How to Find Washington Birth RecordsEdit This Page

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How to Find United States Birth Records Gotoarrow.png Washington Gotoarrow.png Washington Birth Records

The Washington Territory was established in 1853. Statehood was granted in 1889. Statewide registration of births in Washington began in 1907.

Next Step: When did the birth occur?

Birth Records
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Learn more about U.S. Birth Records

Births before 1891

Washington did not record births on the state level at this time. Before 1891, births were not required to be recorded by the county or the state. A few counties began keeping record of births as early as 1869. Delayed birth records may provide early dates. Search substitute records to locate your ancestor’s birth date and place.

  Records that give birth information:
Death Records
Cemetery Records
Newspapers
Church Records
Census
Military Records
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Births 1891 to 1907

  • 1848 – Oregon Territory created, including present day Washington state
  • 1853 – Washington Territory organized
  • 1889 – Washington granted statehood as the 42nd state of the Union
  • 1891 – Washington law required counties to record births
  • 1907 - Statewide registration of births began on July 1

For births recorded during this time period, try the following databases.

Washington Births Databases - Includes Index and Digital Images
Try 1st:
1871-1938 at Washington State Digital Archives Free – includes birth records, registers and returns from 30 counties and two cities, principally from 1891-1907
Try 2nd:
Washington, County Records Free – dates vary by county; includes birth records from the county clerks for early Washington. This is a browse collection, search for your county and then the Birth Records.
Try 3rd:
Washington, Births, 1883-1935
Ancestry.com – $

Ancestryinstitution.com – free
at Family History Library, FamilySearch Centers and some public libraries Find your local FamilySearch Center
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No birth record for your ancestor? Other records with birth information

FamilySearch Microfilm Collections:

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Births 1907 to present

STEP ONE: Find Birth Information

Limited births maybe found in the following databases. Try each link. If you do not find your ancestor's birth or if you want order a copy of the certificate, then contact the Washington State Department of Health.

Washington Births Databases - Includes Index and Digital Images
Try 1st:
1877-1938 at Washington State Digital Archives Free: includes birth records, registers and returns from 30 counties, principally from 1891-1907 with limited records up to 1938
Try 2nd:
Washington Births, 1883–1935
Ancestry.com – $

Ancestryinstitution.com – free
at Family History Library, FamilySearch Centers and some public libraries  Find your local FamilySearch Center
Can't search the index listed above? Go to Step Two listed below and order a search for your ancestor from the Washington State Department of Health.
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No birth record for your ancestor? Other records with birth information

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate

PART A: You know the exact date of birth

With an exact date (from your records or the index above), you can order a copy of the birth record for a fee from the following locations:

To Order Birth Certificates
From County of Birth From Washington State Dept. of Health
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state County websites can be more difficult to use Offers a search of the state index for an additional fee May be more expensive than ordering from the county

The State of Washington is an open record state. Anyone may order copies of Washington birth certificates, as long as they can provide the required information.

If you do not want to order the birth record, search other records with birth information.


PART B: You don't know the exact date of birth

If you do not know the exact date or place of birth:
The Washington State Department of Health will do a limited search for a fee.

The State of Washington is an open record state. Anyone may order copies of Washington birth certificates, as long as they can provide the required information.

If you do not want to order the birth record, search other records with birth information.

FamilySearch Microfilm Collections:

Return to top: Choose another birth year


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  • This page was last modified on 28 October 2014, at 22:54.
  • This page has been accessed 1,704 times.