Washington, County Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
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Collection Time Period[edit | edit source]

This collection contains records for the years 1854 to 1975.

Record Description[edit | edit source]

The records in this collection are digital images of county records at the Washington State Archives, Puget Sound Regional Branch, Bellevue, Washington. They collection includes the following types of records along with some indexes:

  • Land Records
  • School Records
  • Probate Records
  • Wills
  • Citizenship Records
  • Military Records

Record Content[edit | edit source]

The records generally include the following information:

  • Date of the event, transaction, or recording with the county
  • Names of individual, witnesses, family members, sometimes neighbors
  • Ages
  • Relationships
  • Residences
  • Occupations
  • Signature or mark
  • Legal descriptions of land
  • Amount of money exchanged as part of business transactions.

How to Use the Record[edit | edit source]

The records in this collection are arranged by type of record and then by date. To begin searching these records you need to know the following:

  • The type of event.
  • The place where the event occurred.
  • The approximate date the event occurred.
  • The name of the individual or individuals such as the names of the soldier, the deceased, or grantor and grantees.

Compare the information you find in the records to what you already know about your ancestors to determine which record is about your ancestor. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.

Next, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:

  • Use the age to calculate a birth date.
  • Use the names, ages and residence church and census records.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records.
  • The name of the officiator at a christening, marriage, or burial may be a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom, this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been born, married, or died in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

Keep in mind:

  • The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.

If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Search the indexes and records of individual counties and nearby states.

Record History[edit | edit source]

The Washington State Archives maintains the state and local records considered to be permanently valuable.

Why this Record Was Created[edit | edit source]

The individual records were made to establish legal rights and to help track the population for health and taxation purposes. The state collection was created to insure that the records are retained and archived properly.

Record Reliability[edit | edit source]

The information is generally reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant. Some transcription errors may have occurred.

Related Websites[edit | edit source]

[Washington State Archives]

Related Wiki Articles[edit | edit source]

Washington Vital Records

Washington Land and Property

Washington Probate Records

Washington Military Records

Contributions to This Article[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.


Sources of Information for This Collection[edit | edit source]

“Washington State County Records, 1854-1975,” database, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org/); from the Washington State Archives, Puget Sound Regional Branch, Bellevue, Washington. FHL digital images, 25,900 pages, Family History Library Salt Lake City, Utah.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections[edit | edit source]

When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections

Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection[edit | edit source]

• United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71 • Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023