Washington, County Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Record Description

The collection consists of various records including official actions, probate records, indexes, etc. The records are from various counties in Washington State, 1865-2009. This is an ongoing collection. The counties will be added to the collection as their records are available. Browse the collection to determine current record and county coverage. The following counties are available in the collection at this time:

  • Adams
  • Asotin
  • Benton
  • Chelan
  • Columbia
  • Douglas
  • Franklin
  • Grant
  • Kittitas
  • Klickitat
  • Lincoln
  • Okanogan
  • Pend Oreille
  • Pierce
  • Spokane
  • Stevens
  • Walla Walla
  • Whitman
  • Yakima

The Washington State Archives maintains the state and local records considered to be permanently valuable.  The individual records were made to establish legal rights and to help track the population for health and taxation purposes. The state collection was created to insure that the records are retained and archived properly.  The information is generally reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant. Some transcription errors may have occurred. 

For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.

Record Content

The county records generally include the following information:

  • Date of the event, transaction, or recording with the county
  • Names of individual, witnesses, family members, and sometimes neighbors *Ages
  • Relationships
  • Residences
  • Occupations
  • Signature or mark
  • Legal descriptions of land
  • Amount of money exchanged as part of business transactions

How to Use the Record

To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial collection page
⇒Select the "County" category
⇒Select the "Record Type, Date Range and Volume" category which takes you to the images.

Search the collection by image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • The type of event
  • The place where the event occurred
  • The approximate date the event occurred
  • The name of the individual or individuals such as the names of the soldier, the deceased, or grantor and grantees.

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors. The following examples show ways you can use the information: *Use the age to calculate a birth date.

  • Use the names along with the residences to find church and census records.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • The name of the officiator at a christening, marriage, or burial may be a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been born, married, or died in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record. If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:
  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Search the indexes and records of individual counties and nearby states.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

Washington State Archives

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

Citations for individual image records are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on the "Show Citation" box: Washington, County Records, 1856-2009

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

"Washington, County Records, 1856-2009." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing State Archives, Puget Sound Regional Branch, Bellevue.



 

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  • This page was last modified on 12 August 2014, at 15:30.
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