Cowlitz Indians

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United States Gotoarrow.png American Indians Gotoarrow.png Washington Gotoarrow.png Indians of Washington Gotoarrow.png Cowlitz Indians

Guide to Cowlitz Indians ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and other agency records.

The Cowlitz Tribe is primarily associated with the state of Washington[1].

Cultural / linguistic group: Salish

Tribal Headquarters

Cowlitz Indian Tribe
1055 9th Ave Suite B
Longview WA 98632
Ph. 1-360-577-8140


Brief Timeline

1812: Fur traders encountered the tribe

1818: The North West Company (fur) alied with the Iroquois and raided the Cowlitz villages

1820s and 1830s The Hudson Bay Company established forts (Cowlitz Farm and Colitz Prairie)

1830-1850: Epidemics of measles, cholera, smallpox depopulated the tribe

1855: Chehalis River Treaty Council - they would not sign the Treaty

1855-1856: The Cowlitz participated in the Yamima War

1863: U.S. government place their land for sale

1872: Chehalis Reservation established

1887: Mingled with the Upper Chehalis, on Puyallup Reservation

Additional References

Frederick Webb Hodge, in his Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, gave a more complete history of the Cowlitz tribe, with estimations of the population of the tribe at various time periods. Additional details are given in John Swanton's The Indian Tribes of North America.


Chehalis Reservation

Puyallup Reservation


The majority of records of individuals were those created by the agencies. Some records may be available to tribal members through the tribal headquarters.They were (and are) the local office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and were charged with maintaining records of the activities of those under their responsibility. Among these records are:

For Further Reading

For background information to help find American Indian ancestors see For Further Reading.


  1. Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible To Receive Services From the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, Federal Register, Vol. 67, No. 134, 12 July 2002 Available online