Background Sources for Wyoming

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This entry was originally written by Dwight A. Radford in Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
the Wyoming Family History Research series.
History of Wyoming
Wyoming Vital Records
Census Records for Wyoming
Background Sources for Wyoming
Wyoming Maps
Wyoming Land Records
Wyoming Probate Records
Wyoming Court Records
Wyoming Tax Records
Wyoming Cemetery Records
Wyoming Church Records
Wyoming Military Records
Wyoming Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Wyoming Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Ethnic Groups of Wyoming
Wyoming County Resources
Map of Wyoming


  • Bartlett, Ichabod S. History of Wyoming. Chicago: S.J. Clark Pub. Co., 1918. This is a three-volume set. Volume one is a history of the state and volumes two and three contain valuable biographies.
  • Beach, Cora May Brown. Women of Wyoming. Casper: S. E. Boyer, 1927. Considering the early equality status of women in Wyoming, this two-volume set of biographies is especially valuable. The photographs of the women in the biographical sketch and the genealogical information are noteworthy.
  • Beard, Frances Birkhead, ed. Wyoming from Territorial Days to the Present. Chicago: American Historical Society, 1935. Three-volume set: volume one is a history and volumes two and three provide valuable biographical sketches, which include church leaders, political figures, ranchers, etc.
  • Chamblin, Thomas S., ed. The Historical Encyclopedia of Wyoming. Cheyenne: Historical Institute, 1970. This work includes biographical sketches of leading citizens and information on places; it also recounts historical and contemporary events.
  • Erwin, Marie, Wyoming Blue Book. Cheyenne: Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department, 1974 reprint. This original three-volume work is currently being updated and republished in four volumes. It should not be overlooked because it is an excellent historical reference for Wyoming.
  • Hendrickson, Gordon Olaf, ed. Peopling the High Plains: Wyoming’s European Heritage. Cheyenne: Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department, 1977. This volume examines six of Wyoming’s ethnic European groups that contributed to the settlement and development of the state, namely British, German, Italian, Basque, Eastern European miners, and Greeks. It is a welcome contribution to the study of ethnic Wyoming.
  • Gallagher, John S., and Alan H. Patera. Wyoming Post Offices: 1850–1980. Burtonsville, Md.: The Depot, 1980. An excellent genealogical tool for identifying defunct as well as continuous towns throughout Wyoming. The book is divided by county with an accompanying map of each county showing the location of the post offices.
  • Larson, Taft Alfred. History of Wyoming. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1965. The self-proclaimed purpose of this book is to provide a critical history of Wyoming for adults. It is an excellent history of the territorial and statehood periods of Wyoming. Only minor mention is made of the pre-territorial period.
  • Murray, Robert A. Military Posts of Wyoming. Fort Collins, Colo.: The Old Army Press, 1974. This book provides history, drawings, and photographs for each of Wyoming’s old military posts scattered throughout the state.
  • Peterson, C. S. Men of Wyoming. N.p., Denver, 1915. Contains photographs and biographies for over three hundred men who were residents of Wyoming in 1915.
  • Rollins, George W. The Struggle of the Cattlemen, Sheepman, and Settler for Control of Lands in Wyoming: 1867–1910. Master’s thesis, University of Utah, 1951. Outlines the struggles of competing groups on the semi-arid land of Wyoming.
  • Spiros, Joyce V. Hawley. Genealogical Guide to Wyoming. Gallup, N.M.: Verlene Publishing, 1982. No research in Wyoming county sources should begin without examining this book first.
  • Triggs, J. H. History of Cheyenne and Northern Wyoming. Laramie, Wyo.: Powder River Publishers and Booksellers, 1876. This early volume consists of a history of the town of Cheyenne and many portions of Wyoming Territory, including the gold fields of the Black Hills, Powder River, and Big Horn counties.
  • Urbanek, Mae. Wyoming Place Names. 1967. Reprint. Missoula, Mont.: Mountain Press Publishing Co., 1988. A listing of geographic places and town names.
  • Welch, Charles A. History of the Big Horn Basin. Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1940. Details the history of the basin with emphasis on the Mormon colonies in the area. Useful in researching Mormon ancestry.
  • Wheeler, Denice. The Feminine Frontier: Wyoming Women…, 1850–1900. N.p., 1987. The self-proclaimed purpose of this work is to inform readers about the lives and accomplishments of Wyoming’s pioneer women. The study is based on local and national historical studies.
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