Source Information

Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Original data: Secretary of State Bonds and Oaths of Office. Austin, Texas: Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

About Texas, Bonds and Oaths of Office, 1846–1920

This database contains bonds, oaths, and related documents for various public officials in Texas.

Historical Background

Texas public officials were sometimes required to swear out a bond or take an oath in association with their office. As the Texas State Library and Archives Commission website explains, “Bonds are posted by public officials to secure their fiduciary responsibilities. Oaths are sworn and filed by public officials to assure their loyalty to the government, and their promise to uphold the duties of the office.”

Officers taking out bonds or swearing oaths included both elected and appointed public officials, and you will find records for tax assessors, county surveyors, customs officials, district clerks, district attorneys, comptrollers, sheriffs, registrars, justices of the peace, and others. The records also include oaths of loyalty to the United States required during the Reconstruction years following the Civil War.

This database includes both original copies of oaths and bonds as well as a collection of index cards that list names, oath dates, and offices for individuals. You will also find some certifications of oaths, letters recommending people to office, letters of appointment or resignation, minutes, and other related documents. Some have been organized by folder, so you will want to use the arrow keys to browse forward and backward to make sure you see all the documents associated with an individual.

What You May Find in the Records

Documents in this database vary from index cards to original copies of oaths and bonds. Details listed in the documents will vary as well but typically will include at least

  • name
  • date
  • place
  • office