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Marion County, Oregon Genealogy

Guide to Marion County, Oregon ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.


Marion County, Oregon
Map of Oregon highlighting Marion County
Location in the state of Oregon
Map of the U.S. highlighting Oregon
Location of Oregon in the U.S.
Founded September 3, 1849
County Seat Salem
Address Marion County Courthouse
Courthouse Square
555 Court Stree NE
Salem, Or 97309
Phone: 503-588-5225
Marion County Website

County InformationEdit


The County was named for Francis Marion. The County is located in the northwest area of the state. [1]

Marion County, Oregon Record DatesEdit

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1871 1849 1907 1841 1850 1843 1845
Statewide registration for births and deaths in 1903. General compliance year unknown.

Quick FactsEdit

Francis Marion.JPG

The county is named after "The Swamp Fox" Revolutionary War Brigadier General Francis Marion (c1732-1795).

County CourthouseEdit

County Clerk has marriage records from 1849 and land records from 1850. District Court has divorce, probate and court records. State Archives has wills 1853-1891, Naturalization Records 1849-1975 and assessment rolls 1857-1925.[3]

In August of 2010, the building at 555 Court Street NE, known as Courthouse Square was evacuated and declared unsafe for use. All of the county offices in this building were relocated to other places in the county. You can follow updates on the Marion County page at Marion County.
In the meantime, the county clerk can be contacted for specific information on the files you are requesting:

Clerk's Office
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 14500, Salem, Oregon 97309
Web Site:
Phone: (503) 588-5225

Archives/ Records Management
100 High ST NE # 1331, Salem, Oregon 97301
Phone: (503) 588-5490

Records held at County CourthouseEdit

Record LossEdit

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

Quick FactsEdit

3 September 1849: Marion county was renamed from Champoeg County.
Named for Francis Marion, a Continental Army general in the American Revolutionary War. [4]

Trivia Tidbits: Little biographic bits associated with the names of non-population localities.

Parent CountyEdit

None, one of original counties.

Boundary ChangesEdit

Originally one of the four districts named in July of 1843, Champooick District (later called Champoeg) ranged from the Willamette river on the west to the Continental Divide on the east and south to California.[5]

In 1845 the districts were renamed counties, and in 1849, the name of Champoeg District was changed to Marion County to honor Revolutionary War hero General Francis Marion.[6] Marion County was already smaller than when it started, because 28 Dec 1847 the Provisional Legislature created Linn County out of the southern portion of Champoeg,[7] establishing the boundary at the North Fork of the Santiam River. Then, on 11 Jan 1854, the Territorial Legislature created Wasco County from the eastern parts of Marion, Linn, Clackamas and Lane Counties.[8] This set the eastern border of Marion County at the Cascade Range, where it remains today.

Originally the county had a county court form of government, but as the state judiciary branch of state government grew, there was less need of a county court. In 1941 the county court system was stripped of judicial function and the remaining probate and civil cases were transferred to the Circuit Court. In 1963 the county changed to a county commissioner form of government.[9]

For animated maps illustrating Oregon County boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Oregon County Boundary Maps" (1843-1975) may be viewed for free at the website.

Places / LocalitiesEdit

Populated PlacesEdit

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:[10]

Unincorporated communities
Native American communities
Census-designated places
Ghost towns

Neighboring CountiesEdit

Clackamas | Jefferson | Linn | Polk | Wasco | Yamhill |

Trivia TidbitsEdit

Information about localities, too small or too brief to describe in separate pages. Exception to this are Post Offices. Trivia Tidbits




Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
ORGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
ORGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
Billion Graves
See Oregon Cemeteries for more information.


  • 1845 (as Champoeg County)
  • 1849 (as Champoeg County)
  • 1850
  • 1853 State Census Transcriptions and Indexes
  • 1860
  • 1870
  • 1880
  • 1890
  • 1895 State
  • 1900
  • 1905 State
  • 1910
  • 1920
  • 1930

Church History and Records (Rural)Edit

  • Early Catholic records.The earliest Catholic church registers have been transcribed and published in a series of seven books.

Court RecordsEdit

Deeds and PropertyEdit



Land and PropertyEdit


Yamhill CountyClackamas CountyWasco CountyJefferson CountyLinn CountyPolk CountyOR MARION.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military History and RecordsEdit

Civil WarEdit

World War IEdit


Online Historical Newspapers - identifies historical archived and digitized newspapers available online on both free and pay-to-access websites.

Probate RecordsEdit

Online Records

Rivers and WaterwaysEdit

Details about the rivers and waterways where farms and settlements are often found along them. Rivers and Waterways


Vital RecordsEdit

See also How to order Oregon Vital Records, order electronically online or download an application for Oregon Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Divorce Certificate, Death Certificate Application to mail.

Birth RecordsEdit

Delayed Birth Certificates

Birth Registers

Marriage RecordsEdit

  1. 1826-1975 - Oregon, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
  2. Extractions of early marriages are listed on the Western States Marriage Index
  3. Marriage Index 1885-1896 Actually is a book of affiants reporting the marriages. Historical Records Collection

Death RecordsEdit

Societies, Libraries and MuseumsEdit

Willamette Heritage Center
1313 Mill St. Suite 200
Salem, OR 97301
Telephone: 503-585-7012 ext 257 (website)

St. Paul Mission Historical Society
PO Box 158
St. Paul, OR 97137-0158

St. Paul is the core of the French Prairie, the earliest settlement in Oregon. The Society website includes history, photos, and artifacts.

Family History CentersEdit

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.


Marion County Oregon Genealogy ReferencesEdit

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Marion, Oregon" in,_Oregon accessed 28 Nov 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Marion County, Oregon . Page 572-574 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), 563-564.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Marion County, Oregon page 573, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. WorldCat 50140092FHL Collection Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.] (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002)
  5. Oregon State Archives, “Marion County History,” Oregon Historical Records Guide, (Oregon State Archives : : accessed 17 Oct 2010).
  6. Sue Bell, “Early Marion County Government,” Salem Online History, (Salem, Salem Public Library, 2003 : : accessed 17 Oct 2010).
  7. Oregon State Archives, “Linn County History,” Oregon Historical Records Guide, (Oregon State Archives : : accessed 17 Oct 2010).
  8. Oregon State Archives, “Wasco County History,” Oregon Historical Records Guide, (Oregon State Archives : : accessed 17 Oct 2010).
  9. Oregon State Archives, “Marion County History.”
  10. Wikipedia contributors, "Marion County, Oregon" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Oregon, accessed 28 November 2018.