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United States Gotoarrow.png Washington Gotoarrow.png Walla Walla County
Farmland and Wind Turbines in Walla Walla County, Washington


Guide to Walla Walla County, Washington genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records, since 1861, when the county was formed.

County QuickStart:


800px-Flag map of Washington.svg.png Washington
Online Records
Walla Walla County, Washington
Map
Map of Washington highlighting Walla Walla County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the U.S. highlighting Washington
Location of Washington in the U.S.
Facts
Founded April 25, 1854
County Seat Walla Walla
Courthouse
Address Walla Walla County Website

Contents

County Overview

Parent County(s)

Walla Walla County, Washington was created 25 April 1854.[1] Was Skamania (discontinued) previously, which was formed from Lewis and Clark counties.

County Seat: Walla Walla [2]. For Courthouse, see Archives, libraries, etc.

Boundary Changes

With the signing of the Treaty of 1818, Great Britain and the United States jointly claimed the Pacific Northwest, including current Walla Walla County. [4]

On August 14, 1848, the Oregon Territory formed, and Clackamas County included current Walla Walla County.[5]

On March 2, 1853, the Washington Territory was formed.[6]

Original Walla Walla County boundaries commenced at a point opposite the mouth of the Deschutes River on the north bank of the Columbia River, thence running north to the 49th parallel, thence along said parallel to the summit of the Rocky Mountains, thence south along the summit of the Rocky Mountains to the 46th degree of parallel, thence west along said 46th parallel to where it crosses the Columbia River, thence along said Columbia River to the place of beginning.[7]

Western Montana, Northern Idaho, and all Eastern Washington counties broke off from Walla Walla County starting with Spokane County in 1860 and finishing with Asotin County in 1883.[8]

Neighboring Counties

Walla Walla County, Washington is surrounded by: Benton | Columbia | Franklin | Whitman | Umatilla County, Oregon

Walla Walla CountyColumbia CountyGarfield CountyAsotin CountyWhitman CountySpoken CountyLincoln CountyAdams CountyGrant CountyFranklin CountyBenton CountyBenewah CountyLatah CountyNez Pierce CountyWallowa CountyUmatilla CountyWalla Walla.JPG

Courthouse

Walla Walla County Courthouse
315 West Main Street PO Box 836;
Walla Walla, WA 99362-0259
Phone: 509.527.3221

County Clerk has divorce, probate and court records from 1860. [9]

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

Dates of Major County Records

Beginning dates for major county records[10]
Birth
Marriage
Death
Land
Probate
Court
1883*
1862*
1884*
1859
1859
1860
* For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries
Record Loss

Topics for Walla Walla 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.


Walla Walla 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 Walla Walla County, Washington are listed in the FamilySearch catalog. (Press space bar to select town.)

LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Walla Walla

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

  • Court Records 1860-1899 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes Case files 1868-1889; District Court case files 1860-1899.
  • Walla Walla 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 and Religious

 

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.
Note: Community Tree lists Lewis County, from which Skamania (later Walla Walla) County was formed in 1854. Very early residents of the Walla Walla area would be included.

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

History Timeline

Historical County Boundaries from Newberry Library[11]

Emphasis for this timeline is on events that affected migration, records, or record-keeping. Unless otherwise mentioned, the events below were gleaned from Michael J. Paulus Jr. Walla Walla County -- Thumbnail History, History Link.org Essay 8486.

  • Groups that lived in the Walla Walla Valley included the Nez Perce, Cayuses, Umatillas, and Walla Wallas.
  • 1805 - Among the earliest records of Euro-Americans coming to the Walla Walla Valley are those from the expedition led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.
  • 1836 - Presbyterian Missionaries Marcus and Narcissa Whitman arrived in the Walla Walla Valley and established a mission.
  • 1853 - March 2, U.S. President Millard Fillmore establishes Washington Territory.
  • 1846 - Joint American-British occupation of the Oregon country ended and the Treaty of Oregon established the present international border between Canada and the United States.
  • 1853 - Washington Territory was created out of Oregon Territory and Isaac Stevens was appointed the new territory’s first governor.
  • 1854 - April 25, Walla Walla County is formed.
  • 1855 May - Stevens arrived at the future site of the city of Walla Walla to negotiate treaties with the Nez Perce, Yakima, Umatilla, Walla Walla, and Cayuse tribes.
  • 1859 - The land east of the Cascades was declared fully open for settlement, a small collection of cabins, shacks, and tents were situated around Steptoe’s fort and five land claims had been located in the surrounding area.
  • 1880 - A gold rush in the early 1860s, followed by a growing agricultural industry, made Walla Walla the largest city in Washington Territory.

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

 

Wawallawalla.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


Early migration routes to and from Walla Walla County, Washington for European and African American settlers included:

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 1850-1960 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes Declarations of intention 1886-1907; Naturalization index 1850-1960; Petitions for naturalization 1898-1904; Petitions for naturalization and petition evidence 1904-1906; Petitions for naturalization, petition evidence, special naturalizations 1890-1904.

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 Walla Walla County, Washington newspapers in online catalogs like:

Washington State Library has early Walla Walla newspapers online.

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.

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.

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.[13]

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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.

  • Marriage Records 1865-1986 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes Marriage affidavits 1924-1939; affidavits and reports 1891-1950; applications 1936-1985; certificates 1865-1986; licenses 1869-1905; licenses indexes; Marriage records 1924-1947; Marriage index 1942-1947; registers 1891-1913; returns 1891-1939.
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....[14]

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

  • Death Records1883-1933 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes Coroner's docket 1913-1933; Death registers & index 1883-1913; Death registers 1891-1907; Death returns 1903-1906.

Voting Registers

 

Websites


Sites with online indexes or images of records
Walla Walla 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 Walla Walla County, Washington
Web Sites at RootsWeb -Walla Walla 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 "Walla Walla County, Washington Facts" (mis-labeled "Walla Walla County, Alabama Facts")
Major catalogs for hard copy collections of Walla Walla 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






Sites that search the Internet for Walla Walla County, Washington records online:

Major catalogs to offline genealogical records:
Catalogs refer to books, microfilm, manuscripts, and/or Internet images and indexes for various topics.

Archives, Libraries, etc.

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

  • Check websites and catalogs, such as items in FamilySearch Library (Utah) or Allen County Public Library (Indiana) for Walla Walla County, Washington.
  • Northwest Archives 345 Boyer Ave. Walla Walla, WA 99362 Phone: (509) 527-5111
    • "... curates materials that document the history of Whitman College and the Walla Walla region as well as rare books and other special collections." Digital Collections includes directories as early as 1881, photos of buildings, maps, serendipity
  • When you find items you'd like to access, see Get a Copy
Family History Centers

Centers in Walla Walla 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.


Whitman College Library 345 Boyer Ave. Walla Walla, WA 99362 Phone: (509) 527-5111
Online Resources: Digital Collections includes directories as early as 1881, photos of buildings, maps, serendipity
Unique Collections: Archives "Whitman College and Northwest Archives curates materials that document the history of Whitman College and the Walla Walla region as well as rare books and other special collections"
Walla Walla Public Library, 238 E. Alder Street, Walla Walla 99362 Phone: (509) 527-4388
Online Resources: Ancestry.com, HeritageQuest Online, History Reference Center, ProQuest, others
Unique Collections: Not mentioned on website
Burbank Heights Library, 875 Lake Road, Burbank 99323 Phone: (509) 545-6549
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Prescott Library, 103 D St., Prescott 99348 Phone: (509) 849-2411
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Touchet Community Library, 161 Hanson Road, Touchet 99360 Phone: (509) 394-2329
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Waitsburg (Weller) Public Library, 212 Main Street, Waitsburg 99361 Phone: (509) 337-8149
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Walla Walla County Rural Library District, 37 Jade Ave., Walla Walla 99362 Phone: (509) 527-3284
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Museums

 

Societies

 

Towns and Communities

See a list of towns and communities in Walla Walla 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. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_1818
  5. Abbott, Newton Carl Carver, Fred E., The Evolution of Washington Counties by, 1979. Publisher Yakima Valley Genealogical Society and Klickitat County Genealogical Society.
  6. Abbott, Newton Carl Carver, Fred E., The Evolution of Washington Counties by, 1979. Publisher Yakima Valley Genealogical Society and Klickitat County Genealogical Society.
  7. Abbott, Newton Carl Carver, Fred E., The Evolution of Washington Counties by, 1979. Publisher Yakima Valley Genealogical Society and Klickitat County Genealogical Society.
  8. Abbott, Newton Carl Carver, Fred E. The Evolution of Washington Counties, 1979. Publisher Yakima Valley Genealogical Society and Klickitat County Genealogical Society.
  9. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Walla Walla County, Washington page 734, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  10. 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.
  11. John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.
  12. Jim Tompkins, "The Oregon Trail 1841-1848 Map VI" in Oregon Trail Landmarks at http://www.oregonpioneers.com/OTMap6.jpg (accessed 18 July 2011).
  13. Washington State Archives - Digital Archives, Birth Records, About this Collection
  14. About Death Records at Washington State Digital Archives.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 13 February 2014, at 23:08.
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