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United States Gotoarrow.png Washington Gotoarrow.png Island County
Deception Pass, Whidbey Island, Island County, Washington


Guide to Island County, Washington genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records, since 1853, when the county was formed.

County QuickStart:


800px-Flag map of Washington.svg.png Washington
Online Records
Island County, Washington
Map
Map of Washington highlighting Island County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the U.S. highlighting Washington
Location of Washington in the U.S.
Facts
Founded January 6, 1853
County Seat Coupeville
Courthouse
Address Island County Courthouse<br> NE 6th & Main St; PO Box 5000<br> Coupeville, WA 98239-5000<br> Phone 360.679.7359<br>Island County Website

Contents

County Overview

Parent County(s)

Island County, Washington was created 6 January 1853 from Thurston.[1]

County Seat: Coupeville [2]. See also Towns and Communities in Island County, Washington. For Courthouse, see Archives, libraries, etc.

Boundary Changes

Neighboring Counties

Island County, Washington is surrounded by: Jefferson | Kitsap | San Juan | Skagit | Snohomish | Yakima
Island CountySan Juan CountyWhatcom CountySkagit CountySnohomish CountyKing CountyKitsap CountyMason CountyGrays Harbor CountyJefferson CountyClallam CountyIsland County.JPG

Courthouse

Island County Courthouse
NE 6th & Main St; PO Box 5000
Coupeville, WA 98239-5000
Phone 360.679.7359

County Auditor has birth and death records 1870-1907,
marriage records from 1855 land records from 1853.
County Clerk has divorce, probate and court records. [4]

See also Archives, libraries, etc. in Island County, Washington.

Dates of Major County Records

Beginning dates for major county records[5]
Birth
Marriage
Death
Land
Probate
Court
1891*
1853*
1891*
1853
1853
1891
* For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries
Record Loss

Topics for Island County, Washington

The topics or headings on this page describe records that are used for genealogy and family history. They include links to web sites with indexes, images, or information about the county.


Bible Records

 

Biography

Biographical information is often found in state and local histories or genealogies. See also Washington Biography.

Business and Commerce

 

Cemeteries

Cemetery records often reveal birth, death, relationship, military, and religious information. Tombstones, sextons (caretakers) records, and burial records each have slightly different information. See Washington Cemeteries.


  • Cemetery Inscriptions by Ralph Seefeld and the Genealogical Society of South Whidbey Island (GSSWI)
    • In 1998 Ralph Seefeld and the GSSWI set out to record the inscriptions on all the gravestones in the cemeteries of Island County, Washington.
Island County, Washington cemeteries from state and national resources
Online County-wide Name Searches
Published Grave
Transcripts
Lists of Cemeteries
(Several will also link to names)
FindAGrave (Add a name to the search) FamilySearch Library Click Cemeteries. Press space bar to select town FindAGrave
WA State Archives - Digital Collections Click any cemetery for search window, select county, enter name(s). WorldCat Interment.net
Billion Graves Switch to "Person Lookup" Washington Periodicals Washington State Digital Archives Put county name in Search box
Linkpendium
Billion Graves
USGenWeb Tombstone Project
Genealogy Trails
See Washington Cemeteries for details about these and other sites.

Census

Federal Census Contents
Names, ages, birthplaces 1850–1940
Birthplaces of parents 1880–1940
Relationships 1880–1940
Family and Neighbors All years
Immigration year 1900–1930
Citizenship 1910–1940

Censuses 1) Give names, ages, and more about the family; 2) Pinpoint the area to find other records; and 3) Provide clues for further research.


Church Records

The information church records provide depends upon the church practices and the record keepers. Records may include names, ages, and dates of events such as baptism, marriage, or burial. See Washington Church Records.

  • Church records (microfilmed originals or published transcripts) for Island County, Washington are listed in the FamilySearch catalog. (Press space bar to select town.)

Court Records

Your ancestors may be found in court records as defendants, plaintiffs, witnesses, or jurors. Court records can clarify family relationships, places of residence, occupations, and family history. See Washington Court Records for courts used through the years.

ArrowGreen.svg.png
For specialized court records, see Divorce  · Guardianship  · Land  · Naturalization · Probate

  • Island Frontier Justice. Part of "Frontier Justice’’: Guide to the Court Records of Washington Territory, 1853-1889 at Washington State Digital Archives. (Free Index, no images)
    • The court procedures of Frontier Justice touch nearly all pioneers of Washington Territory. The index has many abstracts that provide names and what is happening in disputes, settlements in civil and criminal cases as well as probate, equity and admiralty cases.

Directories

 

Emigration and Immigration

 

Ethnic, Political or Religious Groups

 

American Indian
Japanese

World War II Files, 1942-1946

Public Welfare/Social Security Department, (Japanese Internment) Assistance Cases, Evacuee Referrals for Resettlement and Assistance, 1945-1946 from the Washington State Archives – Digital Archives

Funeral Homes

 

Gazetteers

 

Genealogy

A FamilySearch Community Tree is available for this place.

Many local libraries and societies have collections of family genealogies. County histories or biographies often include brief genealogies of the featured persons.

Genealogy Research

Guardianship

Guardianship of orphans or adults unable to manage their own affairs were handled by the probate and the District courts. See Washington Court Records.

History

Local histories for Island County, Washington may include biographies, history of churches, schools, local government with names of officials, military information, and more. See Washington Local Histories.

  • History of the Puget Sound country,] Volume 1, Volume 2 by William Farrand Prosser [New York, Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1903] at Washington History
History Timeline

Historical County Boundaries from Newberry Library[6]

Emphasis for this timeline is on events that affected migration, records, or record-keeping. Unless otherwise mentioned, the events below were gleaned from Daryl C. McClary. Island County -- Thumbnail History, History Link.org Essay 7523.

  • For thousands of years, the only occupants of the Pacific Northwest were Indians
  • 1792 - The area that comprises Island County was first explored by Captain George Vancouver.
  • 1850 - September 27, Congress passed the Oregon Donation Land Act, granting a "donation" of free land -- 320 acres to each single man and 640 acres to each married couple -- to anyone who had settled on the land before December 1 of that year.
  • 1850 - October 15, Colonel Isaac Neff Ebey was the first man to file a claim, for 640 acres, in Central Whidbey Island.
  • 1853 - January 6 Island County was created by the Oregon Territorial Legislature from a portion of Thurston County.
  • 1853 - March 2, U.S. President Millard Fillmore establishes Washington Territory.
  • 1850s - Irish immigrants began to settle in the Oak Harbor area, followed by Dutch immigrants in the 1890s.

Land and Property

Land Records reveal
Yes or Maybe  Y  M
Seller (Grantor) Green check.png  
Seller's Spouse Green check.png  
Buyer (Grantee) Green check.png  
Heirs   Green check.png
Witnesses Green check.png  
Land Description and Dates Green check.png  
Tips -or- Land Contents

Land records (especially deeds) may give the name of a spouse, heirs, and witnesses, who may be relatives or in-laws.

County deeds, mortgages, and leases show transfers from person to person. See also Court Records for actions involving real estate. See Washington Land for government-to-person records.

Maps

 

Waisland.jpg
This map highlights the county within the state of Washington. The map soon will have inter-active links.

Military

 

Naturalization and Citizenship

Declarations of Intent before 1906 often include the nation of origin, his* foreign and "Americanized" names, residence, and date of arrival. See Washington Naturalization and Citizenship for more information.     *Women were not naturalized until 1922 in the United States.

  • Naturalization and Citizenship Records 1890-1974 Part of: Washington County Records 1856-2009 at FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes Certificates of naturalization 1908-1928; Declarations of intention 1890-1973; Naturalization final record 1894-1905; Naturalization petitions granted 1929-1974 and Petition and record 1908-1930.

Newspapers

Small town newspapers provide historical content and contain obituaries, birth or death notices, legal notices, and community news, such as visits to or from out-of-town relatives. See Washington Newspapers for tips, resources, and details.

Finding More Washington Newspapers

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Island County, Washington newspapers in online catalogs like:

  • WorldCat (For instructions see WorldCat Online Catalog).
  • Do a search for these and other records in the FamilySearch Catalog. To select a county in Washington, add a comma, slide way down to the county list, then click Search. (Almost every state seems to have a Washington County)

Obituaries

Obituaries may mention birth, marriage, spouse, parents, living family members, education, occupation, and more. See Washington Obituaries for state level collections and United States Obituaries for tips and insights.

ArrowGreen.svg.png
See also: NewspapersLibrariesSocietiesFuneral Homes • Obituaries of neighboring counties or of the person's previous residence • Family records.

  • Obituary Index, 1890s-December 2010 by Ralph Seefeld and GSSWI
    • Virtually all obituaries have been collected for Island County residents from local newspapers, ranging from 1890s - December 2010. Gaps for The Island County Times in the early 1890’s and the South Whidbey Record before 1935 and during 1944.
    • Article about the collection in the South Whidbey Record Newspaper.

Also check:

Periodicals

 

Probate Records

Probate records identify heirs of the decedents, give the (approximate) death dates, and provide specifics about property holdings. The records were kept by the county judge.

These include wills, inheritance records, dockets, and other documents regarding property and estates of individuals who have died. See also Court Records for civil actions involving estates. Also see Washington Probate Records.

Public Records

Public records are documents created by civil authorities that either don't fit comfortably in another topic, or that could fit in several topics.

School Records

 

Taxation

Washington tax records complement land records and can supplement the years between censuses. There may be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties. For more information, see the wiki page Washington Taxation.

Vital Records

The county auditors in Washington kept records of birth, marriage, and death. The county clerk has the divorce records - the earliest dates to the present.

See Washington Vital Records for details and history of the records. . See also How to order Washington Vital Records, order electronically online or download an application for Washington Birth or Death Certificate and Marriage or Divorce Certificate Applications to mail.

Birth
Birth Records reveal
Yes or Maybe
 Y  M
Name of Child Green check.png  
Birth Date and Place Green check.png  
Parent's Names Green check.png  
Mother's Maiden Name Green check.png  
Parent's Ages   Green check.png
Parents' State or Country of Birth Green check.png  
Name of Doctor or Midwife Green check.png  

In 1891, coroners, physicians, and midwives were to "return" births and deaths to the county auditor. Many went unrecorded. In 1907, the State Center for Health Statistics assumed this responsibility.[7]

ArrowGreen.svg.png
See Washington Online Genealogy Records for indexes.
Also see Washington Birth Records.

For earlier or unrecorded births, search:


Marriage
Marriage Records reveal
Yes or Maybe
 Y  M
Date of Marriage or License Green check.png  
Names of Bride and Groom Green check.png  
Ages Green check.png  
Birth Places Green check.png  
Residences Green check.png  
Names of Parents   Green check.png
Husband's Occupation   Green check.png
Witnesses Green check.png  
Minister or Officiator Green check.png  

Marriage records include certificates, marriage returns, license applications or affidavits. Counties kept the records until 1968, when the state took over.


ArrowGreen.svg.png
See Washington Online Genealogy Records for indexes.
Also see Washington Marriage Records.

  • County Marriages,1855-2008 at Washington, County Marriages, 1855-2008 at FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes Applications 1903-2006; Certificates1855-2007; Certificates and Returns 1931-1938 Vol 2-3; Licenses 1869-1947 Vol 1; Registers 1891-1947 Vol 1; Marriage Returns 1927-1947 Vol 2; Certificate Index 1858-1859 Vol 1


Divorce

Divorce records give the names of the parties and may give the date and place of their marriage. See Washington Vital Records for excellent information.

Death
Death Records reveal
Yes or Maybe
 Y  M
Name of Deceased Green check.png  
Death Date and Place Green check.png  
Age or Birth Date and Place Green check.png  
Parent's Names Green check.png  
Mother's Maiden Name Green check.png  
Name of Spouse   Green check.png
Residence Green check.png  
Occupation Green check.png  

In 1891, coroners, physicians and midwives were to report (or return) all births and deaths under their supervision to County Auditors. On July 1, 1907, the State took over....[8]

ArrowGreen.svg.png
See Washington Online Genealogy Records for indexes.
Also see Washington Death Records.

Voting Registers

 

Websites


Sites with online indexes or images of records
USGenWeb Archives Island County Free Data may be submitted by individuals or complete transcriptions
WAGenWeb Free Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions
Washington State Digital Archives Free Includes indexes, some linked to images.
  • Type county name, click Search, then select a collection.
  • Collections were posted to the appropriate headings for this Wiki page in December, 2013.
FamilySearch Historical Collections Free Search indexes or browse images at FamilySearch.org.
  • Click "Last Updated." Collections through December 2013 have been posted to the appropriate topics for this Wiki page.
Sites that search for links pertaining to Island County, Washington
Web Sites at RootsWeb - Island WA Free Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions
Linkpendium Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
CyndisList Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
StateofUS.com Free "Island County, Washington Facts" (mis-labeled " Island County, Alabama Facts"
Major catalogs for hard copy collections of Island County, Washington
Books, microfilm, or manuscripts of genealogical records
FamilySearch catalog Select topics. To select towns, add a comma to the search box.
WorldCat To find nearby libraries that have specific items, see WorldCat Online Catalog.
Allen County Public Library (Indiana)
See also local libraries and Washington Archives and Libraries

Archives, Libraries, etc.

  See also a List of Washington Archives, Libraries, Publications, Historical & Genealogical Societies

Resources for Island County, Washington are available in libraries, archives, and other repositories at all levels: the town, the county, the state (including universities), and the nation.

Family History Centers
Libraries

Local public libraries—even smaller ones—often have Unique Genealogical Collections that are not online for the area they serve. Many libraries in Washington have an area dedicated to local history and genealogy.


Clinton Library, 4781 Deer Lake Rd, Clinton 98236 Phone: (360) 341-4280
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Coupeville Library, 788 Nw Alexander, Coupeville 98239 Phone: (360) 678-4911
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Freeland Library, 5495 Harbor Ave, Freeland 98249 Phone: (360) 331-7323
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Langley Library, 104 Second St., Langley 98260 Phone: (360) 221-4383
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Oak Harbor Library, 1000 Se Regatta Drive, Oak Harbor 98277 Phone: (360) 675-5115
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Museums

 

Societies

 

Towns and Communities

See a list of towns and communities in Island County per Wikipedia.

References

  1. The Evolution of Washington Counties by Newton Carl Abbott, Fred E. Carver, 1979. Published by the Yakima Valley Genealogical Society and Klickitat County Genealogical Society.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Island County, Washington page 733, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. Alice Eichholz, Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Pub., 2004), 733-734. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004.
  6. John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.
  7. Washington State Archives - Digital Archives, Birth Records, About this Collection
  8. About Death Records at Washington State Digital Archives.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 4 June 2014, at 22:12.
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