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, 1803-2009. 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. 

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Washington, County Records, 1803-2009.

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 begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

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

Search the Collection

To search the collection:
⇒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.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

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.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • 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.
  • 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.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • 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.

Citations for this Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. 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. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection citation:

"Washington, County Records, 1803-2009." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing State Archives, Puget Sound Regional Branch, Bellevue.

Image citation:

The citation for an image is available on each image in this collection by clicking Show Citation at the bottom left of the image screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Washington, County Records, 1803-2009.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 7 October 2014, at 21:34.
  • This page has been accessed 8,449 times.