Washington, County Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Washington, County Records, 1856-2009 .
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Record Description[edit | edit source]

The collection consists of various records including official actions, probate records, indexes, etc. The records are from various counties in Washington State, 1856-2009. This is an ongoing collection. The counties will be added to the collection as their records are available. Browse the collection to determine current record and county coverage.

The following counties are available in the collection at this time:

  • Adams
  • Asotin
  • Benton
  • Chelan
  • Columbia
  • Douglas
  • Franklin
  • Lincoln
  • Pend Oreille
  • Pierce
  • Spokane
  • Stevens
  • Walla Walla
  • Whitman

Citation for This Collection[edit | edit source]

The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.

Information about creating source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.

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, and 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]

To begin your search it is helpful 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

Search the Collection[edit | edit source]

To search the collection select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page ⇒Select the county ⇒Select the Record Type, Date Range and Volume which takes you to the images

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

Using the Information[edit | edit source]

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors.

The following examples show ways you can use the information:

  • Use the age to calculate a birth date.
  • Use the names along with the residences to find church and census records.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or 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.

Tips to Keep in Mind[edit | edit source]

  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
  • 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 the 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]

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.


Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections[edit | edit source]

When you copy information from a record, you should 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 keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections

Citation Example for Records Found in This Collection[edit | edit source]

"Washington State County Records, King, Kinsap, and Pierce Counties, 1954-1950." index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org https :accessed 25 April 2012). Pierce > Deeds, 1899,v.146 > image 3 of 643; entry for Caroline T. Lincoln and A. U. Millerentry, deed dated 10 February 1899; citing County Records,Images 3 & 4; . Washington State Archives, Puget Sound Regional Branch, Bellevue, Washington.