008 Robert Bremer
All rights reserved

Information found at this site is furnished for the free use of those engaged researching genealogy or local history. Any commercial use, without the consent of the compiler of these pages is prohibited. While every effort has been made to provide accurate, up-to-date information, there is no express or implied warranty regarding the accuracy of the information. Use of the information at this site is at your own risk. This site also contains links to other locations. These links should be considered referrals only and should not be necessarily taken as endorsements.