Washington, Cowlitz County Civil Court Dockets (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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United States Gotoarrow.png WashingtonGotoarrow.pngCowlitz County

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Washington, Cowlitz County Civil Court Dockets, 1876-1951 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Cowlitz, Washington, United States
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Flag of Washington
US Locator Map Washington Cowlitz.PNG
Location of Cowlitz County, Washington
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Location of Washington
Record Description
Record Type Court
Collection years 1876-1951
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection?

This collection contains docket books from the Cowlitz County Superior Court and from the Territory of Washington, Second Judicial District Court. The dockets are a calendar of court actions in civil cases including primarily divorces and disputed estates. The page numbers refer to pages in the docket book, the file number range refers to the cases included in the docket book. There is no name index to these records.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Washington, Cowlitz County Civil Court Dockets, 1876-1951.

Collection Content

Sample Images

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The records generally contain the following information:

  • Names of interested parties
  • Date of court proceeding or transaction
  • Details of the case
  • Amount of money exchanged or paid
  • Names of witnesses

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The names of the individuals involved in the case.
  • The place of residence.
  • The court date.

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information in the list to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if it is the correct family or person. You may need to compare several persons in the list before you find your ancestor.

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 "Record type, year, volume or file number" which takes you to the images.

What Do I Do Next?

Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the date and locality to search for census and church records. These may help you find additional family members.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the deceased; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after 1900.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
  • Witnesses in court cases may be close relatives.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found to find more generations of the family.

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

  • Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Check for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local historical and genealogical groups also compile indexes to local records .
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.

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, Cowlitz County Civil Court Dockets, 1876-1951." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Washington State Archives, Olympia.

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, Cowlitz County Civil Court Dockets, 1876-1951.


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.