Adams County, Washington Genealogy
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Revision as of 19:05, 25 September 2013United States Washington Adams County
Guide to Adams County, Washington Genealogy genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records, since 1861, when the county was formed.
|Adams County, Washington|
Location in the state of Washington
Location of Washington in the U.S.
|Founded||November 28, 1883|
|Address|| Adams County, Washington Courthouse|
210 W. Broadway
Phone: (509) 659–3240
|Before 1888—and perhaps until the newly-formed county was fully operational—search records of the parent county(s).|
Adams County was created 28 November 1883 from Whitman County
Dates of Major County Records
Note: The dates you see below have not yet been adapted to Adams County, Washington Genealogy.
|Beginning dates for major county records|
|* For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries|
Named for John Adams, 2nd President of the United States. Originally mostly cattle ranching, the big wheat crop shifted the agriculture from cattle to wheat farming in 1897.
The types of records that follow are used for genealogy and family history. Most tell what you may learn and how to locate the records. Links to Internet sites usually go directly to Adams County, Washington Genealogy entries with names, images, or information.
|Don't overlook Adams County, Washington Genealogy items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see Archives and Libraries.|
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.
|Check every person buried in the plot, as they may be close relatives.|
Listings for Adam's County Cemeteries can be found at the following websites:
|Names, ages, birthplaces||1850–1940|
|Birthplaces of parents||1880–1940|
|Family and Neighbors||All years|
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.
Click for more census tips
- Washington online census links to FamilySearch, Ancestry.com, Heritage Quest and others.
- Statewide printed indexes of federal censuses
- See Washington Census for online indexes and images of US federal censuses. of: 1856, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940.
- See statewide printed indexes, including 1856.
- Check county indexes when online indexes fail. Created by people who knew the families of the area, they are often more accurate and they may have added insights. See periodicals and local libraries or other record holders.
- 1890 Veterans
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 Adams County, Washington Genealogy are listed in the FamilySearch catalog. (Press space bar to select town.)
Many of your ancestors may be found in court records as defendants, plaintiffs, witnesses, or jurors. Court records can establish family relationships and places of residence, occupations, and other family history information. See Washington Court Records for the various courts through the years.
Emigration and Immigration
Ethnic, Political or Religious Groups
- 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.
Local histories for Adams County, Washington Genealogy may include biographies, history of churches, schools, local government with names of officials, military information, and more. See Washington Local Histories.
Historical County Boundaries from Newberry Library
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. Adams County -- Thumbnail History, History Link.org Essay 7835.
- The land that would later make up Adams County was part of the territory of the Palouse tribe.
- 1863 - January - 20 - Washington Territorial Legislature creates Stevens County.
- 1869 - George Lucas, an Irish emigrant, was Adams County's first permanent white settler. He established a way-station at Cow Creek along the road to Fort Colville
- 1871 - November - 29 - Washington Territorial Legislature creates Whitman County (out of Stevens).
- 1880 - James G. Bennett harvested a small wheat crop near Ritzville.
- 1881 - May - The Northern Pacific Railway began laying track through Adams County.
- 1883 - November - 28 - Washington Territorial Legislature creates Adams and Franklin counties (out of Whitman).
- 18843 - Brothers Ben and Sam Hutchinson built a cabin on lower Crab Creek.
- 1889 - November - 11 - Washington becomes a state.
- 1897 - Adams County bumper wheat crop spurs shift from cattle ranching.
- 1901 - The first homesteaders arrived.
- 1928-1931 - During a severe drought that resulted in dustbowl conditions, many people left the area.
- 1942 - Grand Coulee Dam was completed in 1942 and by 1950 construction on the Columbia Basin Project reached the Othello area, bringing the water of the Columbia River to irrigate Adams County's dry land in 1952.
Land and Property
|Yes or Maybe ⇒||Y||M|
|Land Description and Dates|
Land records (especially deeds) may give the name of a spouse, heirs, and witnesses, who may be relatives or in-laws.
- County Recorder's Office: check deeds, file mining claims, get assistance in finding ownership of a particular property, and obtain copies of county plat maps. This office has county plat records dating back to 1878, prior records having been destroyed in a fire.
- World War II (1941–1945) army enlistments at the county GenWeb site has about 400 entries, mostly from Okanogan and other counties. Key (at end of the list) explains codes and columns. Gives year and state of birth. Free.
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.)
Washington State Digital Archives has digitized various types of naturalization-related records, including declarations of intentions, delayed birth files, naturalization affidavits, notifications of application for admission to US citizenship, orders fixing naturalization terms, petitions and records, petitions, receipts for certificates of citizenship, record of final decrees of citizenship and record of petitions dockets. Depending on the county, records range from 1854-1988.
Finding More Washington Newspapers
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Adams County, Washington Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:
Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.
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.
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.
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. See Washington Vital Records for details and history of the records. .
- Washington State Digital Archives has a database of Adams County Birth Records. This database contains the names of people who were born in Adams County from 1893-1907, 1910-1915, (several delayed birth returns: 1942). Their names were transcribed from the Adams County Birth Returns. For FHL entries, 1892-1907, click here[low quality link]
- Marriages from 12 Jun 1884 to 12 May 1892 are available on the Western States Marriage Index website.
- Washington State Digital Archives has a database of Adams County Marriage Records.
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.
- Divorce records (microfilmed originals or published transcripts) are listed in the FamilySearch Library Catalog for Adams County, Washington Genealogy. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see Archives, Libraries, etc.
- Washington State Digital Archives has a database of Adams County Death Returns. This database contains names of people who died in Adams County from 1893-1907; 1910, 1913. For FHL entries, 1891-1907, 1929, click here[low quality link].
- Washington Death Certificates 1907-1960 A free internet index to the 1907-1960 death certificates can be found at FamilySearch Record Search, no images are available. A transcribed death certificate may contain such information as name of the deceased, date and place of death, age, gender, birth date and birth place, mother’s maiden name and name of spouse, place of residence and occupation.
- The Adams County WAGenWeb Project, a member of The WAGenWeb Project, an affiliate of The USGenWeb Project.
- The USGenWeb Archives Project for Adams County.
- The USGenWeb Archives Project for Adams County. (Mirror site)
- Family History Library Catalog
- Adams County, Washington Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
Archives, Libraries, etc.
- Check websites and catalogs, such as items in FamilySearch Library (Utah) or Allen County Public Library (Indiana) for Adams County, Washington Genealogy. When you find items you'd like to access, see Get a Copy
Adams County Courthouse
210 W Broadway Avenue
Ritzville, WA 99169-1860
Phone: (509) 659–3257
County Auditor has birth and death records to 1907 and marriage records.
County Clerk has divorce and probate records.
County assessor has land records
Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See Family History Centers for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.
Towns and Communities
See a list of towns and communities in Adams County per Wikipedia
- ↑ The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- ↑ John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library,2006)online.
- ↑ "Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: An Inventory of Selected Congregational Records of the American Lutheran Church in Minnesota at the Minnesota Historical Society," Collection Finding Aids, Minnesota Historical Society, http://www.mnhs.org/library/findaids/01009.xml, accessed 10 June 2013.
- ↑ John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.
- ↑ Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Adams County, Washington page 732, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
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