Island County, Washington GenealogyEdit This Page

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United States Gotoarrow.png Washington Gotoarrow.png Island County

Guide to Island County Washington genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
Deception Pass, Whidbey Island, Island County, Washington

800px-Flag map of Washington.svg.png Washington
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Quick start:

Island County, Washington
Map of Washington highlighting Island County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the U.S. highlighting Washington
Location of Washington in the U.S.
Founded January 6, 1853
County Seat Coupeville
Address Island County Courthouse<br> NE 6th & Main St; PO Box 5000<br> Coupeville, WA 98239-5000<br> Phone 360.679.7359<br>Island County Website


County Overview

Beginning dates for major county records
* For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries

Boundary Changes

Record Loss


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 Island County, Washington Genealogy entries with names, images, or information.

Bible Records



In 1998 Ralph Seefeld and the Genealogical Society of South Whidbey Island (GSSWI) set out to record the inscriptions on all the gravestones in the cemeteries of Island County, Washington. These records are now available on the GSSWI website.


  • 1860
  • 1870
  • 1880
  • 1889
  • 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.

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


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



A FamilySearch Community Tree is available for this place.


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.


Local histories for Island County, Washington Genealogy 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[2]

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. Okanogan County -- Thumbnail History, History Essay 7608.

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.




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 Island County, Washington Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

  • WorldCat (For instructions see WorldCat Online Catalog).
  • Do a search for these and other records in the FamilySearch Catalog. To select a county in Washington, add a comma, slide way down to the county list, then click Search. (Almost every state seems to have a Washington County)


Ralph Seefeld, with the help of The Genealogical Society of South Whidbey Island has collected virtually all obituaries for Island County residents from local newspapers. These obituaries range from the 1890s through December 2010; however, there are gaps for The Island County Times in the early 1890’s and the South Whidbey Record before 1935 and during 1944. An index to the obituaries is now available on the GSSWI website.


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



Island County Courthouse
NE 6th & Main St; PO Box 5000
Coupeville, WA 98239-5000
Phone 360.679.7359

County Auditor has birth and death records 1870-1907,
marriage records from 1855 land records from 1853.
County Clerk has divorce, probate and court records. [3]

Family History Centers


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 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. .


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.

  • 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.


Archives, Libraries, etc.

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

Towns and Communities

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


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Island County, Washington page 733, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.


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