Benton County, Washington

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*The first inhabitants were the Yakamas, Umatillas, Klickitats, and Wallulas.  
 
*The first inhabitants were the Yakamas, Umatillas, Klickitats, and Wallulas.  
*In 1858, a gold rush to British Columbia brought the first influx of white people, as rushers traveled through on their way north.  
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*1858 -  A gold rush to British Columbia brought the first influx of white people, as rushers traveled through on their way north.  
 
*During the 1880s, steamboats and railroads connected what would become known as Kennewick to the other settlements along the Columbia River.  
 
*During the 1880s, steamboats and railroads connected what would become known as Kennewick to the other settlements along the Columbia River.  
 
*Benton County has very little rainfall, and some farmers had been successful at dryland farming.  
 
*Benton County has very little rainfall, and some farmers had been successful at dryland farming.  
 
*Irrigation came to the county in the 1890s and brought many changes.  
 
*Irrigation came to the county in the 1890s and brought many changes.  
*Washington State Legislature creates Benton County (out of Klickitat) on March 8, 1905
+
*1905 - March - 6 - Washington State Legislature creates Benton County (out of Klickitat).
 
*In 1942, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Manhattan District, surveyed the northern part of the county for a secret government project. In 1943, the government ordered everyone living in the town sites of Hanford and White Bluffs to evacuate. Shortly thereafter, a huge government construction project began, known only as the Manhattan Project. Thousands of people moved to the Eastern Washington desert. No one knew what they were building, just that it would help the war effort. Only when they heard the news of the devastation caused by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6, 1945, did the workers know what they had built. "Our bomb clinched it!" read the Richland Villager.
 
*In 1942, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Manhattan District, surveyed the northern part of the county for a secret government project. In 1943, the government ordered everyone living in the town sites of Hanford and White Bluffs to evacuate. Shortly thereafter, a huge government construction project began, known only as the Manhattan Project. Thousands of people moved to the Eastern Washington desert. No one knew what they were building, just that it would help the war effort. Only when they heard the news of the devastation caused by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6, 1945, did the workers know what they had built. "Our bomb clinched it!" read the Richland Villager.
  

Revision as of 15:26, 29 August 2013

United States Gotoarrow.png Washington Gotoarrow.png Benton County

Guide to Benton County Washington genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
Hot air ballon event in Prosser, Benton County, Washington



800px-Flag map of Washington.svg.png Washington
Online Records






Quick start:


Benton County, Washington
Map
Map of Washington highlighting Benton County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the U.S. highlighting Washington
Location of Washington in the U.S.
Facts
Founded March 8, 1905
County Seat Prosser
Courthouse
Address Benton County Courthouse
600 Market Street
Prosser, WA 99350-0190
Phone: 509.786.5624
Adams County Website

Contents

County Overview

County Formation

Benton County, Washington was created 8 March 1905 from Klickitat and Yakima counties[2]

Boundary Changes
  • Boundary Changes: No counties created from this county.[1]

Historical County Boundaries from Newberry Library[3]

Neighboring Counties

Franklin | Grant | Klickitat | Walla Walla | Yakima | Oregon counties: Morrow | Umatilla

Dates of Major County Records

Note: The dates you see below have not yet been adapted to Benton County, Washington.

Beginning dates for major county records
Birth
Marriage
Death
Land
Probate
Court
1905*
1905*
1915*
1885
1884
1884
* For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries
Record Loss

Topics

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 Benton County, Washington entries with names, images, or information.

Bible Records

Biography

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.


State and national resources for Benton County, Washington cemeteries
Online Transcripts
(names) or Images
Published Grave
Transcripts
Lists of Cemeteries
in the County
FindAGrave FamilySearch Library select Cemeteries or add a space to select town FindAGrave
Interment.net USGenWeb Tombstone Project
Washington Cemeteries and Burial Data(Select the county) WorldCat WAGenWeb Cemeteries
Washington Gravestones Washington Periodicals Epodunk
WAGenWeb Cemeteries Washington Hometown Locator Cemeteries
Billion Graves Washington Cemeteries Search (Select the county)
Linkpendium Genealogy Trails
See Washington Cemeteries for details about each site.

|- | Cemetery

| Nearest Town
| Address
|- | Desert Lawn Memorial Park
| Kennewick
| 1401 South Union St., Kennewick
|- | Evergreen Cemetery
| Benton City
| Horn Road, Benton City
|- | Horse Heaven Hills Cemetery
| Benton City
| Cemetery Rd. between Travis Rd and Clodius Rd, Prosser (11 miles south of Benton City)
|- | Paterson Cemetery
| Prosser
|
|- | Prosser Cemetery
| Prosser
| 1601 Paterson Avenue, PO Box 1439, Prosser
|- | Resthaven Cemetery (Find a Grave), Resthaven Cemetery (BillionGraves)
| Richland
| Williams Blvd between Goethals Dr and Kimball Ave in RIchland
|- | Riverview Heights Cemetery
| Kennewick
| 1200 S. Olympia, Kennewick
|- | Sunset Memorial Cemetery (Findagrave) Sunset Memorial Cemetery (BillionGraves)
| Richland
| 915 By-Pass-Highway, Richland
|- | West Prosser (IOOF) Cemetery
| Prosser
| Richards Rd and Byron Rd, west of Prosser
|- | White Bluffs Cemetery
| of White Bluffs, currently in Prosser
| When White Bluffs was depopulated for the Hanford Project the 133 caskets were moved to the Prosser Cemetery.

|}

|}

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.



  • 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
  • 1900
  • 1910
  • 1920
  • 1930
  • 1940

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

Court Records

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.

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

Directories

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political and Religious Groups

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.

Gazetteers

Genealogy

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 Benton 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[4]

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. Benton County -- Thumbnail History, HistoryLink.org,  Essay 5671.

  • The first inhabitants were the Yakamas, Umatillas, Klickitats, and Wallulas.
  • 1858 - A gold rush to British Columbia brought the first influx of white people, as rushers traveled through on their way north.
  • During the 1880s, steamboats and railroads connected what would become known as Kennewick to the other settlements along the Columbia River.
  • Benton County has very little rainfall, and some farmers had been successful at dryland farming.
  • Irrigation came to the county in the 1890s and brought many changes.
  • 1905 - March - 6 - Washington State Legislature creates Benton County (out of Klickitat).
  • In 1942, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Manhattan District, surveyed the northern part of the county for a secret government project. In 1943, the government ordered everyone living in the town sites of Hanford and White Bluffs to evacuate. Shortly thereafter, a huge government construction project began, known only as the Manhattan Project. Thousands of people moved to the Eastern Washington desert. No one knew what they were building, just that it would help the war effort. Only when they heard the news of the devastation caused by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6, 1945, did the workers know what they had built. "Our bomb clinched it!" read the Richland Villager.

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 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.

Maps

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

Migration

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.)

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.

Newspapers

Finding More Washington Newspapers

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Benton County, Washington newspapers in online catalogs like:

Obituaries

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

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
Marriage
  • Washington State Digital Archives has a database of Benton County Marriages from 1905 to 1920. This database is an index to marriage certificates filed with the Auditor in Benton County, Washington. For FHL entries, click here[low quality link].


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
  • 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, occupation and certificate numbers.

Websites

Archives, Libraries, etc.

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

Courthouse

Benton County Courthouse
600 Market Street
Prosser, WA 99350-0190
Phone: 509.786.5624

County Auditor has birth records 1905-1907
and marriage records from 1905.
County Clerk has divorce, probate and court records.
County Assessor has land records. [5]

FamilySearch Centers
Libraries
  • Mid-Columbia Library System has many books of genealogical value, maps, and many local newspapers on microfilm dating from the late 1800s to the present. In the library there is also access to online databases and volunteers from the TCGS.

  • Richland Public Library has access to online databases, some books of genealogical value, and the local Tri-City Herald newspaper on microfilm.
Museums
Societies
  • East Benton County Historical Society primarily runs a museum of local history and a research library. The museum features local history, from the ancient petrified forests to the Native Americans to the pioneers and settlers. Of special note is an extensive photograph collection depicting life in Kennewick, Richland, Finley, Hover, Hanford, White Bluffs and surrounding areas. "The museum library houses an extensive collection of materials including obituaries, local history files, family history information, high school annuals and books of local and regional interest. There are also 121 books from Dr. Glen Axford's Audubon Collection." (From the http://ebchs.org/ website under Museum Info: Research Library)

  • The Tri-City Genealogical Society has an extensive collection of local and regional resources as well as references for other areas. Check their resources page for an updated list of their holdings. They also provide genealogical help at the Mid-Columbia Library, have online resources, and conduct local research for a small fee.

Towns and Communities

See a list of towns and communities in Benton County per Wikipedia.

Extinct Communities

  • Hanford
  • White Bluffs
  • Richland (Original Site)

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. 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.
  3. John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.
  4. John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Benton County, Washington page 732, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.