Stevens County, Washington Genealogy
- 1 County Courthouse
- 2 History
- 3 Places / Localities
- 4 Resources
- 5 Societies and Libraries
- 6 Web Sites
- 7 References
Located in Colville (originally founded at Pinkney City)
Courthouse Stevens County Courthouse
215 S. Oak
Colville, WA 99114
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Information line: 509-684-7512
Auditor's Office, Room 106, holds records including military discharges (restricted to family only), homesteads, land records from 1886 to now. Land deed records have been digitized, but they are NOT available online. The auditor staff does have digital images of the deeds and can provide them promptly upon request. Land Deed volume D is missing. For Volume D, the indexes may provide basic data like the surname plus initial of the grantor or grantee and an abbreviated land description, but some only direct the person to the actual record. The Auditor's Office can provide copies of marriage licenses although the actual records were transferred to the State Archives at Cheney.
Stevens County Commissioner's Office, 230 East Birch St, Colville, phone 509-684-3751, holds the County Commissioner's minutes.
Check the inventory collection for the Eastern Washington Region of the State Regional Archives at Cheney for many of the older records births and deaths from 1886 on, marriage records, mining patents, mortgage recordings, as these have been moved to the archives for safekeeping.
Court Clerk Office, phone 509-684-7575 holds records for divorce, naturalization, and court cases from 1889. The NeWGS volunteers have permission to access the probate microfilms and can make copies of these records upon request.
Land claimed by British and American governments.
With the signing of the Treaty of 1818, British and American jointly claimed the area which includes Stevens County. Prior to 1856, the Hudson's Bay Company controlled most of the land in what is now Stevens County. Their records are available through The Manitoba Archives and The National Archives (UK). Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Colville existed from 1828 to 1856. A map of the Hudson Bay Company land claims for Fort Colvile and their trappers is available at the Stevens County Historical Society.
The Oregon Treaty (Buchanan/Pakenham) was signed June 15, 1846 creating a border between the two countries along the 49th parallel. The U.S. portion was organized as the Oregon Territory in August 14, 1848.
The Washington Territory was formed in February 8, 1853.
Washington State was formed November 11, 1889.
See Boundary Changes for parent counties.
- Prior to 1848, both Great Britain and the United States had joint ownership of the area.
- On August 5, 1846, the Oregon Treaty established 49 degrees north as the northern border of the United States and the Oregon Territory was formed.
- On 25 April 1854, Walla Walla County was created 25 April 1954 from Clark County and Skamania County.
- On 29 January 1858, Spokane County was created from Walla Walla County. 
- On January 20, 1863, Stevens County was created. It covered current Okanogan and Ferry Counties and the portion of current Stevens County between the Kettle River and Columbia River.
- On 19 January 1864, Spokane County was disorganized and placed under Stevens County. County went from summit of Cascade Mountains to the Wenachee River, to the Columbia River, along the Snake River, to the Idaho Territory, then up to the 49th parallel. 
- On 30 October 1879, Spokane County was re-organized from Stevens County.  
- On 21 February 1899, Ferry County was created from Stevens County.
- Finally on 1 March 1911, Pend Oreille County was created bringing us to what is Stevens County today.
- See Crossroads on the Columbia for a more detailed timeline http://crossroadsarchive.org/timeline-of-stevens-county-boundary-changes
- The Newberry Library, Dr. William M. Scholl Center for American History and Culture has pdf maps of the various boundary changes in its Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. Note: earliest formation of Spokane County is not included.
- (Editor's note: An Illustrated History of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan Counties, author Richard S. Steele, pub. Western Historical Publishing Company, 1904 attributes the 1858 and 1860 descriptions of Spokane County to Stevens County creating some confusion.)
Detailed history available at www.HistoryLink.org essay 7995 Stevens County - Thumbnail History.
Detailed timeline is available at crossroadsarchive.org/timeline-of-stevens-county-boundary-changes
- 1811 - David Thompson, Northwest Company visited the area bringing in seed to the Marcus area.
- 1825 - Hudson's Bay Company began construction of Fort Colvile.
- 1838 - Missionaries Walker and Eells established Tshimakain Mission near present day Ford.
- 1845 - Catholic missionaries established a mission near Chewelah. 
- 1846 - Oregon Treaty ended border dispute between US and Great Britain
- 1854 - Area under Walla Walla County, Washington Territory
- 1858 - A gold strike in British Columbia brought miners through the area, which triggered unrest with the local Indians and started the Indian War of 1858.
- 1859 - Harney's Depot, US Army Fort Colville established along with Pinkney City and the first post office; Fort Walla Walla Fort Colville Military (Wagon) Road built by Brevet Major Pinkney Lugenbeel and U.S. Army soldiers.
- 1860 - Spokane County seat was located near Pinkney City.
- 1871 - Hudson's Bay Company Fort Colvile ended its occupation
- 1879 - Spokane County broken off from Stevens County
- 1881 - 1st Lt Thomas Symons examinated the Columbia River and reported on its navigability.
- 1882 - US Fort Colville disbanded.
- 1909 - 1910 - Colville River dredged opening up agriculture in the area
Places / Localities
- Chewelah zip code 99109, population 2,200
- Colville zip code 99114, population 5,000
- Kettle Falls zip code 99141, population 1,500
- Marcus zip code 99151, population 117
- Northport zip code 99157, population 336
- Springdale zip code 99173, population 283
Unincorporated communities with a Post Office
- Addy 99109
- Clayton 99110
- Evans 99126
- Ford 99013
- Fruitland 99129
- Gifford 99131
- Hunters 99137
- Loon Lake 99148
- Rice 99167
- Tumtum 99034
- Valley 99181
- Wellpinit 99040
Communities without a Post Office
- Deer Lake
- Onion Creek
Historical communities that no longer exist
Many tribes came to the area to fish at Kettle Falls. Colville Indians oversaw the salmon catch at Kettle Falls. The Spokane Tribe and Spokane Indian Reservation is located in southwestern Stevens County. A small group of the Kalispel Tribe lived at Indian Ridge south of Chewelah.
- Ferry (to the west)
- Lincoln (to the southwest)
- Pend Oreille (to the east)
- Spokane (to the south)
- British Columbia (to the north)
Additionally query cemeteries in neighboring the counties of Ferry, Pend Oreille, and Spokane, for additional possible locations
1860 US Federal Population Schedule and Mortality Census covering what will be Stevens County is available at USGenWeb extraction. The 1860 Population Census is at Family Search and Ancestry.com$ and at Heritage Quest (available through various libraries, including the Libraries of Stevens County). Look for the "Colville Valley". U.S. Non-population schedules (Agricultural and Industry) for 1860 are available at Ancestry.com$ look for "Colville Valley" or "Coleville Valley" under Spokane County.
1870 U.S. Population and Mortality and Non-population (Agricultural and Industry) schedules are available at Ancestry.com$ look under Stevens County. The 1870 Population schedule is also available at FamilySearch and at Heritage Quest.
1880 U.S. Population and Mortality and Non-population (Agricultural and Manufacturing) schedules are available at Ancestry.com$. The 1880 Population schedule is also available at FamilySearch and Heritage Quest.
1889 Washington Territorial Census is available at the Washington State Digital Archives
1890 Veterans Census covering Washington State is available at Ancestry.com$
The 1930 Population Census is available at Ancestry.com$ and at Family Search There are 81 enumeration districts for Stevens County in this census, with a few exceptions districts are ordered alphabetically.
The US Indian Censuses covering the Colville and Spokane Tribes of Indians for 1917-1939 are available at Ancestry.com$. If using this database, neither the Colvilles nor the Spokanes are listed as a choice for tribe. Query for the year 1917 and Washington State, click on the first Colville or Spokane tribal member listed, call up the image, and then click on the hyperlink for "Colville and Spokane Reservations" to limit your search to those tribes. Microfilms of these censuses are also available at the Colville Family History Center.
LDS Ward and Branch Records
- Colville 260 E. Juniper, Colville, WA 99114.
1885-89 Stevens County Court Case Index is available at the Washington State Digital Archives
The Pacific Coast Directory, 1867 is available at Ancestry.com$.
R.L. Polk's Directory of Stevens County, Washington, 1909-1910, at SCHS.
R.L. Polk's Directory of Stevens, Pend Oreille and Ferry Counties 1911-1912 is available at Crossroads on the Columbia
R.L. Polk's Directory of Stevens, Pend Oreille and Ferry Counties 1916-17
Telephone Directories for Stevens, Ferry and Pend Oreille Counties for 1929 and 1930
1932 Interstate Telephone Company directory for Davenport, Reardan, Medical Lake, Hunters, and Kettle Falls is available at Crossroads on the Columbia
Original homestead records are available at the Bureau of Land Management Federal Land Records Website. The first general land office patent listed on this website was granted May 1884.
Bureau of Land Managment General Land Records Office has an explanation of the township/range system, as does Wikipedia;as well as Family Search Wiki.
The BLM also has Cadastral and other survey information at Oregon and Washington Land Status and Cadastral Record, please note this is separate from the survey dropdown on the main glorecords.blm.gov page. To aid in search, the northwest corner of the county is in township 40N Range 36E; the northeast corner is township 40N range 42E; the southwest corner is township 28N range 35E; and the southeast corner is in township 27N range 42E. Per the records clerk at the BLM Spokane Office (Fancher Road) they have NARA microfilms of the railroad land transactions for their assigned area to include Stevens County. Convert latitude and longitude of the desired location to township/range using the converter at Earthpoint.
Steele, Richard F., Illustrated History of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan Counties, State of Washington, 1904, is available online at Washington State Library.
Numerous local history books are at NeWGS.
Local histories are available Libraries of Stevens County. Query for local history, Stevens County, or specific towns.
Reports of Explorations and Surveys, to Ascertain the Most Practicable and Economical Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. Zoological Report; Route Near the Forty-Seventh and Forty-Ninth Parallels, Explored by I.I. Stevens available on Google Books provides the exploration reports of Gov. Stevens and the Army officers serving under him.
Downloadable current maps in PDF are available at the Stevens County GIS Mapbook page.
An extensive collection of Oregon Territory, Washington Territory, and Washington State maps is available Department of Geography University of Alabama Map Library
Historic USGS topographical maps. The 1941 maps along the Columbia River show the river and towns prior to Lake Roosevelt forming as well as the lake after it forms.
An 1880 map of Oregon & Washington Territory, issued by the Oregon Railway and Navigation Co. is available at Ancestry.com$
An 1890 map of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company including Eastern Washington is available at Ancestry.com$
1910 Map of the Spokane Indian Reservation is available at Ancestry.com$
Atlases, Gazetteers, Maps held by Stevens County Historical Society
- Two early County Engineer's maps
- Undated early partly platted lower British Columbia, Columbia River
- 1810-1871 coast to coast territory covered by artist Paul Kane for Hudson Bay
- 1863 state map showing which areas have been surveyed
- 1863 county map showing place names
- 1870 Colville and north end
- 1870-1883 Colville area, shows cemeteries, etc.
- 1887 survey of military Fort Colville
- 1890 two sections of Meyers Falls
- 1903 Colville area, shows cemeteries, etc
- 1910 railroad map, Stevens and Bonner County, Idaho
- 1911 section map
- 1912 Original Triplicate Copy of the Northwesten Mutual Fire Association, Seattle Washington (Sanborn Maps) for Colville with viewable corrections.
- 1929 Original Triplicate Copy of the Northwesten Mutual Fire Association, Seattle Washington (Sanborn Maps) Northport with viewable corrections.
- 1952 county topography map
- 1963 Metsker's book of maps
- Original Stevens County plat maps (complete collection)
- Colville region topography
- Old Colville City map
- City of Colville
- Map of Kettle Falls
- Sanborn Insurnance Maps (shows buildings)
- State Highway Map
The Washington State Department of Military Museum details the formation and history of the territorial militia and national guard units in seven pdf files.
Fort Colville, located three miles northeast of the current City of Colville, was established June 20, 1859. Initial troops were from the Company A and Company E of the Ninth Infantry under command of Capt. Pinkney Lugenbeel. U.S. Fort Colville was ordered closed September 20, 1882.
More information about the U.S. troops and members of the American Border Commission is available in Colville Collection Book Two: Military Fort Colville by Patrick J. Graham A history of Military Fort Colville (1859-1882) including its officers, and historical manuscripts of events of that period in Colville and northeastern Washington. ....169 pages plus index. Book is available at NeWGS
A report to Congress regarding expenditures of the Northwest Boundary Commission details all the vendors throughout the Northwest Territory for items and services purchased and employees from 1857 to 1869. Another version is available on Google Books, search for 40th Congress 3d Session House of Representatives Ex. Doc No. 86 Northwest Boundary Commission. Colville Valley merchants and farmers provided support to the commission.
Civil War Veterans Buried in Stevens County by Roger W. May Information on almost 300 veterans who are buried in or have lived in Stevens County ….219 pages with 217 photos. Book is available at NeWGS
"World War II Honor List of Dead and Missing Army and Army Air Forces Personnel from Washington" at the National Archives. Query for the exact title; go to the Digital Copies tab, and page through to Stevens County to view those service members who died during WWII.
Stevens County Vietnam War Casualties at USGenWeb.
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. Stevens County Naturalization, Declarations of Intentions, and Petition for Naturalization records range from 1908-1973.
Colville Examiner 1907-1922 is available online thanks to the Washington State Library, Library of Congress, and the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities.
The Statesman-Examiner is published weekly in Colville. Precursors to this newspaper, the Colville Republican, Stevens County Standard, the Colville Index, and the Stevens County Statesman-Index for the 1892 to 1897 time frame are available in pdf format at Crossroads on the Columbia items 12945 to 13949.
The Chewelah Independent has been published weekly since 1903. Microfilms of the newspaper up to 1960 are available at the Kettle Falls Public Library. The Chewelah Public Library has digital copies of the newpaper from 2010 to current.
An extensive collection of local newspapers on microfilm is available at the Kettle Falls Public Library and some others at the Colville Public Library and Stevens County Historical Society. The NeWGS maintains a listing of these papers.
The Spokane Public Library Downtown Branch has a large microfilm collection of Spokane papers, which has some coverage of Stevens County.
Stevens County Probate records are available at the courthouse. Authorized members of the NeWGS can research microfilms of these records.
All schools in Stevens County are under the Northeast Washington Educational Service District 101 located at Regal Center 4202 S. Regal Street, Spokane, WA 99223-7738, phone number (p.) 509-789-3800
ESD 101 records at the Washington State Archives at Cheney include item EA801-36-14 Pioneer Interviews (Stevens County) for 1933-47; item EA801-36-1 School Census (Stevens County) school census records for 1915-32, and other early school records. The Digital Archives also has a 1927 Spokane County School District map.
The Last Bell by Alpha Naff (reprinted 2005 by NeWGS) A history of the rural schools in Stevens County ….152 pages, indexed. Available at at NeWGS and the Libraries of Stevens County. The Crossroads on the Columbia project has school records for Chewelah, Hunters, and Loon Lake.
The Stevens County Historical Society (SCHS) has the October 1897 to June 1904 bound ledger record of teachers' contracts
SCHS has the August 1891 to 1901 School District No. 32, Pleasant Valley Pupil Attendence Binder.
SCHS has the School District No. 2 Colville Schools Board of Director Minutes, May 15, 1903 – April 8, 1920
The Internet Archives has an article about Washington State Teacher's Cottages in 1915 by Josephine Corliss Preston
- 1891-1907 Washington State Births are available at Ancestry.com$
- 1907-1919 Washington State Births are available at Ancestry.com$
- Marriages from 3 Jun 1859 to 15 Feb 1891 are available at the Western States Marriage Index website.
- Marriages from 1860 to 2008 are available at Washington State Digital Archives.
- 1891 - 1907 Washington State Deaths are available at Ancestry.com$
- 1940-1996 Washington State Death Index is available at Ancestry.com$
- 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.
Notes from Basic Guide for Genealogy Research in Stevens, Ferry & Pend Oreille Counties by Nancy Wright, Susan DeChant, and Shirley Dodson of NeWGS: "Stevens County is long and narrow, bisected by the Huckleberry Mountains running north and south through the middle. In the early days, travel was difficult and there were almost no roads. During the winter it was impossible to go very far, so people often did their "marrying" and "burying" in Lincoln County if they lived along the River at the south end of the county. They also went to Spokane County for supplies or to get married. If they lived in the north end of the county, they caught the ore train going to the smelter in Trail, British Columbia, got off at Rossland, had time to get married and catch the train on its return trip to the states. All this could be done in time to get home for evening chores. The railroad was completed in 1892-93. Lincoln County seat is located in Davenport, WA 99122. The address for the proper office in Rossland is Vital Record, Court Registry, Box 639, Rossland, B.C. VOG 1YO, phone 604-362-7368."
Societies and Libraries
The Northeast Washington Genealogical Society assists those researching in Ferry, Pend Oreille, and Stevens County. Classes and meetings are held the second Wednesday of the month. Mailing address is Northeast Washington Genealogical Society, c/o Colville Public Library, 195 S Oak, Colville, WA 99114.
The NeWGS's publication, Pioneer Branches is available at the Colville Public Library (part of the Libraries of Stevens County), Allen County Public Library, and through the society. Indexes are available on Persi from 1986 to 2007.
The Libraries of Stevens County (formerly the Stevens County Rural Library District) has branches in Chewelah, Colville, Hunters, Kettle Falls, Lakeside, Loon Lake, Northport, Springdale, and a station at Onion Creek.
The Stevens County Historical Society at 700 N Wynne St. P.O. Box 25, Colville, WA 99114 maintains the Keller House and Stevens County Museum. Researchers at the museum's Jim McMillan Research and Reference Library provides detailed reports on research requests.
The Loon Lake Historical Society has an extensive collection of photographs, ledgers, loose papers, and family histories for the Loon Lake and Deer Lake areas, and a number of Clayton documents.
The Clayton/Deer Park Historical Society has records for the Williams Valley area and Town of Clayton.
Family History Centers
- Family History Library Catalog
- Crossroads on the Columbia Preserve America Project Interpretive Section
- Stevens County, Washington Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- The Heritage Network is volunteer, non-profit organization formed to assist heritage groups discover and preserve historical resources within their respective communities in the Northeast Washington and British Columbia Canada area
- The Westerner Spokane Corral
- 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.
- Washington State Archives p. 716-717.
- Washington State Achives, P.621.
- Washington State Archives. p. 6.
- Washington State Archives. p. 70.
- Washington State Archives, p. 203-205.
- Washington State Archives. p.70-73.
- Washington State Archives, p. 26-29.
- Washington State Archives. p. 98-106.
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