Grays Harbor County, Washington

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*[https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1454946 County Probate Case Files, 1832-1950] FamilySearch Historical Collections (free)
  
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{{WA Probate Intro|Grays Harbor}}
  
 
==== Public Records  ====
 
==== Public Records  ====

Revision as of 13:15, 25 September 2013

United States Gotoarrow.png Washington Gotoarrow.png Grays Harbor County
Trawler launched 1950 on the Hoquiam River, Grays Harbor County, WA


Guide to Grays Harbor 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
Grays Harbor County, Washington
Map
Map of Washington highlighting Grays Harbor County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the U.S. highlighting Washington
Location of Washington in the U.S.
Facts
Founded february 27, 1907
County Seat Montesanno
Courthouse
Address Grays Harbor County Courthouse
102 West Broadway Room 203
Montesano, WA 98563
Phone 360.249.3842
Grays Harbor County Website

Contents

County Overview


Parent County(s)

Parent County: created in 1854 as Chehalis County. Renamed to Grays Harbor County 15 March 1915. Chehalis County was created from Thurston County 14 April 1854.[1]

Grays Harbor County was created by the legislature from Chehalis County February 27, 1907. However, this change never took effect.[2]

Boundary Changes

Historical County Boundaries from Newberry Library[4]

Neighboring Counties

Grays Harbor CountyMason CountyThurston CountyPacific CountyLewis CountyPierce CountyKitsap CountyKing CountySnohomish CountyJefferson CountyGrays Harbor.JPG

Dates of Major County Records

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

Beginning dates for major county records
Birth
Marriage
Death
Land
Probate
Court
1891*
1855*
1891*
1855
1857
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 Grays Harbor County, Washington entries with names, images, or information.

Bible Records

Biography

Business Records

Commercial fishing, the lumber industry were major industries historically. Tourism is more recent.

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.


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

LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Montesano

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 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

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 Grays Harbor 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[5]

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. Grays Harbor County -- Thumbnail History, History Link.org Essay 7766.

  • The original residents of what would become Chehalis, then Grays Harbor County, were members of the Quinault Tribe.
  • 1787 - The largest village in the area was at the mouth of the Quinault River and was so named.
  • 1792 May 7 - Boston fur trader Robert Gray crossed the bar into the bay he called Bullfinch Harbor, but which later cartographers would label Chehalis Bay, then Grays Harbor.
  • 1824 - Irishman John Work of the Hudson's Bay Company explored the area.
  • The county’s first permanent white settler was Irishman William O’Leary.
  • 1907 February 27 - Grays Harbor County was founded.
  • Early 1900s - Grays Harbor County boomed. Immigrants from all over the world flocked to jobs offering cash wages.
  • Beginning in the 1920s, the wood-products industry -- logging, milling, and pulp manufacture -- started a long, slow decline.

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

Wagraysharbor.jpg
This map highlights the county within the state of Washington. The map soon will have inter-active links. Area map and other information from 1895:

http://www.livgenmi.com/1895/WA/

The BLM also has Cadastral and other survey information at Oregon and Washington Land Status and Cadastral Record, please note this is separate from the survey dropdown on the main glorecords.blm.gov page.

Migration

Military

Some military records for this county have been digitized at the Washington State Digital Archives.

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.)

Newspapers

Finding More Washington Newspapers

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

Obituaries

Periodicals

Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

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

Aberdeen City Clerk, Birth Register, 1890-1907 at Washington State Digital Archives

Marriage
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
  • County Deaths, 1891-1907 FamilySearch Historical Collections (free)
  • Washington Death Certificates 1907-1960 A free internet index to the 1907-1960 death certificates can be found at FamilySearch, 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 Grays Harbor 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

Grays Harbor County Courthouse
102 West Broadway Room 203
Montesano, WA 98563
Phone 360.249.3842

County Clerk has probate, divorce and court records from 1860.
County Auditor has marriage records from 1891.
County Assessor has land records from 1855.
County Health Department has birth and death records. [6]

FamilySearch Centers
Libraries
Museums
Societies

Towns and Communities

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

References

  1. The Evolution of Washington Counties by Newton Carl Abbott, pg 41.
  2. http://publications.newberry.org/ahcbp/documents/WA_Individual_County_Chronologies.htm#GRAYS%20HARBOR Atlas of Historical County Boundaries] by Newberry Library.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.
  5. John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Grays Harbor County, Washington page 733, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.