Franklin County, Washington Genealogy

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Guide to Franklin County Washington ancestry, family history, and genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records, since 1882, when the county was formed.

Palouse Falls, Franklin County, Washington
County QuickStart:

Franklin County, Washington
Map of Washington highlighting Franklin County
Location in the state of Washington (disambiguation)
Map of the U.S. highlighting Washington
Location of Washington in the U.S.
Founded November 28, 1883
County Seat Pasco
Washington, Franklin County Courthouse.png
Address Franklin County Website

County Overview[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Benjamin Franklin. The County is located in the southcentral area of the state.[1]

Pasco, the Franklin County seat and largest population of Franklin County, is part of the Tri-City metropolitan area, and is just across the Columbia River from Kennewick and Richland (Benton County), and across the Snake River from Burbank (Walla Walla County). From the beginning, residence from each of these communities have crossed the rivers to go to church, get married, visit the hospitals, and bury their deceased. Records for Franklin County residence could be in Benton or Walla Walla Counties.

Residence of northern Franklin County may be found in records of Adams County. The northern part of the county has always been more rural with a lower population. They often travel to Connell for various services, but occasionally travel to Pasco (or the Tri-Cities) for larger purchases and business. They may also be found in Walla Walla and Benton county records.

Parent County(s)[edit | edit source]

Franklin County, Washington was created 28 November 1882 from Whitman.[2]

County Seat:: Pasco [3]. See also Towns and Communities in Franklin County, Washington Genealogy. For Courthouse, see Archives, libraries, etc.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

See Historical County Boundaries from Newberry Library[4]

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Franklin County, Washington Genealogy is surrounded by: Adams | Benton | Columbia | Grant | Walla Walla | Whitman

Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Franklin County Auditor has birth, death and burial records 1891-1910, marriage records from 1891; land records.
County Clerk has divorce, probate and court records from 1891. [5]

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

Dates of Major County Records[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[6]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1891 1891 1891 1891 1880 1891 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 Franklin 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
Billion Graves (name) Washington Periodicals WA State Digital Archives
WAGenWeb Archives Linkpendium
Billion Graves Genealogy Trails
WAGenWeb FamilySearch Places
See Washington Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1890 696
1900 486 −30.2%
1910 5,153 960.3%
1920 5,877 14.1%
1930 6,137 4.4%
1940 6,307 2.8%
1950 13,563 115.0%
1960 23,342 72.1%
1970 25,816 10.6%
1980 35,025 35.7%
1990 37,473 7.0%
2000 49,347 31.7%
2010 78,163 58.4%
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.
List of Churches and Church Parishes

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.


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

  • Franklin Frontier Justice Part of "Frontier Justice": Guide to the Court Records of Washington Territory, 1853-1888 at Washington State Digital Archives. (Free Index, no images)
    • The court procedures of Frontier Justice touch nearly all pioneers of the 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]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]


Ethnic, Political or Religious Groups[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]

Note: Pasco, the Franklin County seat and largest population of Franklin County, is part of the Tri-City metropolitan area, and is just across the bridge from Kennewick and Richland (Benton County), as well as Burbank (Walla Walla County). Residence of Franklin County often used funeral services and cemeteries in these other communities.

Gazetteers[edit | edit source]


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.

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 Franklin 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[7]

Emphasis for this timeline is on events that affected migration, records, or record-keeping. Unless otherwise mentioned, the events below were gleaned from Elizabeth Gibson. Franklin County -- Thumbnail History, History Essay 7452.

  • Before white settlers came to the area now known as Franklin County, the region’s Native Americans fished for salmon.
  • 1805 - Meriwether Lewis and William Clark arrived at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers.
  • 1805 plus a few years - David Thompson, of the North West Company, arrived here and claimed the land for Great Britain.
  • 1850s - After the end of the Indian Wars of the 1850s, settlers felt it was safe to move into the Columbia Basin.
  • 1853 - March 2, U.S. President Millard Fillmore establishes Washington Territory.
  • 1879 - Travelers began settling near the site of modern-day Pasco.
  • 1883-November 28, The Washington Territorial Legislature created Franklin county.

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Land records (especially deeds) may give the name of a spouse, heirs, and witnesses, who are sometimes 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]


GrantAdamsWhitmanColumbiaWalla WallaBentonWA FRANKLIN.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

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 Records: (1st deed may reveal previous residence)
• Death-related records of children may give town or county of birth
• Records of relatives and neighbors

Military[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Declarations of Intent before 1906 often include the nation of origin, foreign and "Americanized" names, residence, and date of arrival. See Washington Naturalization and Citizenship for more information. Note: Until 1922 in the United States, women's citizenship was based on that of their husbands.

  • Naturalization and citizenship 1890-1906 Part of: Washington County Records 1856-2009 at FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes Declarations of intention, petition evidence 1874-1945; Naturalization cards 1907-1945; Petitions for naturalization 1907-1929; Petition evidence 1907-1929, Petitions for naturalization 1907-1929.

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 Franklin 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)

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.

Also check:

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.

School Records[edit | edit source]


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]

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.[8] See also Washington Birth Records.

For earlier or unrecorded births, search:

  • Washington Delayed Birth Certificates often include statements of witnesses to the birth.
  • Death Records often give birth date, place, parents
  • Censuses to learn age, family members, location, etc.
  • School Censuses in Washington give date of birth and name of parent or guardian
  • Cemeteries usually give birth date or age, and sometimes birth place
  • Obituaries often include birth info, living and deceased family members, and more
Marriage[edit | edit source]

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

  • 1884-2003 Marriage Records 1884-2003 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (free)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes Marriage certificates 1890-2003 and Marriage license applications 1939-2003.
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]

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.[9] See Washington Death Records.

Voting Registers[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]

Check back often with websites. Local societies and libraries may know of other websites.

Sites with online indexes or images of records
Franklin County WAGenWeb Free Data may be submitted by individuals or complete transcriptions
Tri-City Genealogical Society (TCGS) has online data for Benton and Franklin Counties. 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
  • 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 Franklin County, Washington Genealogy
Websites at RootsWeb - Franklin WA Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
Linkpendium Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
CyndisList Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($) Free "Franklin County, Washington Facts" (Mis-labeled " Franklin County, Alabama facts"
Major catalogs for hard copy collections of Franklin 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

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

Listed below are archives in {{{1}}} County. For state-wide facilities, see Washington Archives and Libraries.

Resources for Franklin 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.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

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.

Branches (additional branches shown at above website):
  • Basin City Library
    50-A N. Canal Blvd.
    Basin City, WA 99343
    Phone: 509-269-4201
  • Connell Library
    118 N. Columbia
    Connell, WA 99326
    Phone: 509-234-4971
  • Merrills Corner Library
    5240 Eltopia West
    Eltopia, WA 99330
    Phone: 509-297-4341
  • Kahlotus Library
    255 Weston
    Kahlotus, WA 99335
    Phone: 509-282-3493
  • Pasco Library
    1320 W. Hopkins
    Pasco, WA 99301
    Phone: 509-545-1019
Museums[edit | edit source]


  • Franklin County Historical Society and Museum has an extensive collection of records, artifacts, and collected stories for Franklin County historical places and people.
  • The Columbia River Exhibition of History, Science, and Technology (CREHST) is a museum and science center created to tell the dynamic story of the Columbia Basin and surrounding region." It features an excellent exhibit and materials available on the Hanford project and the huge influx of people to support it starting in the 1940's and continuing through today. Two collections of interest specifically to genealogists are their photos collections and their collection of General Electric Company newsletters. Both these collections contain information on residents of Franklin County.
Societies[edit | edit source]

Tri-City Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 1410
Richland, WA 99352-1410

The Tri-City Genealogical Society has an extensive collection of local and regional resources as well as references for other areas. Check their resources page for an updated list of their holdings. They also provide genealogical help at the Mid-Columbia Library, have online resources, and conduct local research for a small fee.

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:[10]

Unincorporated communities
  • Eltopia
  • Farrington
  • Harder
Census-designated places
Ghost towns
  • Drumheller
  • Levey
  • Martindale
  • McAdam

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Franklin County, Washington," in,_Washington. accessed 17/07/2019
  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. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Franklin County, Washington page 732, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Franklin 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.
  7. John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.
  8. Washington State Archives - Digital Archives, Birth Records, About this Collection
  9. About Death Records at Washington State Digital Archives.
  10. Wikipedia contributors, "Franklin County, Washington," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Washington, accessed 13 March 2019.