Whatcom County, Washington

From FamilySearch Wiki

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*[https://familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https%3A%2F%2Ffamilysearch.org%2Frecords%2Fwaypoint%2FM948-QG9%3An1406204279%3Fcc%3D1910364 1890-1907] Part of: ''County  Records, 1856-2009'' FamilySearch Historical Collections (free)
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*[https://familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https%3A%2F%2Ffamilysearch.org%2Frecords%2Fwaypoint%2FM9HM-2J4%3An1406204279%3Fcc%3D1910364 Death Records 1890-1907] Part of: ''County  Records, 1856-2009'' FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
*[http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/Collections/TitleInfo/431 Death Returns, 1891-1907] at Washington State Digital Archives Collection.(Free)
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**See what [[Washington Vital Records#Record Content|genealogical information]] may be in these records.
  
 
*Washington State Digital Archives also has a database of [http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/TitleInfo.aspx?TID=431 Whatcom County Death Records] containing the names and death records of people who died or whose deaths were recorded in Whatcom County from 1891 to 1907.
 
*Washington State Digital Archives also has a database of [http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/TitleInfo.aspx?TID=431 Whatcom County Death Records] containing the names and death records of people who died or whose deaths were recorded in Whatcom County from 1891 to 1907.

Revision as of 18:44, 22 January 2014

United States Gotoarrow.png Washington Gotoarrow.png Whatcom County
Upper Falls in Whatcom Falls Park, Bellingham, Whatcom CO., Washington


Guide to Whatcom 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
Whatcom County, Washington
Map
Map of Washington highlighting Whatcom County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the U.S. highlighting Washington
Location of Washington in the U.S.
Facts
Founded March 9, 1854
County Seat Bellingham
Courthouse
Address Whatcom County Courthouse
311 Grand Avenue; PO Box 1144;
 Bellingham, WA 98227
Phone: 360.676.6777 
Whatcom County Website

Contents

County Overview

Parent County(s)

Whatcom County, Washington was created 9 March 1854[1] from Island County.

County Seat: Bellingham [2]. See also Towns and Communities in Whatcom County, Washington. For Courthouse, see Archives, libraries, etc.

Boundary Changes

Neighboring Counties

Whatcom County, Washington is surrounded by: Okanogan | San Juan | Skagit

Whatcom CountySkagit CountyChelan CountyOkanogan CountySan Juan CountyIsland CountyBritish ColumbiaWhatcom County.JPG

Courthouse

Whatcom County Courthouse
311 Grand Avenue; PO Box 1144;
 Bellingham, WA 98227
Phone: 360.676.6777 

County Auditor has birth and death records 1891-1907,
marriage records from 1869 and land records;
County Clerk has divorce, probate and court records.

See also Archives, libraries, etc. in Whatcom County, Washington.

Dates of Major County Records

Beginning dates for major county records[4]
Birth
Marriage
Death
Land
Probate
Court
1891*
1854*
1891*
1854
1872
1883
* For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries
Record Loss

Topics for Whatcom County, Washington

The topics or headings on this page describe records that are used for genealogy and family history. They include links to web sites with indexes, images, or information about the county.


Bible Records

 

Biography

Biographical information is often found in state and local histories or genealogies. See also Washington Biography.

Business and Commerce

 

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.


  • Cemeteries 1884-2007 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes Lot and burial record 1884-1959; Lot purchase record 1887-1904; Woodlawn Cemetery burial list 1886-2007.




Map of Whatcom County cemeteries (PDF)

  • Bayview Cemetery
  • Bethany Lutheran Cemetery (Bethania/Bethel)
  • Blaine Cemetery
  • Blaine Masonic Cemetery
  • Buchanan Cemetery
  • Case Cemetery
  • Congregation Beth Israel Cemetery
  • Enterprise Cemetery
  • Glacier Cemetery
  • Goshen Cemetery
  • Greenacres Cemetery
  • Greenwood Cemetery
  • Haynie Cemetery
  • Hillsdale Cemetery
  • Hopewell Cemetery
  • Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery
  • Jobe Cemetery
  • Kendall Cemetery
  • King Mountain Cemetery (Terrace Land Memorial Garden of Psalms)
  • Lakeside Cemetery
  • Lummi Tribal Cemetery
  • Lummi Island Cemetery
  • Lynden Cemetery
  • Lynden Jim Cemetery
  • Maple Falls Cemetery
  • Monumenta Cemetery
  • Mount Calvary Cemetery
  • Mount Hope Cemetery
  • Mountain View Cemetery
  • Nooksack Indian Cemetery
  • Old Maple Falls (Cannon) Cemetery
  • Perry Cemetery
  • Point Roberts Cemetery
  • Saint Anne's Cemeter
  • Saint Joseph (Clipper) Cemetery
  • Saint Peter's Catholic Cemetery
  • Saxon Cemetery
  • Semiahmoo Cemetery
  • Sumas Cemetery
  • Ten Mile Cemetery
  • Van Zandt Cemetery
  • Welcome (Kulshan) Cemetery
  • Wickershame Cemetery
  • Woodlawn Cemetery
  • Zion Lutheran Cemetery
Whatcom County, Washington cemeteries from state and national resources
Online County-wide Name Searches
Published Grave
Transcripts
Lists of Cemeteries
(Several will also link to names)
FindAGrave (Add a name to the search) FamilySearch Library Click Cemeteries. Press space bar to select town FindAGrave
WA State Archives - Digital Collections Click any cemetery for search window, select county, enter name(s). WorldCat Interment.net
Billion Graves Switch to "Person Lookup" Washington Periodicals Washington State Digital Archives Put county name in Search box
Linkpendium
Billion Graves
USGenWeb Tombstone Project
Genealogy Trails
See Washington Cemeteries for details about these and other sites.

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.


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 Whatcom County, Washington are listed in the FamilySearch catalog. (Press space bar to select town.)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Lutheran
  • Records of Central Lutheran Church, Bellingham, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

Court Records

Your ancestors may be found in court records as defendants, plaintiffs, witnesses, or jurors. Court records can clarify family relationships, places of residence, occupations, and family history. See Washington Court Records for courts used through the years.

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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

Funeral Homes

 

Gazetteers

Template:WA Gazetters Intro

Genealogy

Many local libraries and societies have collections of family genealogies. County histories or biographies often include brief genealogies of the featured persons.

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 District courts. See Washington Court Records.

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 Whatcom 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. Whatcom County -- Thumbnail History, History Link.org Essay 7327.

  • In historic times there were three tribal groups in the county: the Lummi, Nooksack, and Semiahmoo.
  • 1791 - Spanish explorer Manuel Quimper sent a sloop into the Strait of San Juan de Fuca and "discovered" Mount Baker.
  • 1827 - The Hudson’s Bay Company established Fort Langley north of modern day Lynden.
  • 1853 - Edward Eldridge arrived in Whatcom from California to work at the mill, bringing sawmill machinery.
  • 1853 - March 2, U.S. President Millard Fillmore establishes Washington Territory.
  • 1854 - Settlers filed claims on the south end of the bay, setting the future site of Fairhaven, one of four towns that would develop on the shoreline.
  • 1854 - March 9, Whatcom County was established by the Washington territorial government from a portion of Island County.
  • 1857-1858 - Survey work began on the international boundary at the 49th parallel.
  • 1859 - John Tennant and his Lummi wife Clara filed the first official claim on the Nooksack River.
  • 1881 - The "Washington Colony," a group of utopian Kansans, re-established the mill at Whatcom Creek.
  • 1899 - Whatcom County boomed when the Pacific American Fisheries (PAC) organized in Fairhaven.

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.

  • Cemeteries 1884-2007 Part of: County Records, 1856-1959 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes Lot and burial record 1884-1959; Lot purchase record 1887-1904.

Maps

 

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

Migration

Most residents came to Washington from other states or crossed the border from Canada. (See Seattle Passenger Lists for those who came from other countries.) Although few other migration records exist, try:

Censuses (use birthdates and places of children as clues)
Land (1st deed may reveal previous residence)
Death-related records of children may give town or county of birth
• Records of relatives and neighbors

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.

  • Naturalization and Citizenship 1930-1945 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes Applications to take oath of allegiance 1921-1945; Certificate of citizenship 1892; Citizenship petitions granted 1930-1947; Declarations of intention 1872-1947; Final citizenship record 1890-1906; Index to declarations of intention 1884-1945; Index to naturalization certificates 1890-1896; Index to naturalizations 1884-1945; Memorandum of declarations of intention 1906-1907; Minors final citizenship record 1896-1902; Naturalization final record 1890-1906; Petition and record 1906-1946.

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

Small town newspapers provide historical content and contain obituaries, birth or death notices, legal notices, and community news, such as visits to or from out-of-town relatives. See Washington Newspapers for tips, resources, and details.

Finding More Washington Newspapers

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

Obituaries

Obituaries may mention birth, marriage, spouse, parents, living family members, education, occupation, and more. See Washington Obituaries for state level collections and United States Obituaries for tips and insights.

ArrowGreen.svg.png
See also: NewspapersLibrariesSocietiesFuneral Homes • Obituaries of neighboring counties or of the person's previous residence • Family records.

  • 1889-1995 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (free)

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

Public records are documents created by civil authorities that either don't fit comfortably in another topic, or that could fit in several topics.

Repositories

School Records

 

School Censuses provide name of parent or guardian, name and age of child, and residence.

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.

Birth
Birth Records reveal
Yes or Maybe
 Y  M
Name of Child Green check.png  
Birth Date and Place Green check.png  
Parent's Names Green check.png  
Mother's Maiden Name Green check.png  
Parent's Ages   Green check.png
Parents' State or Country of Birth Green check.png  
Name of Doctor or Midwife Green check.png  

In 1891, coroners, physicians, and midwives were to "return" births and deaths to the county auditor. Many went unrecorded. In 1907, the State Center for Health Statistics assumed this responsibility.[6]

ArrowGreen.svg.png
See Washington Online Genealogy Records for indexes.
Also see Washington Birth Records.

Template:WA Birth Tips

Marriage
Marriage Records reveal
Yes or Maybe
 Y  M
Date of Marriage or License Green check.png  
Names of Bride and Groom Green check.png  
Ages Green check.png  
Birth Places Green check.png  
Residences Green check.png  
Names of Parents   Green check.png
Husband's Occupation   Green check.png
Witnesses Green check.png  
Minister or Officiator Green check.png  

Marriage records include certificates, marriage returns, license applications or affidavits. Counties kept the records until 1968, when the state took over.


ArrowGreen.svg.png
See Washington Online Genealogy Records for indexes.
Also see Washington Marriage Records.

  • County Marriages,1855-2008 at Washington, County Marriages, 1855-2008 at FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes Index to Certificates 1870-1984; Affidavits 1883-1939; Marriage and Miscellaneous Business Licenses 1879-1917; Applications and Affidavits, Probate Bonds 1869-1877; Certificates 1890-1928; License Applications 1890-2011; Licenses 1900-1971; Returns 1891-1947.

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.

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
Death Records reveal
Yes or Maybe
 Y  M
Name of Deceased Green check.png  
Death Date and Place Green check.png  
Age or Birth Date and Place Green check.png  
Parent's Names Green check.png  
Mother's Maiden Name Green check.png  
Name of Spouse   Green check.png
Residence Green check.png  
Occupation Green check.png  

In 1891, coroners, physicians and midwives were to report (or return) all births and deaths under their supervision to County Auditors. On July 1, 1907, the State took over....[7]

ArrowGreen.svg.png
See Washington Online Genealogy Records for indexes.
Also see Washington Death Records.

  • Washington State Digital Archives also has a database of Whatcom County Death Records containing the names and death records of people who died or whose deaths were recorded in Whatcom County from 1891 to 1907.

Voting Registers

 

Websites



Sites with online indexes or images of records:

  • WAGenWeb Whatcom County
  • USGenWeb
  • Current Collections at Washington State Digital Archives (Free) Type county name, click Search, then select a collection. Collections were posted to the appropriate headings for this Wiki page in November, 2013.
  • Historical Collections at FamilySearch.org. (Free) Click "Last Updated." Collections through October 2013 have been posted to the appropriate headings for this Wiki page.
  • Web Sites at RootsWeb -Whatcom WA (Free)

Sites that search the Internet for Whatcom County, Washington records online:

Major catalogs to offline genealogical records:
Catalogs refer to books, microfilm, manuscripts, and/or Internet images and indexes for various topics.

Archives, Libraries, etc.

 

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

Family History Centers

Centers in Whatcom County, Washington: (If no centers are listed, see Neighboring Counties)

Libraries

Local public libraries—even smaller ones—often have Unique Genealogical Collections that are not online for the area they serve. Many libraries in Washington have an area dedicated to local history and genealogy.



Museums

 

Societies

 

Towns and Communities

See a list of towns and communities in Whatcom County 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. John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.
  4. Alice Eichholz, Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Pub., 2004), 733-734. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004.
  5. John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.
  6. Washington State Archives - Digital Archives, Birth Records, About this Collection
  7. About Death Records at Washington State Digital Archives.