Wasco County, Oregon Genealogy

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Guide to Wasco County, Oregon ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and military records.

Wasco County, Oregon
Map of Oregon highlighting Wasco County
Location in the state of Oregon, United States Genealogy
Map of the U.S. highlighting Oregon
Location of Oregon in the U.S.
Founded January 11, 1854
County Seat The Dalles
Oregon, Wasco County Courthouse.png
Address Wasco County Courthouse
511 Washigton Street
The Dalles, Or 97058
Phone: 541-296-6159
Wasco County Website

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for a local tribe of Native Americans, the Wasco, a Chinook tribe who lived on the south side of the Columbia River. The County is located in the north central area of the state. [1]

Wasco County, Oregon Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1865 1854 1865 1848 1854 1854 1845
*Statewide registration for births and deaths in 1903. General compliance year unknown.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

County Clerk has marriage and land records from 1854.
Clerk Circuit Court has divorce, probate and court records,
from 1854. [3]

Wasco County Government

County Records Inventory listing the records held at the Wasco County Court House as of August 2011.

Wasco County Court is structured differently. Check the County Records Inventory link for addresses for location of records (left column).

A wiki article describing an online collection is found at;

Oregon, Wasco County Records (FamilySearch Historical Records )

Wasco County Information[edit | edit source]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

11 January 1854: Wasco county was created from Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Lane, Linn, and Marion Counties . Named for the Wasco (or Wascopam), a Chinook tribe on the south side. (Ore. Terr. Special Laws 1853, 5th reg. sess., pp. 26-27), [4]
14 January 1857: Gained very small area near the head of Eagle Creek and Bradford's Island from Multnomah [change too small to map]. (Ore. Terr. Laws 1856-1857, 8th reg. sess., pp. 78-79)
14 February 1859: Lost to Washington Territory when the United States created the state of Oregon from Oregon Territory. (U.S. Stat., vol. 11, ch. 33[1859], secs. 1-2/pp. 383-384 Ore. Laws 1860, 1st reg. sess., pp. 28-30)
22 September 1862:
Lost to creation of Baker. (Ore. Laws 1862, 2nd reg. sess., p. 112)
27 September 1862: Lost to creation of Umatilla. (Ore. Laws 1862, 2nd reg. sess., p. 91)
14 October 1864:
Lost to creation of Grant. (Ore. Laws 1864, 3rd reg. sess., p. 43)
24 October 1874: Lost to creation of Lake. (Ore. Laws 1874, 8th reg. sess., pp. 38-41)
24 October 1882: Lost to creation of Crook. (Ore. Special Laws 1882, 12th reg. sess., p. 178)
16 February 1885:
Lost to creation of Morrow. (Ore. Special Laws 1885, 13th reg. sess., pp. 239-243)
25 February 1885: Lost to creation of Gilliam. Creation left a small strip of Wasco County along the southeastern line of Gilliam which remained until gained by Gilliam County on 20 February 1891. (Ore. Special Laws 1885, 13th reg. sess., p. 404)
25 February 1889: Lost to creation of Sherman. (Ore. Laws 1889, gen., 15th reg. sess., p. 82)
19 February 1891:
Lost more land to Sherman. (Ore. Laws 1891, gen., 16th reg. sess., pp. 68-69)
20 February 1891: Lost to Gilliam. The gain was a small strip that was inadvertently separated from Wasco County when Gilliam County was created on 25 February 1885. (Ore. Laws 1891, gen., 16th reg. sess., p. 76)
25 February 1895:
Boundary with Multnomah adjusted within Section 22 of Township 2 North, Range 7 East [change too small to map]. (Ore. Laws 1895, 18th reg. sess., p. 88)
23 June 1908:
Lost to creation of Hood River. (Ore. Laws 1909, gen., 25th reg. sess., ch. 5/pp. 39-43)
25 February 1925: Boundaries redefined [no change]. (Ore. Laws 1925, gen., 33rd reg. sess., ch. 108/p. 164)
13 September 1967:
Redefined to substitute "boundary of the state" for middle of the main channel of the Columbia River. Approved by the Governor 19 June 1967, became effective 13 Sep 1967 [no change]. (Ore. Laws 1967, 54th reg. sess., ch. 421/pp. 930-931)

For animated maps illustrating Oregon County boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Oregon County Boundary Maps" (1843-1975) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Places / Localities[edit | edit source]

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:[5]

Unincorporated communities
Native American communities
Census-designated places
Ghost towns

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Clackamas | Gilliam | Hood River | Jefferson | Marion | Sherman | Wheeler | Klickitat, Washington

Trivia Tidbits[edit | edit source]

Information about localities, too small or too brief to describe in separate pages. Exception to this are Post Offices. > Trivia Tidbits

Resources[edit | edit source]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
ORGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
ORGenWeb Archives FamilySearch Places
Tombstone Project
Billion Graves
See Oregon Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 1,689
1870 2,509 48.5%
1880 11,120 343.2%
1890 9,183 −17.4%
1900 13,199 43.7%
1910 16,336 23.8%
1920 13,648 −16.5%
1930 12,646 −7.3%
1940 13,069 3.3%
1950 15,552 19.0%
1960 20,205 29.9%
1970 20,133 −0.4%
1980 21,732 7.9%
1990 21,683 −0.2%
2000 23,791 9.7%
2010 25,213 6.0%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

Church History and Records[edit | edit source]

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Wiki article describing online FamilySearch Historical collecton is found Oregon, Wasco County Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

Maps[edit | edit source]

Klickitat CountyGilliam CountyWheeler CountyJefferson CountySherman CountyMarion CountyClackamas CountyHood River CountyOR WASCO.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Early migration routes to and from Wasco County, Oregon Genealogy for European and African American settlers included:

Military History and Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]
World War I[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Oregon Online Historical Newspapers - identifies historical archived and digitized newspapers available online on both free and pay-to-access websites.

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Rivers and Waterways[edit | edit source]

Details about the rivers and waterways where farms and settlements are often found along them. > Rivers and Waterways

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Many early marriages are listed on the Western States Marriage Index.

Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:

See also How to order Oregon Vital Records, order electronically online or download an application for Oregon Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Divorce Certificate, Death Certificate Application to mail.

Birth Records[edit | edit source]

Delayed Birth Certificates

Marriage Records[edit | edit source]

Death Records[edit | edit source]

Societies, Libraries and Museums[edit | edit source]

Wasco County Historical Society
300 W 13th St
The Dalles, OR 97058

The Dalles-Wasco County Public Library
722 Court St
The Dalles OR 97058
Facebook Page

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

Websites[edit | edit source]

A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:

Oregon, Waco County Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

Wasco County Oregon Genealogy References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Wasco, Oregon" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasco_County,_Oregon accessed 29 Nov 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Wasco County, Oregon . Page 572-574 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), 563-564.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Wasco County, Oregon page 574, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. WorldCat 50140092FHL Collection Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.] (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002)
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Wasco County, Oregon" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasco_County,_Oregon, accessed 20 January 2019.
  6. Jim Tompkins, "The Oregon Trail 1841-1848 Map VI" in Oregon Trail Landmarks at http://www.oregonpioneers.com/OTMap6.jpg (accessed 18 July 2011).