Skagit County, Washington Genealogy

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Guide to Skagit 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.

Avalanche aftermath, Skagit County, Washington
County QuickStart:

Skagit County, Washington
Map of Washington highlighting Skagit 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 Mount Vernon
Washington, Skagit County Courthouse.png
Address Skagit County Courthouse
700 South 2nd Street
PO Box 837
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
Phone: 360.336.9440
Skagit County Website

County Overview[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for the Skagit Indian tribe, which has been indigenous to the area prior to European-American settlement. The County is located in the northwest area of the state.[1]

County Formation[edit | edit source]

  • Skagit County, Washington was created 28 November 1883 from Whatcom.[2]

County Seat: Mount Vernon [3]. For Courthouse, see Archives, libraries, etc.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Historical County Boundaries from Newberry Library[4]

Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Skagit County Courthouse
700 South 2nd Street
PO Box 837
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
Phone: 360.336.9440
Skagit County Website

County Auditor has birth and death records 1891-1907, marriage records from 1884 and land records from 1872.
County Clerk has divorce, probate county records from 1870. [5]

See also Archives, libraries, etc. in Skagit 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
1892 1874 1890 1889 1877 1874 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 Skagit 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
FamilySearch Places
See Washington Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1890 8,747
1900 14,272 63.2%
1910 29,241 104.9%
1920 33,373 14.1%
1930 35,142 5.3%
1940 37,650 7.1%
1950 43,273 14.9%
1960 51,350 18.7%
1970 52,381 2.0%
1980 64,138 22.4%
1990 79,555 24.0%
2000 102,979 29.4%
2010 116,901 13.5%
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.

  • Census Enumerator Cards, 1944 at Washington, County Records, 1856-2009 at FamilySearch Historical Collections. (Free, browse images)
    • Genealogical information: cards in alphabetical order with name, age, exact address, occupation, enumerator's signature and date card was completed.
    • Includes: Anacortes, Burlington, La Conner, Mount Vernon, and Sedro-Woolley.

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 Skagit County, Washington Genealogy are listed in the FamilySearch catalog. (Press space bar to select town.)
Lutheran[edit | edit source]
  • Records of Burlington Lutheran Church, Burlington, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).

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

  • Skagit 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]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]


Whatcom County, Washington GenealogyOkanogan CountyChelan CountySnohomish CountyIsland CountySan Juan CountyWA SKAGIT.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 Skagit 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 of the Puget Sound Country, Volume 1, Volume 2 by William Farrand Prosser [New York, Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1903] online at Washington History
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 Janet Oakley. Skagit County -- Thumbnail History, History Essay 5663.

  • People have lived in present-day Skagit County and its environs for nearly 10,000 years. They were known as the Coast Salish.
  • 1791 - Rosario Strait is on the most western edge of Skagit County. The Spaniard Juan Francisco de Eliza charted it, and named it Canal de Fidalgo.
  • 1824 - John Work, a trader with Hudson’s Bay Company, came through the area.
  • 1852 - The first Euro-American to live in the county, was Englishman William (Blanket Bill) Jarman with his Coast Salish wife.
  • 1853 - March 2, U.S. President Millard Fillmore establishes Washington Territory.
  • 1863 - Settlement on the county’s mainland took hold when Michael Sullivan and Samuel Calhoun began diking the marshy flats near present day LaConner.
  • 1860s-1870s - New settlements and trading posts appeared on Guemes Island and Samish Island.
  • 1883 - November 28, A bill passed in the territorial legislature separated Skagit County from Whatcom 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.

  • County Recorder's Office: check deeds, file mining claims, get assistance in finding ownership of a particular property, and obtain copies of county plat maps. This office has county plat records dating back to 1878, prior records having been destroyed in a fire.

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]

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.

Washington State Digital Archives has digitized various types of naturalization-related records, including declarations of intentions, delayed birth files, naturalization affidavits, notifications of application for admission to US citizenship, orders fixing naturalization terms, petitions and records, petitions, receipts for certificates of citizenship, record of final decrees of citizenship and record of petitions dockets. Depending on the county, records range from 1854-1988.

  • Naturalization and Citizenship records 1878-1955. Part of Washington, County Records, 1856-2009 at FamilySearch Historical Collections. (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes Certificates of naturalization 1922-1926; Citizenship record 1896-1906; Concrete census enumerator cards 1944; Declarations of intention 1878-1945; Naturalization card index 1928-1945; Naturalization proceedings and index 1906-1925; Petition and record 1906-1955; Reports of naturalization petitions granted or denied 1930-1945.

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 Skagit 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.

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.

School Records[edit | edit source]


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]

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]
Divorce[edit | edit source]

The county clerk has the divorce records. To order certificates, see Washington State Department of Health.

Death[edit | edit source]
See what genealogical information may be in these 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
Skagit WAGenWeb Free Data may be submitted by individuals or complete transcriptions
USGenWeb 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 Skagit County, Washington Genealogy
Websites at RootsWeb - Skagit 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 ($)
CyndisList Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
Major catalogs for hard copy collections of Skagit 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 Skagit 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.

  • Anacortes Public Library
    1220 10th Street
    Anacortes, WA 98221
    Phone: 360-293-1910
  • Burlington Public Library
    820 East Washington Avenue
    Burlington, WA 98233
    Phone: 360-755-0760
  • Upper Skagit Library District
    45952 Main Street
    Concrete, WA 98237
    Phone: 360-853-7716
  • La Conner Regional Library
    614 Morris Street
    La Conner, WA 98257
    Phone: 360-466-3352
  • Mount Vernon City Library
    315 Snoqualmie Street
    Mount Vernon, WA 98273
    Phone: 360-336-6249
  • Sedro-Woolley Public Library
    802 Ball Street
    Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284
    Phone: 360-855-1166
Museums[edit | edit source]


Societies[edit | edit source]

Skagit Valley Genealogy Society
820 E Washington Ave
Burlington, WA 98233

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:[8]

Unincorporated communities
  • Allen
  • Avon
  • Birdsview
  • Blanchard
  • Bow
  • Cedardale
  • Day Creek
  • Dewey
  • Fildalgo
  • Fishtown
  • Gibraltar
  • Guemes Island
  • Hoogdal
  • Milltown
  • Minkler
  • Prairie
  • Rexville
  • Samish Island
  • Similk Beach
  • Sterling
  • Thornwood
  • Urban
  • Van Horn
Native American communities
Census-designated places
Ghost towns
  • Whitney

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Skagit County, Washington," in,_Washington. accessed 18/07/2019
  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),Skagit County, Washington page 734, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Skagit 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. Wikipedia contributors, "Skagit County, Washington," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Washington, accessed 22 March 2019.