Island County, Washington Genealogy
United States Washington Island County [[Image:Template:WAIslandWhidbey]]
Guide to Island County, Washington Genealogy genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records, since 1861, when the county was formed.
|Island County, Washington|
Location in the state of Washington
Location of Washington in the U.S.
|Founded||January 6, 1853|
|Address||Island County Courthouse<br> NE 6th &amp; Main St; PO Box 5000<br> Coupeville, WA 98239-5000<br> Phone 360.679.7359<br>Island County Website|
- 1 County Overview
- 2 Topics
- 2.1 Bible Records
- 2.2 Biography
- 2.3 Cemeteries
- 2.4 Census
- 2.5 Church Records
- 2.6 Court Records
- 2.7 Directories
- 2.8 Emigration and Immigration
- 2.9 Ethnic, Political or Religious Groups
- 2.10 Gazetteers
- 2.11 Genealogy
- 2.12 Guardianship
- 2.13 History
- 2.14 Land and Property
- 2.15 Maps
- 2.16 Military
- 2.17 Naturalization and Citizenship
- 2.18 Newspapers
- 2.19 Obituaries
- 2.20 Periodicals
- 2.21 Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.
- 2.22 Probate Records
- 2.23 Public Records
- 2.24 Taxation
- 2.25 Vital Records
- 2.26 Websites
- 3 Archives, Libraries, etc.
- 4 Towns and Communities
- 5 References
|Before 1888—and perhaps until the newly-formed county was fully operational—search records of the parent county(s).|
Island County, Washington was created 6 January 1853.
Neighboring CountiesIsland County, Washington Genealogy is surrounded by: Jefferson | Kitsap | San Juan | Skagit | Snohomish | Yakima
Dates of Major County Records
Note: The dates you see below have not yet been adapted to Island 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 Island County, Washington Genealogy entries with names, images, or information.
|Don't overlook Island County, Washington Genealogy items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see Archives and Libraries.|
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.
|Check every person buried in the plot, as they may be close relatives.|
In 1998 Ralph Seefeld and the Genealogical Society of South Whidbey Island (GSSWI) set out to record the inscriptions on all the gravestones in the cemeteries of Island County, Washington. These records are now available on the GSSWI website.
|Names, ages, birthplaces||1850–1940|
|Birthplaces of parents||1880–1940|
|Family and Neighbors||All years|
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.
Click for more census tips
- Washington online census links to FamilySearch, Ancestry.com, Heritage Quest and others.
- Statewide printed indexes of federal censuses
- 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
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 Island County, Washington Genealogy are listed in the FamilySearch catalog. (Press space bar to select town.)
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.
Emigration and Immigration
Ethnic, Political or Religious Groups
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
Local histories for Island County, Washington Genealogy may include biographies, history of churches, schools, local government with names of officials, military information, and more. See Washington Local Histories.
Historical County Boundaries from Newberry Library
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. Island County -- Thumbnail History, History Link.org Essay 7523.
- For thousands of years, the only occupants of the Pacific Northwest were Indians
- 1792 - The area that comprises Island County was first explored by Captain George Vancouver.
- 1850 September 27 - Congress passed the Oregon Donation Land Act, granting a "donation" of free land -- 320 acres to each single man and 640 acres to each married couple -- to anyone who had settled on the land before December 1 of that year.
- 1850 October 15 - Colonel Isaac Neff Ebey was the first man to file a claim, for 640 acres, in Central Whidbey Island.
- 1853 January 6 - Island County was created by the Oregon Territorial Legislature from a portion of Thurston County.
- 1850s - Irish immigrants began to settle in the Oak Harbor area, followed by Dutch immigrants in the 1890s.
Land and Property
|Yes or Maybe ⇒||Y||M|
|Land Description and Dates||]]|
Land records (especially deeds) may give the name of a spouse, heirs, and witnesses, who may be relatives or in-laws.
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.)
Washington State Digital Archives has digitized various types of naturalization-related records, including declarations of intentions, delayed birth files, naturalization affidavits, notifications of application for admission to US citizenship, orders fixing naturalization terms, petitions and records, petitions, receipts for certificates of citizenship, record of final decrees of citizenship and record of petitions dockets. Depending on the county, records range from 1854-1988.
Finding More Washington Newspapers
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Island County, Washington Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:
Ralph Seefeld, with the help of The Genealogical Society of South Whidbey Island has collected virtually all obituaries for Island County residents from local newspapers. These obituaries range from the 1890s through December 2010; however, there are gaps for The Island County Times in the early 1890’s and the South Whidbey Record before 1935 and during 1944. An index to the obituaries is now available on the GSSWI website.
Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.
- County Probate Records, 1853-1929 FamilySearch Historical Collections (free)
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.
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.
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.
- Check websites and catalogs, such as items in FamilySearch Library (Utah) or Allen County Public Library (Indiana) for Island County, Washington Genealogy. When you find items you'd like to access, see Get a Copy
Island County Courthouse
NE 6th & Main St; PO Box 5000
Coupeville, WA 98239-5000
County Auditor has birth and death records 1870-1907,
marriage records from 1855 land records from 1853.
County Clerk has divorce, probate and court records. 
- Genealogical Society of South Whidbey Island www.gsswi.org
- Island County Historical Society www.islandhistory.org
Towns and Communities
See a list of towns and communities in Island County per Wikipedia.
- 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.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.
- John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Island County, Washington page 733, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.