San Juan County, WashingtonEdit This Page

From FamilySearch Wiki

United States Gotoarrow.png Washington Gotoarrow.png San Juan County
Strait of San Juan de Fuca sunset, San Juan County, Washington.


Guide to San Juan County, Washington genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records, since 1873, when the county was formed.

County QuickStart:


800px-Flag map of Washington.svg.png Washington
Online Records
San Juan County, Washington
Map
Map of Washington highlighting San Juan County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the U.S. highlighting Washington
Location of Washington in the U.S.
Facts
Founded October 31, 1873
County Seat Friday Harbor
Courthouse
Address San Juan County Courthouse
350 Court Street #7;
Friday Harbor, WA 98250-1249
Phone: 360.378.2163
San Juan County Website

Contents

County Overview

Parent County(s)

San Juan County, Washington was created 31 October 1873 from Whatcom.[1]

County Seat: Friday Harbor [2]. See also Towns and Communities in San Juan County, Washington. For Courthouse, see Archives, libraries, etc.

Boundary Changes

Neighboring Counties

San Juan County, Washington is surrounded by: Island | Skagit | Whatcom

San Juan CountyWhatcom CountySkagit CountySnohomish CountyKing CountyKitsap CountyMason CountyGrays Harbor CountyJefferson CountyClallam CountyIsland CountySan Juan County.JPG

Courthouse

San Juan County Courthouse
350 Court Street #7
Friday Harbor, WA 98250-1249
Phone: 360–378–2163

County Clerk has divorce, probate and court records.
County Auditor has birth records 1892-1907, death records 1890-1907 and marriage records from 1878. [4]

See also Archives, libraries, etc. in San Juan County, Washington.

Dates of Major County Records

Beginning dates for major county records[5]
Birth
Marriage
Death
Land
Probate
Court
1892*
1874*
1891*
1877
1874
1889
* For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries
Record Loss

Topics for San Juan 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

 

Biiography

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.


San Juan 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.



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

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 San Juan 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

  • San Juan 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

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.

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

Oldham, Kit. San Juan County -- Thumbnail History online at History Link.org Essay 7505.

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 Oldham, Kit. San Juan County -- Thumbnail History, History Link.org Essay 7505.

  • For generations, the San Juans, neighboring islands, and portions of Vancouver Island, were home to peoples identified as Northern Straits Salish.
  • 1850 - The British-owned Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) establish the first non-Indian presence on the San Juan islands.
  • 1853 - March 2, U.S. President Millard Fillmore establishes Washington Territory.
  • 1858-1859 - The first real American challenge to the Hudson's Bay Company came when a handful of frustrated miners returning from the short-lived Fraser River gold rush settled on San Juan Island.
  • 1871-1872 - Several Spanish expeditions under the general command of Captain Francisco Eliza mapped the San Juans.
  • 1872 - The San Juan islands become an undisputed part of the United States following the "Pig War" boundary dispute with Great Britain.
  • 1873 - October 31, San Juan County was established.
  • 1910-1960 - Population, which had reached 3,600 by 1910, remained stagnant, actually declining to 2,872 in 1960.

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

 

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

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.

  • Naturalization and Citizenship 1871-1960 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 1904-1918; Declarations of intention 1890-1957; Final decree of citizenship 1893-1900; Miscellaneous naturalization records 1871-1945; Petition and record 1892-1929; Reports of naturalization petitions granted/denied 1930-1960.

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 San Juan 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.

ArrowGreen.svg.png
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.

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.

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.

  • Washington State Digital Archives has a database of San Juan County Birth Records. This database contains the names of people who were born in San Juan County in June 1891 – August 1907. The names were taken from the San Juan County Register of Births.

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 Index to Certificates 1874-1914 Vol 2; Certificates 1874-1914; License Applications Receipts 1923-1948; Records 1926-1971.
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
San Juan County WAGenWeb Project Free Data may be submitted by individuals or complete transcriptions
USGenWeb Archives Project 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 San Juan County, Washington
Web Sites at RootsWeb - San Juan 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 "San Juan County, Washington Facts" (mis-labeled "San Juan County, Alabama Facts")
Major catalogs for hard copy collections of San Juan 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 San Juan 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

Centers in San Juan County, Washington: (If no centers are listed, see Neighboring Counties)

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.


Orcas Island Library District, 500 Rose Street, Eastsound 98245 Phone: (360) 376-4985
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
San Juan Island Library District, 1010 Guard Street, Friday Harbor 98250 Phone: (360) 378-2798
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Lopez Island Library District, 2225 Fisherman Bay Rd, Lopez Island 98261 Phone: (360) 468-2265
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Museums

 

Societies

 

Towns and Communities

See a list of towns and communities in San Juan County [1] 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),Skamania County, Washington page 734, 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.

 

Need additional research help? Contact our research help specialists.

Need wiki, indexing, or website help? Contact our product teams.


Did you find this article helpful?

You're invited to explain your rating on the discussion page (you must be signed in).

  • This page was last modified on 18 April 2014, at 12:40.
  • This page has been accessed 8,559 times.