Difference between revisions of "Douglas County, Washington Genealogy"

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==== Cemeteries  ====
==== Cemeteries  ====
*[[Douglas County, Washington Cemeteries|Alpha list of cemeteries]] in the county with links to online transcripts.
*[[Douglas County, Washington Cemeteries|Alpha list of cemeteries]] in the county with links to online transcripts.
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| bgcolor="#B2B2FF" colspan="3" | <center>'''{{PAGENAME}}''' cemeteries from [[Washington Cemeteries|state]] and [[United States Cemeteries|national]] resources</center>
| bgcolor="#B2B2FF" colspan="3" | <center>'''{{PAGENAME}}''' cemeteries from [[Washington Cemeteries|state]] and [[United States Cemeteries|national]] resources</center>
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| bgcolor="#FFF8DC" | [http://genealogytrails.com/wash/douglas/cemeteries.htm Genealogy Trails]
| bgcolor="#FFF8DC" | [http://genealogytrails.com/wash/douglas/cemeteries.html Genealogy Trails]
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Revision as of 15:54, 12 October 2013

United States Gotoarrow.png Washington Gotoarrow.png Douglas County [[Image:Template:WADouglasMoses]]

Guide to Douglas 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
Douglas County, Washington
Map of Washington highlighting Douglas County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the U.S. highlighting Washington
Location of Washington in the U.S.
Founded November 28, 1883
County Seat Waterville
Address Douglas County Courthouse
213 South Rainier
Waterville, WA 98858
Phone: 509.745.8529
Douglas County Website

County Overview

Parent County(s)

Douglas County, Washington was created 28 November 1883 from Lincoln County.[1].[2]

County Seat: Waterville [3]. For Courthouse, see Archives, libraries, etc.

Neighboring Counties

Douglas County, Washington Genealogy is surrounded by: Chelan | Grant | Kittitas | Okanogan

Douglas CountyGrant CountyAdams CountyLincoln CountyFerry CountyStevens CountyOkanogan CountyChelan CountySnohomish CountyKittitas CountyDouglas County.JPG

Boundary Changes

Lincoln County was created from Spokane County four days prior to the creation of Douglas County. Prior records would be held at Spokane County for 1879 to 1883, and Stevens County for 1860 to 1879. Stevens County holds the Spokane County commissioner and earliest land records.

Dates of Major County Records

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


Below are resources used for family history and genealogy, with dates, value of records, and how to access them for Douglas County, Washington Genealogy. Internet links may contain names, images, or more information for the county.

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.

Douglas 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 Douglas 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
  • 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 Douglas 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[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. Douglas County -- Thumbnail History, History Link.org Essay 7961.

  • The Colville tribe, a Salishan people, inhabited much of the area that would become Douglas County.
  • Chinese immigrants placer-mined for gold along the banks of the Columbia River beginning in the 1860s
  • 1875 - Indians from the Methow River attacked these Chinese miners, killing an unknown number of miners and driving many others away from their mining operations.
  • 1877 - Phillip McEntee, a member of a surveying party that was determining the boundary line between the United States and British Columbia, traveled through the future Douglas County.
  • 1881 - McEntee returned to the area and settled near present-day Coulee City (now part of Grant County) and began a cattle ranching operation. He was one of the first permanent non-Indian residents of the region.
  • 1883 - November - 28 - Douglas County was carved out of Lincoln County.

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.

  • County Recorder's Office: check deeds, file mining claims, get assistance in finding ownership of a particular property, and obtain copies of county plat maps. This office has county plat records dating back to 1878, prior records having been destroyed in a fire.


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



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 Douglas 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)



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. .

  • Washington State Digital Archives has a database of Douglas County Birth Records. This database contains the names of people who were born in Douglas County from June 1891 – August 1913. The names were taken from the Douglas County Register of Births.

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 Douglas 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.


Douglas County Courthouse
213 South Rainier
Waterville, WA 98858
Phone: 509.745.8529

County Auditor has marriage records from 1907
burial records to 1909, land records to 1925,
marriage, death, divorce, probate and court records. [6]

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 center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.


Online Resources:
The public libraries in Douglas County are part of North Central Regional Library. Their Research and Homework Center includes Heritage Quest. Library cards and passwords may be required for access.

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.

Bridgeport Community Library, 1206 Columbia St, Bridgeport 98813 Phone: (509) 686-7281
Online Resources: Heritage Quest
Unique Collections:
East Wenatchee Community Library, 271 9th St Ne, East Wenatchee 98802 Phone: (509) 886-7404
Online Resources: Heritage Quest
Unique Collections:
Waterville Community Library, 105 N Chelan, Waterville 98858 Phone: (509) 745-8354
Online Resources: Heritage Quest
Unique Collections:

Towns and Communities

See a list of towns and communities in DouglasCounty per Wikipedia.


  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 Evolution of Washington Counties by Newton Carl Abbott, Fred E. Carver, 1979. Published by the Yakima Valley Genealogical Society and Klickitat County Genealogical Society.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.
  5. John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Clark County, Washington page 732, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.