To request editing rights on the Wiki, click here.

Walla Walla County, Washington Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Guide to Walla Walla County Washington ancestry, family history, and genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records, since 1861, when the county was formed.

Farmland and Wind Turbines in Walla Walla County, Washington
County QuickStart:



WA ORP.png

Walla Walla County, Washington
Map
Map of Washington highlighting Walla Walla County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the U.S. highlighting Washington
Location of Washington in the U.S.
Facts
Founded April 25, 1854
County Seat Walla Walla
Courthouse
Address Walla Walla County Website


County Overview[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for the Walla Walla people. The County is located in the southeast area of the state.[1]

Parent County(s)[edit | edit source]

Walla Walla County, Washington was created 25 April 1854.[2] Was Skamania (discontinued) previously, which was formed from Lewis and Clark counties.

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

With the signing of the Treaty of 1818, Great Britain and the United States jointly claimed the Pacific Northwest, including current Walla Walla County. [5]

On August 14, 1848, the Oregon Territory formed, and Clackamas County included current Walla Walla County.[6]

On March 2, 1853, the Washington Territory was formed.[7]

Original Walla Walla County boundaries commenced at a point opposite the mouth of the Deschutes River on the north bank of the Columbia River, thence running north to the 49th parallel, thence along said parallel to the summit of the Rocky Mountains, thence south along the summit of the Rocky Mountains to the 46th degree of parallel, thence west along said 46th parallel to where it crosses the Columbia River, thence along said Columbia River to the place of beginning.[8]

Western Montana, Northern Idaho, and all Eastern Washington counties broke off from Walla Walla County starting with Spokane County in 1860 and finishing with Asotin County in 1883.[9]

Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Walla Walla County Courthouse
315 West Main Street
PO Box 836
Walla Walla, WA 99362-0259
Phone: 509.527.3221

County Clerk has divorce, probate and court records from 1860. [10]

See also Archives, libraries, etc. in Walla Walla County, Washington Genealogy.

Dates of Major County Records[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[11]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1883 1852 1864 1860 1859 1859 1850
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1907.
General compliance by 1917.
Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Topics for Walla Walla County, Washington Genealogy[edit | edit source]

The topics or headings on this page describe records that are used for genealogy and family history. They include links to web sites with indexes, images, or information about the county.

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

 

Biography[edit | edit source]

Biographical information is often found in state and local histories or genealogies. See also Washington Biography.

Business and Commerce[edit | edit source]

 

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
FindAGrave Family History Library FindAGrave
Tombstone Project WorldCat Interment.net
Billion Graves (name) Washington Periodicals WA State Digital Archives
WAGenWeb Archives Linkpendium
Billion Graves Genealogy Trails
WAGenWeb
See Washington Cemeteries for more information.

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.


Census[edit | edit source]

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.



Church Records[edit | edit source]

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 Walla Walla County, Washington Genealogy are listed in the FamilySearch catalog. (Press space bar to select town.)

Ward and Branch Records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  • Walla Walla

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Your ancestors may be found in court records as defendants, plaintiffs, witnesses, or jurors. Court records can clarify family relationships, places of residence, occupations, and family history. See Washington Court Records for courts used through the years.

ArrowGreen.svg.png

For specialized court records, see Divorce  · Guardianship  · Land  · Naturalization · Probate

  • Court Records 1860-1899 Part of: Washington County Records, 1803-2010 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes Case files 1868-1889; District Court case files 1860-1899.
  • Walla Walla Frontier Justice. Part of "Frontier Justice’’: Guide to the Court Records of Washington Territory, 1853-1889 at Washington State Digital Archives. (Free Index, no images)
    • The court procedure of Frontier Justice touch nearly all pioneers of Washington Territory. The index has many abstracts that provide names and what is happening in disputes, settlements in civil and criminal cases as well as probate, equity and admiralty cases.

Directories[edit | edit source]

  County and City Directories exist for Walla Walla County. Ancestry has searchable directories from 1902 to 1935.

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

 

Ethnic, Political and Religious[edit | edit source]

 

American Indian[edit | edit source]
Japanese[edit | edit source]

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

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

 

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

 

Whitman CountyColumbia CountyFranklin CountyBenton CountyUmatilla CountyWA WALLA WALLA.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Genealogy[edit | edit source]

Many local libraries and societies have collections of family genealogies. County histories or biographies often include brief genealogies of the featured persons.

A FamilySearch Community Tree is available for this place.

Note: Community Tree lists Lewis County, from which Skamania (later Walla Walla) County was formed in 1854. Very early residents of the Walla Walla area would be included.

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Guardianship of orphans or adults unable to manage their own affairs were handled by the probate and the District courts. See Washington Court Records.

History[edit | edit source]

Local histories for Walla Walla 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[edit | edit source]

Historical County Boundaries from Newberry Library[12]

Emphasis for this timeline is on events that affected migration, records, or record-keeping. Unless otherwise mentioned, the events below were gleaned from Michael J. Paulus Jr. Walla Walla County -- Thumbnail History, History Link.org Essay 8486.

  • Groups that lived in the Walla Walla Valley included the Nez Perce, Cayuses, Umatillas, and Walla Wallas.
  • 1805 - Among the earliest records of Euro-Americans coming to the Walla Walla Valley are those from the expedition led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.
  • 1836 - Presbyterian Missionaries Marcus and Narcissa Whitman arrived in the Walla Walla Valley and established a mission.
  • 1853 - March 2, U.S. President Millard Fillmore establishes Washington Territory.
  • 1846 - Joint American-British occupation of the Oregon country ended and the Treaty of Oregon established the present international border between Canada and the United States.
  • 1853 - Washington Territory was created out of Oregon Territory and Isaac Stevens was appointed the new territory’s first governor.
  • 1854 - April 25, Walla Walla County is formed.
  • 1855 May - Stevens arrived at the future site of the city of Walla Walla to negotiate treaties with the Nez Perce, Yakima, Umatilla, Walla Walla, and Cayuse tribes.
  • 1859 - The land east of the Cascades was declared fully open for settlement, a small collection of cabins, shacks, and tents were situated around Steptoe’s fort and five land claims had been located in the surrounding area.
  • 1880 - A gold rush in the early 1860s, followed by a growing agricultural industry, made Walla Walla the largest city in Washington Territory.

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

 

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

Migration[edit | edit source]

Most residents came to Washington from other states or crossed the border from Canada. (See Seattle Passenger Lists for those who came from other countries.) Although few other migration records exist, try:

Censuses (use birthdates and places of children as clues)
Land (1st deed may reveal previous residence)
Death-related records of children may give town or county of birth
• Records of relatives and neighbors


Early migration routes to and from Walla Walla County, Washington Genealogy for European and African American settlers included:

Military[edit | edit source]

 

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

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.

  • Naturalization and Citizenship 1850-1960 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes Declarations of intention 1886-1907; Naturalization index 1850-1960; Petitions for naturalization 1898-1904; Petitions for naturalization and petition evidence 1904-1906; Petitions for naturalization, petition evidence, special naturalizations 1890-1904.

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Small town newspapers provide historical content and contain obituaries, birth or death notices, legal notices, and community news, such as visits to or from out-of-town relatives. See Washington Newspapers for tips, resources, and details.

Finding More Washington Newspapers

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

Washington State Library has early Walla Walla newspapers online.

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Obituaries may mention birth, marriage, spouse, parents, living family members, education, occupation, and more. See Washington Obituaries for state level collections and United States Obituaries for tips and insights.

ArrowGreen.svg.png

See also: NewspapersLibrariesSocietiesFuneral Homes • Obituaries of neighboring counties or of the person's previous residence • Family records.

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

 

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Public records are documents created by civil authorities that either don't fit comfortably in another topic, or that could fit in several topics.

Taxation[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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.

Visit the Washington State Department of Health website to order a Washington Birth, Death, Marriage or Divorce Certificate. See Washington Vital Records for details and history of the records. .

Birth[edit | edit source]
Birth Records reveal
Yes or Maybe
 Y  M
Name of Child Green check.png  
Birth Date and Place Green check.png  
Parent's Names Green check.png  
Mother's Maiden Name Green check.png  
Parent's Ages   Green check.png
Parents' State or Country of Birth Green check.png  
Name of Doctor or Midwife Green check.png  

In 1891, coroners, physicians, and midwives were to "return" births and deaths to the county auditor. Many went unrecorded. In 1907, the State Center for Health Statistics assumed this responsibility.[14]

ArrowGreen.svg.png

See Washington Online Genealogy Records for indexes.
Also see Washington Birth Records.

For earlier or unrecorded births, search:


Marriage[edit | edit source]
Marriage Records reveal
Yes or Maybe
 Y  M
Date of Marriage or License Green check.png  
Names of Bride and Groom Green check.png  
Ages Green check.png  
Birth Places Green check.png  
Residences Green check.png  
Names of Parents   Green check.png
Husband's Occupation   Green check.png
Witnesses Green check.png  
Minister or Officiator Green check.png  

Marriage records include certificates, marriage returns, license applications or affidavits. Counties kept the records until 1968, when the state took over.


ArrowGreen.svg.png

See Washington Online Genealogy Records for indexes.
Also see Washington Marriage Records.

  • 1865-1986 - Marriage Records 1865-1986 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes Marriage affidavits 1924-1939; affidavits and reports 1891-1950; applications 1936-1985; certificates 1865-1986; licenses 1869-1905; licenses indexes; Marriage records 1924-1947; Marriage index 1942-1947; registers 1891-1913; returns 1891-1939.
Divorce[edit | edit source]

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.

Online Records

Death[edit | edit source]
Death Records reveal
Yes or Maybe
 Y  M
Name of Deceased Green check.png  
Death Date and Place Green check.png  
Age or Birth Date and Place Green check.png  
Parent's Names Green check.png  
Mother's Maiden Name Green check.png  
Name of Spouse   Green check.png
Residence Green check.png  
Occupation Green check.png  

In 1891, coroners, physicians and midwives were to report (or return) all births and deaths under their supervision to County Auditors. On July 1, 1907, the State took over....[15]

ArrowGreen.svg.png

See Washington Online Genealogy Records for indexes.
Also see Washington Death Records.

  • Death Records1883-1933 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes Coroner's docket 1913-1933; Death registers & index 1883-1913; Death registers 1891-1907; Death returns 1903-1906.

Voting Registers[edit | edit source]

 

Websites[edit | edit source]



Sites with online indexes or images of records
Walla Walla County WAGenWeb Project Free Data may be submitted by individuals or complete transcriptions
USGenWeb Archives Project Free Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions
Washington State Digital Archives Free Includes indexes, some linked to images.
  • Type county name, click Search, then select a collection.
  • Collections were posted to the appropriate headings for this Wiki page in December, 2013.
FamilySearch Historical Collections Free Search indexes or browse images at FamilySearch.org.
  • Click "Last Updated." Collections through December 2013 have been posted to the appropriate topics for this Wiki page.
Sites that search for links pertaining to Walla Walla County, Washington Genealogy
Websites at RootsWeb -Walla Walla WA Free Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions
Linkpendium Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
CyndisList Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
StateofUS.com Free "Walla Walla County, Washington Facts" (mis-labeled "Walla Walla County, Alabama Facts")
Major catalogs for hard copy collections of Walla Walla County, Washington Genealogy
Books, microfilm, or manuscripts of genealogical records
FamilySearch catalog Select topics. To select towns, add a comma to the search box.
WorldCat To find nearby libraries that have specific items, see WorldCat Online Catalog.
Allen County Public Library (Indiana)
See also local libraries and Washington Archives and Libraries




Sites that search the Internet for Walla Walla County, Washington Genealogy records online:

Major catalogs to offline genealogical records:
Catalogs refer to books, microfilm, manuscripts, and/or Internet images and indexes for various topics.

Archives, Libraries, etc.[edit | edit source]

See also a List of Washington Archives, Libraries, Publications, Historical & Genealogical Societies   Resources for Walla Walla 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.

  • Check websites and catalogs, such as items in FamilySearch Library (Utah) or Allen County Public Library (Indiana) for Walla Walla County, Washington Genealogy.
  • Northwest Archives 345 Boyer Ave. Walla Walla, WA 99362 Phone: (509) 527-5111
    • "... curates materials that document the history of Whitman College and the Walla Walla region as well as rare books and other special collections." Digital Collections includes directories as early as 1881, photos of buildings, maps, serendipity
  • When you find items you'd like to access, see Get a Copy
Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

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.

Libraries[edit | edit source]

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.


  • Whitman College Library
    345 Boyer Avenue
    Walla Walla, WA 99362
    Phone: 509-527-5111
    Website
  • Walla Walla Public Library
    238 E. Alder Street
    Walla Walla, WA 99362
    Phone: 509-527-4388
    Website
  • Burbank Heights Library
    875 Lake Road
    Burbank, WA 99323
    Phone: 509-545-6549
    Website
  • Prescott Library
    103 D Street
    Prescott, WA 99348
    Phone: 509-849-2411
    Website
  • Touchet Community Library
    161 Hanson Road
    Touchet, WA 99360
    Phone: 509-394-2329
    Website
  • Walla Walla County Rural Library District
    37 Jade Avenue
    Walla Walla, WA 99362
    Phone: 509-527-3284
    Website
  • Weller Public Library
    212 Main Street
    Waitsburg, WA 99361
    Phone: 509-337-8149
    Website
Museums[edit | edit source]

 

Societies[edit | edit source]

 

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[16]

Cities
Unincorporated communities
  • Ayer
  • Burbank Heights
  • Eureka
  • Valley Grove
  • Whitman
Census-designated places


References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Walla Walla County, Washington," in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walla_Walla_County,_Washington. accessed 18/07/2019
  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. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_1818
  6. Abbott, Newton Carl Carver, Fred E., The Evolution of Washington Counties by, 1979. Publisher Yakima Valley Genealogical Society and Klickitat County Genealogical Society.
  7. Abbott, Newton Carl Carver, Fred E., The Evolution of Washington Counties by, 1979. Publisher Yakima Valley Genealogical Society and Klickitat County Genealogical Society.
  8. Abbott, Newton Carl Carver, Fred E., The Evolution of Washington Counties by, 1979. Publisher Yakima Valley Genealogical Society and Klickitat County Genealogical Society.
  9. Abbott, Newton Carl Carver, Fred E. The Evolution of Washington Counties, 1979. Publisher Yakima Valley Genealogical Society and Klickitat County Genealogical Society.
  10. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Walla Walla County, Washington page 734, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  11. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Walla Walla County, Washington . Page 732-735 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 733-734.
  12. John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.
  13. Jim Tompkins, The Oregon Trail 1841-1848 Map VI in Oregon Trail Landmarks (accessed 18 July 2011).
  14. Washington State Archives - Digital Archives, Birth Records, About this Collection
  15. About Death Records at Washington State Digital Archives.
  16. Wikipedia contributors, "Walla Walla County, Washington," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walla_Walla_County,_Washington, accessed 26 March 2019.

To access available information, first log into FamilySearch.