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Lower Falls Lewis River, Lewis County, Washington



Guide to Lewis County, Washington genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records, since 1845, when the county was formed.

County QuickStart:


800px-Flag map of Washington.svg.png Washington
Online Records
Lewis County, Washington
Map
Map of Washington highlighting Lewis County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the U.S. highlighting Washington
Location of Washington in the U.S.
Facts
Founded December 21, 1845
County Seat Chehalis
Courthouse
Address Lewis County Courthouse
351 NW North Street
Chehalis, WA 98532
Phone 360.740.2704
Lewis County Website

Contents

County Overview

Parent County(s)

Lewis County, Washington was created 21 December 1845[1] from Vancouver District, (later Clark County). Lewis was an original county in the Oregon Territory.

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

Boundary Changes

Neighboring Counties

Lewis County, Washington is surrounded by: Cowlitz | Grays Harbor | Pacific | Pierce | Skamania | Thurston | Wahkiakum | Yakima
Lewis CountyPierce CountyYakima CountyKittitas CountyKing CountyKitsap CountyMason CountyGrays Harbor CountyPacific CountyWahkiakum CountyCowlitz CountySkamania CountyThurston CountyJefferson CountyLewis County.jpg

Courthouse

Small town newspapers provide historical content and contain obituaries, birth or death notices, legal notices, and community news, such as visits to or from out-of-town relatives.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.

Lewis County Courthouse
351 NW North Street
Chehalis, WA 98532
Phone 360.740.2704

County Auditor has birth and death records 1891-1907
and marriage records from 1850.
County Clerk has divorce, probate and court records from 1870’s. [4]

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

Dates of Major County Records

Beginning dates for major county records[5]
Birth
Marriage
Death
Land
Probate
Court
1891*
1847*
1891*
1855
1855
1847
* For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries
Record Loss

Topics for Lewis 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.


Lewis 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 Lewis County, Washington are listed in the FamilySearch catalog. (Press space bar to select town.)
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

LDS Ward and Branch Records: Chehalis

Lutheran
  • Records of the America Lutheran Church, Alpha, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

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.

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For specialized court records, see Divorce  · Guardianship  · Land  · Naturalization · Probate

  • Lewis 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 procedure 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

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

A FamilySearch Community Tree is available for this place.

Guardianship

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

History

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


Online County Histories

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 Wilma, David. Lewis County -- Thumbnail History, History Link.org Essay 7449.

  • Native Americans calling themselves Chehalis and Meshall lived along the banks of the Chehalis River.
  • 1818-1846 - The United States and Great Britain jointly occupied Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.
  • 1838 - The Hudson's Bay Company established the Puget Sound Agricultural Company.
  • 1838 - Late, Cowlitz Farms, a part of the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, represented the first white settlement in the future Lewis County.
  • 1845 - December 21, The Oregon Territorial Legislature delineated Lewis County.
  • 1853 - March 2, U.S. President Millard Fillmore establishes Washington Territory.
  • 1855 - February, Washington Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens convinced coastal tribes to sign the Quinault Treaty with the U.S. government.

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.

  • County Land Records, 1850-1954 Part of:"Washington County Land Records, 1850-1954" FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • NOTE: These are labeled as direct (grantor/seller) and indirect (grantee/buyer) indexes, yet several include copies of the deed books. After selecting the years you need, explore various images to determine if the deeds are included.

Maps

 

Migration

Most residents came to Washington from other states or crossed the border from Canada. (See Seattle Passenger Lists for those who came from other countries.) Although few other migration records exist, try:

Censuses (use birthdates and places of children as clues)
Land (1st deed may reveal previous residence)
Death-related records of children may give town or county of birth
• Records of relatives and neighbors

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.

  • County Naturalization Records, 1850-1982, part of Washington, County Naturalization Records, 1850-1982 at FamilySearch Historical Collections. (Free, browse images)
    • Included in this collection: Application & oaths (Repatriation) 1937-1965 no 1-26; Certificate of citizenship 1903-1906; Citizenship papers 1874-1896; Declaration of intention (Invalid) Depositions 1884-1921; Declaration of intention 1887-1972; Depositions 1907-1963; Card index 1930-1979; Certificate receipts 1907-1927; Index 1888-1962; Notices of application for citizenship 1909-1924; Petition records 1886-1947.

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 Lewis County, Washington newspapers in online catalogs like:

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.

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

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.

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.

  • Birth register 1891-1907 Part of Washington, County Records, 1856-2009 at FamilySearch Historical Collections. (Free, browse images)

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.

  • Marriage Returns,1914-1950, part of Washington, County Marriages, 1855-2008 at FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
  • Marriage Records 1847-1991 Part of Washington, County Records, 1856-2009 at FamilySearch Historical Collections. (Free, browse images)
    • Includes:Marriage applications 1939-1991; Marriage certificates 1847-1900; Marriage register 1891-1938; Marriage returns 1914-1968.
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.

  • Coroner's record 1913-1944 Part of Washington, County Records, 1856-2009 at FamilySearch Historical Collections. (Free, browse images)
    • Includes Death records (transcription) 1891-1906; Death register 1891-1906.

Voting Registers

 

Websites


Sites with online indexes or images of records
WAGenWeb for Lewis County Free Data may be submitted by individuals or complete transcriptions
USGenWeb 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 Lewis County, Washington
RootsWeb - Lewis 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 "Lewis County, Washington Facts"
Major catalogs for hard copy collections of Lewis 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.

Resources for Lewis 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.


Museums

 

Societies

 

Towns and Communities

See a list of towns and communities in Lewis 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), Lewis 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 26 March 2014, at 21:35.
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