Pierce County, Washington Genealogy

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==== Naturalization and Citizenship  ====
 
==== Naturalization and Citizenship  ====
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*[https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1932554 Naturalization Records, 1850-1982] FamilySearch Historical Collections (free)
  
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.)  
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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  ====
 
==== Newspapers  ====

Revision as of 13:03, 25 September 2013

United States Gotoarrow.png Washington Gotoarrow.png Pierce County
Mount Rainier over Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington.


Guide to Pierce County, Washington Genealogy 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
Pierce County, Washington
Map
Map of Washington highlighting Pierce County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the U.S. highlighting Washington
Location of Washington in the U.S.
Facts
Founded December 22, 1852
County Seat Tacoma
Courthouse
Address Pierce County Courthouse
930 Tacoma Ave South
Tacoma, WA 98402
Phone: 253.798.7455
Pierce County Website

Contents

County Overview

Parent County(s)

Pierce County, Washington was created 22 December 1852.[1]

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

Neighboring Counties

Pierce County, Washington Genealogy is surrounded by: King | Kitsap | Kittitas | Lewis | Mason | Thurston | Yakima [3]
Pierce CountyKing CountyKittitas CountyYakima CountySkaminia CountyCowlitz CountyWahkiakum CountyPacific CountyGrays Harbor CountyMason CountyKitsap CountyThurston CountyJefferson CountyChelan CountyPierce County.jpg

Boundary Changes

Dates of Major County Records

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

Beginning dates for major county records
Birth
Marriage
Death
Land
Probate
Court
1891*
1853*
1891*
1858
1855
1855
* 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 Pierce County, Washington Genealogy 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.


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 Pierce County, Washington Genealogy are listed in the FamilySearch catalog. (Press space bar to select town.)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Lincoln (Tacoma)
  • Tacoma
  • Tacoma Central
Lutheran
  • Records of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Tacoma, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

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 Pierce 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[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. Pierce County -- Thumbnail History, History Link.org Essay 8001.

  • The land that would become Pierce County was home to the present day Nisqually, Puyallup, Squaxin, Steilacoom, and Muckleshoot tribes.
  • 1833 April - Hudson's Bay Company employee Archibald McDonald established Fort Nisqually.
  • 1841 May 11 - The crews of the U.S. Navy ships Vincennes and Porpoise, dropped anchor near Fort Nisqually during the first American charting of Puget Sound.
  • 1849 - In response to increasing tensions between Indians and settlers, the United States Army established Fort Steilacoom.
  • 1852 December 22 - Pierce County was established.
  • 1854 December 26 - Leaders of major Western Washington tribes, met with Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens and signed a treaty relinquishing their land.
  • 1855 April 30 - The United States Congress ratified the Treaty of Medicine Creek.
  • Family farming was essential to the survival of early Pierce County pioneers.
  • Commercial farming in Pierce County has over time included hops, flower bulbs, berries, dairy cattle, and Christmas trees.

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

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

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 Pierce 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)

The News Tribune (Tacoma)

Puyallup Herald (formerly Pierce County Herald)

Obituaries

Tacoma Obituary Index contains more than 350,000 entries.  File is complete from 1984 to the present day.

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 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. .

Birth
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
  • 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 Pierce 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.

Courthouse

Pierce County Courthouse
930 Tacoma Ave South
Tacoma, WA 98402
Phone: 253.798.7455

County Auditor has marriage and land records.
County Clerk has divorce, probate and court records from 1890 and adoption records. [6]

FamilySearch Centers
Libraries
Museums
Societies

Towns and Communities

See a list of towns and communities in PierceCounty 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. Wikipedia contributors, "Pierce County, Washington" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierce_County,_Washington (accessed 15 Feb 2013).
  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), Skamania County, Washington page 734, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.