Kittitas County, Washington Genealogy

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Guide to Kittitas County Washington ancestry, family history, and genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records, since 1883, when the county was formed.

Cascade pass, North Cascade National Park, Kittitas County, Washington
County QuickStart:

Kittitas County, Washington
Map of Washington highlighting Kittitas County
Location in the state of Washington (disambiguation)
Map of the U.S. highlighting Washington
Location of Washington in the U.S.
Founded November 24, 1883
County Seat Ellensburg
Address Kittitas County Courthouse
205 W 5th Avenue
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Phone: 509.962.7624
Kittitas County Website

County Overview[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for the language of the Yakama Nation. According to one source, it "has been said to mean everything from 'white chalk' to 'shale rock' to 'shoal people' to 'land of plenty'". The County is located in the central area of the state.[1]

Parent County(s)[edit | edit source]

  • Kittitas County, Washington was created 24 November 1883 from Yakima.[2]

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Kittitas County Courthouse
205 W 5th Avenue
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Phone: 509.962.7624
Kittitas County Website

County Auditor has birth and death records 1891-1907, marriage records from 1884 and land records from 1882.
County Clerk has divorce, probate and court records from 1890s. [5]

See also Archives, libraries, etc. in Kittitas 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 1884 1891 1890s 1882 1890s 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 Kittitas 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]

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.

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 8,777
1900 9,704 10.6%
1910 18,561 91.3%
1920 17,737 −4.4%
1930 18,154 2.4%
1940 20,230 11.4%
1950 22,235 9.9%
1960 20,467 −8.0%
1970 25,039 22.3%
1980 24,877 −0.6%
1990 26,725 7.4%
2000 33,362 24.8%
2010 40,915 22.6%
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.

  • Church records (microfilmed originals or published transcripts) for Kittitas County, Washington Genealogy are listed in the FamilySearch catalog. (Press space bar to select town.)

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

  • Kittitas Frontier Justice. Part of "Frontier Justice’’: Guide to the Court Records of Washington Territory, 1853-1889 at Washington State Digital Archives. (Free Index, no images)
    • The court procedure of Frontier Justice touch nearly all pioneers of 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]

Brookside Funeral Home and Crematory, 101 E 2nd Ave, Ellensburg, WA (509) 925-2902

Adam and Stoves Mortuary Roslyn, Washington See: Roslyn Funeral Home

Brown Funeral Chapel, Cle Elum, Washington See: Cotton Chapel

Coleman Chapel Cle Elum, Washington See: Cotton Chapel

Cotton-Brown Funeral Chapel 1st and Harris St., Cle Elum, Washington P.O. Box 277, Cle Elum, 98922 (509) 674-4445

Cotton Chapel, Inc. Ellensburg, Washington See: Steward & Williams Funeral Directors/Crematory Also Known As: Hunnicutt Funeral Home, and Evenson Funeral Home.

Evenson Funeral Home Ellensburg, Washington See: Steward & Williams Funeral Directors/Crematory

Hunnicutt Funeral Home Ellensburg, Washington See: Steward & Williams Funeral Directors/Crematory

Roslyn Funeral Home #4 Dakota Ave., Roslyn, WA 98941

Stoves Davies Mortuary Roslyn, Washington See: Roslyn Funeral Home

Steward & Williams Funeral Directors/Crematory 301 E 3rd Ave., Ellensburg, Washington P.O. Box 306, Ellensburg, Washington 98926 (509) 925-3141

Stoves-Davies Funeral Home Roslyn, Washington See: Cotton Chapel

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]


Pierce CountyKing CountyChelan CountyDouglas CountyGrant CountyYakima CountyWA KITTITAS.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

A FamilySearch Community Tree is available for this place.
Many local libraries and societies have collections of family genealogies. County histories or biographies often include brief genealogies of the featured persons. 

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 Kittitas 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 Resources

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 Paula Becker. Kittitas County -- Thumbnail History, Essay 7484.

  • The first inhabitants of the Kittitas Valley were the Psch-wan-wap-pams (stony ground people), also known as the Kittitas band of the Yakama or Upper Yakama.
  • 1814 - Fur trader Alexander Ross was one of the earliest non-Indians to describe the Kittitas Valley.
  • 1853 - March 2, U.S. President Millard Fillmore establishes Washington Territory.
  • 1855 - June 9, Yakima Chief Kamiakin and other tribal leaders signed a treaty ceding claim to all 16,920 square miles (10,828,800 acres) of the tribe's lands except a 1,875-square-mile (1,200,000 acre) portion of land to be used for a reservation. The future Kittitas County was part of the ceded land.
  • 1859 - April 18, Congress ratified the Treaty of Yakima and President James Buchanan signed the ratification proclamation.
  • 1867 - Frederick Ludi (1832-1916) and John Goller (1813-?) (known as Dutch John) became the first non-Indian settlers to the Kittitas area, building a cabin on the site of what is now Ellensburg.
  • 1883 - November 24, Territorial Governor William Augustus Newell signed the act creating Kittitas County.
  • 1880s - For farmers in the Kittitas Valley, the key to this transformation from wilderness to village was irrigation.
  • 1911 - The Kittitas Reclamation District began preliminary surveys and cost analysis for what would become the High Line canal, the Kittitas Valley’s largest irrigation project.

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]


This map highlights the county within the state of Washington. The map soon will have inter-active links.

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]

World War I

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 Records, 1884-1953 Part of Washington, County Records, 1856-2009 at FamilySearch Historical Collections. (Free, browse images)
    • Includes:Declarations of intention 1888-1915; 1890-1906; 1915-1928; Naturalization index 1884-1953; 1907-1912; Orders of the court (admitting or denying the petition) 1929-1945; Petition evidence 1907-1924; Petitions for naturalization 1895-1948; Special naturalizations 1937-1946.

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 Kittitas 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]


  • Register of teachers 1899-1925 Part of Washington, County Records, 1856-2009 at FamilySearch Historical Collections. (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes School census records 1895-1925; and Teacher certificates 1895-1925.

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.

  • 1884-1923 Marriage affidavits 1884-1932 Part of Washington, County Records, 1856-2009 at FamilySearch Historical Collections. (Free, browse images)
    • Includes: Marriage applications and license index 1939-1985; Marriage certificates 1882-2009; Marriage certificates index 1920-1947; Marriage license applications 1939-2000; Marriage Register 1892-1939; Marriage returns 1891-1947.
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.

  • Death Returns 1891-1907 Part of Washington, County Records, 1856-2009 at FamilySearch Historical Collections. (Free, browse images)
    • Listed as "Birth (L-Z) and Death Returns"

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
WAGenWeb Free Data may be submitted by individuals or complete transcriptions
USGenWeb Kittitas County 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 Kittitas County, Washington Genealogy
Websites at RootsWeb - Kittitas WA Free Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions
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 "Kittitas County, Washington Facts" (mis-labeled "Kittitas County, Alabama Facts")
Major catalogs for hard copy collections of Kittitas 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 Kittitas 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.

  • Ellensburg Public Library
    209 North Ruby Street
    Ellensburg, WA 98926
    Phone: 509-962-7252
Includes Local History Collection and Archives - 7,000 historical photographs
  • Cle Elum (Carpenter Memorial) Library
    302 Pennsylvania Avenue
    Cle Elum, WA 98922
    Phone: 509-674-2313
  • Kittitas Public Library
    2nd and Pierce Streets
    Kittitas, WA 98934
    Phone: 509-968-0226
  • Roslyn Public Library
    201 S. First Street
    Roslyn, WA 98941
    Phone: 509-649-3420
Museums[edit | edit source]


  • Kittitas County Historical Museum
    114 E 3rd Avenue
    Ellensburg, WA 98926
Societies[edit | edit source]

Northern Kittitas County Historical Society
302 West 3rd Street
Cle Elum, WA 98922
(509) 649-2880

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
  • Bristol
  • Horlick
  • Hyak
  • Lavender
  • Liberty
  • Martin
Native American communities
Census-designated places
Ghost towns
  • Renslow
  • Roza
  • Rye

‡This populated place also has portions in an adjacent county or counties

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Kittitas 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), Kittitas County, Washington page 733, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Kittitas 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, "Kittitas County, Washington," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Washington, accessed 13 March 2019.