Yakima County, Washington GenealogyEdit This Page

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United States Gotoarrow.png Washington Gotoarrow.png Yakima County
Mt. Adams bathed in afternoon light, Yakima County, Washington.

Guide to Yakima 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
Yakima County, Washington
Map of Washington highlighting Yakima County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the U.S. highlighting Washington
Location of Washington in the U.S.
Founded January 21, 1865
County Seat Yakima
Address Yakima County Courthouse
128 N 2nd Street
Yakima, WA 98901
Phone: 509.574.1430
Yakima County Website


County Overview

Parent County (s)

Yakima County, Washington was created 21 January 1865.[1]

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

Neighboring Counties

Yakima County, Washington Genealogy is surrounded by: Benton | Grant | King | Kittitas | Klickitat | Lewis | Pierce | Skamania

Yakima CountyKlickitat CountySkaminia CountyLewis CountyPierce CountyKing CountyChelan CountyKittitas CountyDouglas CountyGrant CountyBenton CountyYakima.JPG

Boundary Changes

Dates of Major County Records

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

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


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

Bible Records



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.

Yakima County, Washington Genealogy cemeteries from state and national resources
Online County-wide Name Searches
Published Grave
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
Billion Graves
USGenWeb Tombstone Project
Genealogy Trails
See Washington Cemeteries for details about these and other sites.


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 Yakima County, Washington Genealogy 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


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political or Religious Groups

American Indian

The Yakima Indian Reservation is located primarily in Yakima County, with a small portion in Klickitat County.

American Indian

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 Yakima 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[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. Yakimn County -- Thumbnail History, HistoryLink.org Essay 7651

  • The city of Yakima occupies what was once the traditional hunting and gathering grounds of the region's tribes, known collectively as the Peoples of the Plateau.
  • 1800s - Trappers traversed the country.
  • The first white settlers were cattle ranchers who recognized that the lush grasslands on the stream banks were excellent places to winter their cattle.
  • 1865 January 21 - Yakima County was established.
  • 1870 - Settlers began referring to a small village with two stores as Yakima City.
  • 1885 - By the end of the year, the population of North Yakima had swelled to 1,200 people.
  • Paul Schulze, the railroad's land manager, laid out the streets on the rough general plan of his native city, Baden-Baden, Germany. By other accounts, the city was modeled after the plan of Salt Lake City.
  • 1890s - North Yakima, along with the rest of the country, hit hard times, largely because of a series of nationwide financial panics.
  • 1898 - All signs of commercial stagnation and business depression had completely disappeared" in North Yakima.

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.


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



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.)


Finding More Washington Newspapers

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Yakima 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 Yakima Valley Genealogical Society has a massive collection of obituaries starting from 1860 on, from counties in and around Yakima. They are in the process of putting this collection online. For now, contact the Society at 509-248-1328 or yvgs1901@gmail.com. They have researchers who are willing to do lookups from this collection.



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


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 Yakima 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.


Yakima County Courthouse
128 N 2nd Street
Yakima, WA 98901
Phone: 509.574.1430

County Auditor has birth and death records 1891-1907,
marriage records from 1880 and land records;
County clerk has probate, divorce and court records from 1881.

Familysearch Centers

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See Family History Centers for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.


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.

Buena Library, 813 Buena Rd, Buena 98921 Phone: (509) 865-3390
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Grandview Library, 500 W. Main St., Grandview 98930 Phone: (509) 882-7034
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Granger Library, 508 Sunnyside Ave, Granger 98932 Phone: (509) 854-1446
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Harrah Library, 21 E Pioneer, Harrah 98933 Phone: (509) 848-3458
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Mabton Library, 415 B Street, Mabton 98935 Phone: (509) 894-4128
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Moxee Library, 255 W Seattle, Moxee 98936 Phone: (509) 575-8854
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Naches Library, 303 Naches Ave, Naches 98937 Phone: (509) 653-2005
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Nile Library, 1891 Nile Rd, Naches 98937 Phone: (509) 658-2660
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Selah Library, 115 W Naches, Selah 98942 Phone: (509) 698-7345
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Sunnyside Public Library, 621 Grant, Sunnyside 98944 Phone: (509) 837-3234
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Tieton Library, 418 Maple, Tieton 98947 Phone: (509) 673-2621
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Toppenish (Mary Goodrich Memorial) Library, 1 South Elm, Toppenish 98948 Phone: (509) 865-3600
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Union Gap Library, 3104 S 1st St, Union Gap 98903 Phone: (509) 452-4252
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Wapato Library, 119 E 3rd St, Wapato 98951 Phone: (509) 877-2882
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
White Swan Library, 391 1st St, White Swan 98952 Phone: (509) 874-2060
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Southeast Library, 1211 S 7th St, Yakima 98901 Phone: (509) 576-0723
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Terrace Heights Library, 4011 Commonwealth, Yakima 98901 Phone: (509) 457-5319
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Yakima Valley Regional Library, 102 N Third St, Yakima 98901 Phone: (509) 575-3401
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Summitview Library, 5709 Summitview Ave, Yakima 98908 Phone: (509) 966-7070
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Zillah Library, 109 7th, Zillah 98953 Phone: (509) 829-6707
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:

Yakima Valley Genealogical Society

  • Yakima Valley Genealogical Society This society has a collection of over 18,000 records and books, including a massive obituary collection starting in 1860 for areas in and around Yakima County. Local librarians are willing to help with research and will look up information from their various collections. The site contains a catalog of all their holdings. Contact them by clicking on Contact Us or calling 509-248-1328, email yvgs1901@gmail.com. This Society is located at 1901 South 12th Avenue, Union Gap, Yakima, Washington 98903.
  • Gerald Shephard - current librarian
  • Sue Ericksen - Treasurer and President of the Washington State Genealogical Society
  • Judy Schuster - researcher

LIBRARY HOURS: The library is open from 10:00am to 4:00pm Monday-Saturday. The library is closed on Saturdays in November, December and January; January 1st, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day,Thanksgiving and December 24-25. The library can be opened during closed hours by appointment. Please call several days ahead to make arrangements.

Towns and Communities

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

Indian Reservation

The Yakima Indian Reservation is located primarily in Yakima County, with a small portion in Klickitat County.


  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. John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.


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