Old Historical State, County and City Maps of Arizona

Maps of Arizona

Most historical maps of Arizona were published in atlases. The first European explorers came to what would be known as Arizona in 1539. Because of the Mexican American War, this caused a large part of what was known as Arizona Territory to change hands and become part of the United States in 1848.

Arizona was organized as a Confederate Territory that existed officially from 1861 to 1863. It was established as a U.S. Territory on February 24, 1863 and admitted as the 48th state on February 14, 1912.

States bordering Arizona are California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Mexico.

The Arizona State Archives contains about 32,000 Arizona maps, dating from the 1860s to the present. The Map Collection focuses primarily on Arizona from the territorial period 1864 to the present. Some of the collection includes:

  • Commercial and government maps of the territory and state
  • County and city maps dating from the 1890s
  • Historic topographic maps
  • Sanborn Fire Insurance maps on microfilm
  • Maps showing irrigation and urban development of the Salt River Valley
  • U.S. forest maps from 1909 to the present
  • Land grant maps from the 1880s
  • Land ownership maps of Maricopa County (1903 – 1929)
  • Railroad right-of-way maps and highway maps.
  • Selected pre-1864 maps of the U.S. Southwest and Mexico
  • 17th and 18th century maps of North America.
  • Aerial photography for the Phoenix area is available from 1958 to 1997
  • Plat maps for Maricopa County (Books 1 – 99)
  • Plat maps for Pinal County (Books 1 – 21)

The collection also houses maps distributed through the Federal Depository Library Program and serves as the Regional Federal map collection.

The Library of Congress has selected historic Arizona maps including Hartley’s Map of Arizona 1865.

All the Sanborn maps of Arizona are on microfilm at the Arizona State Archives. County and city maps in various sizes may be purchased from the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Map collections are also found at Arizona State University and the University of Arizona. The Arizona Historical Society lists several thousand maps from the Spanish era to the present.

The United States Geological Survey has a large map library in Flagstaff that is open for research and is located at the USGS Library.

The Arizona Highway Department has prepared a series of county road maps. These maps contain more detailed information about man-made features than the geological survey maps.

Several types of maps are useful for genealogists. Some give historical background of the area or show migration routes such as roads, rivers, and railroads.

Topographical maps show physical features, such as creeks and hills, and man-made features, such as roads, cemeteries, and churches. Plat and land ownership maps and other types of maps are described in United States Maps.

Map of Arizona County Formations 1852-1983

This Interactive Map of Arizona Counties show the historical boundaries, names, organization, and attachments of every county, extinct county and unsuccessful county proposal from the creation of the Arizona territory in 1852 to 1983. Arizona contains 15 counties.

Arizona County Map Formation by Year

Arizona Map Abbreviations

  1. unorg. = unorganized
  2. g. = gained
  3. w. = with
  4. fr. = from
  5. atmt. = attachment
  6. exch = exchanged
  7. nca.= non county area
  8. ch. = changed
  1. Pim – Pima
  2. Pin – Pinal
  3. SC – Santa Cruz
  4. Ya – Yavapai
  5. Yu – Yuma

Old Historical Atlas Maps of Arizona

This Historical Arizona Map Collection are from original copies so you can see Arizona as our ancestors saw them over a hundred years ago. Arizona was at one time part of New Mexico and the Arizona Territory before becoming a state.

Some Arizona map years (not all) have cities, railroads, P.O. locations, township outlines and other features useful to the Arizona researcher.

External Arizona Map Links

Arizona County Map of Road and Highway’s

The Arizona Highway Department has prepared a series of county road maps. These maps contain more detailed information about man-made features than the geological survey maps.

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