In 1775, Bruno Heceta, a Spanish explorer, visited what is now the state of Washington. He was followed by an American explorer named Captain Robert Gray, who came to the area in 1792. Also in that year, a British explorer named Captain George Vancouver began exploring the area and continued to do so until 1794. Later on, in 1805 and 1806, the famous explorers, Lewis and Clark, came to the Columbia River area to explore. War almost broke out over American and British claims to the area in the 1840s. The war was only prevented by the signing of the Oregon Treaty in 1846, which stated that the 49th parallel was an official boundary point.
The State of Washington has 39 Counties.
Adams County, Asotin County, Benton County, Chelan County, Clallam County, Clark County, Columbia County, Cowlitz County, Douglas County, Ferry County, Franklin County, Garfield County, Grant County, Grays Harbor County, Island County, Jefferson County, King County, Kitsap County, Kittitas County, Klickitat County, Lewis County, Lincoln County, Mason County, Okanogan County, Pacific County, Pend Oreille County, Pierce County, San Juan County, Skagit County, Skamania County, Snohomish County, Spokane County, Stevens County, Thurston County, Wahkiakum County, Walla Walla County, Whatcom County, Whitman County, Yakima County
Getting Started with Washington Genealogy and Family Trees
Washington Genealogy Tips & Hints – Washington State is known mostly for its amazing natural beauty, but it was also one of the farthest locations of the American frontier, and this means that there is a huge amount of history connected to the entire state. This is also why there is such a demand for genealogical materials as well. This site will look at the best methods to use for Washington genealogy searches.Where do you find genealogical information? It will be available in two ways – “online” and “offline”. These resources will be found in a large number of locations, especially because the current age is one of electronic information. This is why so many places have converted their holdings into online databases open to the public 24 hours a day. As you begin looking for Washington genealogy data you should be able to begin with the computer to accumulate facts and even order copies of documents.If you find that your sources offer no digitized data, you can still look for Washington genealogy data on their websites, and ensure you will be able to get what you need “in person”. It is important to spend time identifying such resources for Washington genealogy in order to discover which are the best online tools for your project.
Generally, state research begins in the public records, and these are divided into three categories. Know these categories as you begin looking for Washington genealogy materials as it will streamline search efforts:
- Local Records – state genealogy searches will often start at a county clerk’s office or website, and will then head on to the small local libraries, historical societies, local genealogical societies, and school or college libraries for Washington genealogy materials. These are items that are usually offline and viewable by appointment or special arrangement.
- Vital Records – these cover the birth, marriage, divorce and death records from county, state, and national archives. They can also include immigration and naturalization details, cemetery or obituary information, census records, newspaper items, military records, and passenger lists and records as well. These tend to be available as online or offline resources for Washington genealogy.
- State Records – from probate information to private manuscripts, surname lists, newspapers, state census information, marriage details, military or veterans information, land records, maps, estate information, genealogical folders, death records, deeds, birth certificates, cemetery information and more; these are available as online and offline resources for Washington genealogy.
Best Sites for Washington Genealogy Materials – Below is a list of the primary resources for targeted information for Washington genealogy research:
- Department of Health, Center for Health Staistics, P.O. Box 47814, Olympia, WA 98504-7814; Website: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w/washington.htm .
This is where you can find birth, death, marriage and divorce records via a written request or even through an online form.
Additional state and local records can be found at these websites are known for providing researchers with state-specific details for those in search for Washington genealogy data.
- Washington State Archives, 1129 Washington Street SE, Olympia, WA 98504-0238; Digital Archives
- Washington State Library’s main Genealogical page (sos.wa.gov)
- RAOGK Volunteers for Washington (raogk.org)
- Washington Genealogy Network Community (plus.google.com)
- Washington State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- USGenweb – Washington Genealogy (wagenweb.org)
- The Washington Family Group Sheet Project (fgs-project.com)
- Free GenForum Message Boards – Washington (genforum.genealogy.com)
- Free Rootsweb Message Boards – Washington (boards.ancestry.com)
- Cyndis List Washington Links (cyndislist.com)
- Washington Mailing List (rootsweb.ancestry.com)
- Washington American History and Genealogy Project (usgennet.org)
- Washington (wikipedia.org)
- Washington Genealogy Look Ups (geneasearch.com)
- USGenWeb Archives Project for Washington (usgwarchives.net)