Pierce County, Washington Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png Washington Gotoarrow.png Pierce County

Guide to Pierce County Washington genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.


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Pierce County, Washington
Map
Map of Washington highlighting Pierce County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the U.S. highlighting Washington
Location of Washington in the U.S.
Facts
Founded December 22, 1852
County Seat Tacoma
Courthouse
Address Pierce County Courthouse
930 Tacoma Ave South
Tacoma, WA 98402
Phone: 253.798.7455
Pierce County Website


Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
Birth
Marriage
Death
Land
Probate
Court
1891*
1853*
1891*
1858
1855
1855
* For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

Resources

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 Pierce County, Washington Genealogy entries with names, images, or information.

Bible Records

Biography

Cemeteries

Census

  • 1860
  • 1870
  • 1878
  • 1879
  • 1880
  • 1889
  • 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.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Lincoln (Tacoma)
  • Tacoma
  • Tacoma Central
Lutheran
  • Records of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Tacoma, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

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

Directories

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political or Religious Groups

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

Gazetteers

Genealogy

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 Federal District courts. See Washington Court Records.

History

Local histories for Pierce County, Washington Genealogy may include biographies, history of churches, schools, local government with names of officials, military information, and more. See Washington Local Histories.

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

Migration

Military

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

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

Finding More Washington Newspapers

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Pierce 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)

The News Tribune (Tacoma)

Puyallup Herald (formerly Pierce County Herald)

Obituaries

Tacoma Obituary Index contains more than 350,000 entries.  File is complete from 1984 to the present day.

Periodicals

Probate

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

Repositories

Courthouse

Pierce County Courthouse
930 Tacoma Ave South
Tacoma, WA 98402
Phone: 253.798.7455

County Auditor has marriage and land records.
County Clerk has divorce, probate and court records from 1890 and adoption records. [3]

Family History Centers
Libraries
Museums
Societies

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 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. .

Birth
Marriage
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.

Death
  • 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.

Websites

Archives, Libraries, etc.

Resources for Pierce 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.

Places

Populated Places

Tacoma

Puyallup

Sumner

Orting

Lakewood

Edgewood

Fort Lewis

Pierce County Washington Genealogy References

  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Pierce County, Washington" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierce_County,_Washington (accessed 15 Feb 2013).
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Skamania County, Washington page 734, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.