Washington, County Land Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Washington, County Land Records, 1850-1954 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Washington, United States
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Flag of Washington
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Location of Washington
Record Description
Record Type Land
Collection years 1850-1954
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection?

This collection includes land and property records with indexes for the years 1850 to 1954. The following counties are included:

  • Clark
  • Grays Harbor
  • King
  • Kitsap
  • Lewis
  • Mason
  • Pacific
  • Pierce
  • Thurston
  • Wahkiakum

Some of the Lewis County deed indexes include deed records.

Pierce and Thurston county deed indexes are not found in this collection. They may be found in "Washington, County Records, 1856-2009."

After the county's creation, a county land office was formed. Land transactions among private owners were then recorded by the registrar of deeds in the county office.

Collection Content

Sample Image

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The Washington State, County Land Records may include the following information:

  • Name of Grantor
  • Name of Grantee
  • Nature of Instrument
  • Date of Transaction
  • Legal description of the Property
  • Amount of Money exchanged
  • Details of the Transaction


How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • Names of interested parties
  • Approximate date of the transaction
  • Location of the property

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒ Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒ Select the "County"
⇒ Select the "Record Type, Date Range and Volume"; which takes you to the images.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Make a photocopy of the deed, or extract the genealogical information needed. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and census records.
  • Search for the land transactions of a couple and their children. The parents may have sold or given property to a son or daughter. Such transactions confirm relationships that might not be found in other records.
  • Search for records of people in the county who shared a surname. These may have been the couple’s parents, uncles, or other relatives. Your ancestor may have been an heir who sold inherited land that had belonged to parents or grandparents.
  • To find later generations, search the land records a few years before and after a person’s death. Your ancestor may have sold or given land to his or her heirs before death, or the heirs may have sold the land after the individual died. For daughters, the names of their husbands are often provided. For sons, the given names of their wives may be included. Heirs may have sold their interest in the land to another heir even though the record may not indicate this. Continue this process for identifying each succeeding generation.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • Some counties were subdivided or the boundaries may have changed. Consider searching neighboring counties as well since that courthouse may have been more convenient for the person.
  • One deed does not usually give sufficient information about a couple and their children. A careful study of all deeds for the person or the family will yield a richer return of information.
  • For each parcel of land owned, you should obtain two documents:
The deed that documents when ownership transferred to the individual or the family
The deed that documents when ownership was transferred to someone else

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.


Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation

"Washington, County Land Records,1850-1954." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing State Archives, Bellevue.

Image Citation

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Washington, County Land Records, 1850-1954.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.