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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. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records, since 1865, when the county was formed.

County QuickStart:



800px-Flag map of Washington.svg.png Washington
Online Records
Yakima County, Washington
Map
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.
Facts
Founded January 21, 1865
County Seat Yakima
Courthouse
Address Yakima County Courthouse
128 N 2nd Street
Yakima, WA 98901
Phone: 509.574.1430
Yakima County Website

Contents

County Overview

Parent County

Yakima County, Washington was created 21 January 1865[1] from Klickitat and Walla Walla counties.

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

Boundary Changes

Neighboring Counties

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

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

Courthouse

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.

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

Dates of Major County Records

Beginning dates for major county records[4]
Birth
Marriage
Death
Land
Probate
Court
1890*
1877*
1896*
1882
1874
1882
* For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries


Record Loss

Topics for Yakima 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.


Yakima 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.


  • School Records 1875-1925 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes School attendance records 1875-1925; School census records 1894-1925.

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 are listed in the FamilySearch catalog. (Press space bar to select town.)

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

  • Yakima Frontier Justice. Part of "Frontier Justice’’: Guide to the Court Records of Washington Territory, 1853-1889 at Washington State Digital Archives. (Free Index, no images)
    • The court procedure of Frontier Justice touch nearly all pioneers of Washington Territory. The index has many abstracts that provide names and what is happening in disputes, settlements in civil and criminal cases as well as probate, equity and admiralty cases.

Directories

 

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
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

 

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 Yakima 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. Yakima 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.
  • 1853 - March 2, U.S. President Millard Fillmore establishes Washington Territory.
  • 1860s - 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.
  • 1885 - 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.

Maps

 

Wayakima.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

 

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

Museums

 

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

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 Yakima 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.

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

  • 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.

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.

School Records

 

  • School Records 1875-1925 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes School attendance records 1875-1925; School census records 1894-1925.

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]

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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.


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See Washington Online Genealogy Records for indexes.
Also see Washington Marriage Records.

  • Marriage1930-1945 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes Marriage affidavits 1889-1939; application certificate record 1941-1948; applications 1939-1999; certificates 1877-2001; certificates index 1877-1985; licenses 1929-1979; record index 1902-1909; register 1891-1944; returns 1896-1944; returns and affidavits index 1891-1982.
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.

  • 1921-1977 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (free)
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]

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See Washington Online Genealogy Records for indexes.
Also see Washington Death Records.

Voting Registers

 

Websites


Sites with online indexes or images of records:

  • WAGenWeb Yakima 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 -Yakima WA (Free)

Sites that search the Internet for Yakima 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 Yakima 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 Yakima 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

 

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.

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.

 

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