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Okanogan County, Washington Genealogy

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Guide to Okanogan County Washington ancestry, family history, and genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records, since 1888, when the county was formed.

Crawfish Lake, Okanogan National Forest, Okanogan County, Washington
County QuickStart:



WA ORP.png

Okanogan County, Washington
Map
Map of Washington highlighting Okanogan County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the U.S. highlighting Washington
Location of Washington in the U.S.
Facts
Founded February 2, 1888
County Seat Okanogan
Courthouse
Address Okanogan County Courthouse
149 3rd N; PO Box 72
Okanogan, WA 98840
Phone 509.422.7275
Okanogan County Website


County Overview[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for the Okanagan language place name ukʷnaqín. The name Okanogan (Okanagan) also refers to a part of southern British Columbia. The County is located in the north-central area of the state.[1]

Parent County(s)[edit | edit source]

Okanogan County, Washington was created 2 February 1888 from Stevens County.[2]

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Okanogan County Courthouse
149 3rd N; PO Box 72
Okanogan, WA 98840
Phone 509–422–7275

According to Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Okanogan County, Washington page 733, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002:

  • County Auditor has birth and death records 1891-1908, marriage and land records from 1891, and patents from 1892.
  • County Clerk has divorce, probate and court records from 1896.

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

Dates of Major County Records[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[5]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1891 1891 1891 1896 1891 1896 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 Okanogan 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 Interment.net
Billion Graves (name) Washington Periodicals WA State Digital Archives
WAGenWeb Archives Linkpendium
Billion Graves Genealogy Trails
See Washington Cemeteries for more information.

Cemetery records often reveal birth, death, relationship, military, and religious information. Tombstones, sextons (caretakers) records, and burial records each have slightly different information. See Washington Cemeteries.


Census[edit | edit 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.

  • Washington online census links to FamilySearch, Ancestry.com, Heritage Quest and others.
    • Includes: Federal Censuses, 1860–1940; 1890 Veterans Schedule; Territorial and State Censuses, 1847–1898


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 Okanogan County, Washington Genealogy are listed in the FamilySearch catalog. (Press space bar to select town.)

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.

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

  • Okanogan 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]

The Colville Indian Reservation is located in southern Ferry and southern Okanogan Counties.

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 CountySkagit CountyChelan CountyGrant CountyDouglas CountyLincoln CountyFerry CountyBritish ColumbiaWA OKANOGAN.PNG
About this image
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 Okanogan County, Washington Genealogy may include biographies, history of churches, schools, local government with names of officials, military information, and more. See Washington Local Histories.

  • Early Okanogan history by William Compton Brown [Okanogan: Press of the Okanogan Independent, (1911)] online at Washington History
History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Historical County Boundaries from Newberry Library[6]

Emphasis for this timeline is on events that affected migration, records, or record-keeping. Unless otherwise mentioned, the events below were gleaned from Wilma, David. Okanogan County -- Thumbnail History, History Link.org Essay 7608.

  • Prior to 1805 - For at least several hundred years prior to contact with Europeans, the indigenous peoples of the Okanogan consisted of three major bands of a group called the Northern Okanogans or Sinkaiek, the Tokoratums, the Kartars, and the Konkonelps.
  • 1782-1783 - A smallpox epidemic may have cost the lives of a third to a half of the people in the Okanogan.
  • 1805 - William Clark of the (Lewis and Clark expedition) Corps of Discovery was the first to map the Okanogan River.
  • 1811 - July, David Thompson was the first European to visit the Okanogan River.
  • 1811 - David Stuart and Alexander Ross built a log cabin at the mouth of the Okanogan River and called it Fort Okanogan.
  • 1814 - Fort Okanogan was taken over by the North West Company.
  • 1821 - Fort Okanogan was sold to the Hudson Bay Company.
  • 1853 - March 2, U.S. President Millard Fillmore establishes Washington Territory.
  • 1855 - May, Territorial Governor Issac Stevens signed the Walla Walla Treaty.
  • 1858 - Gold strikes in New Caledonia in British Columbia attracted prospectors from California to the aea.
  • 1859 - The Army established Fort Colville at Mill Creek in the Colville Valley.
  • 1858-1861 - Surveyors from the Royal Engineers and the U.S. Army established a boundary between Canada and the U.S.A.
  • 1871 - Congress authorized the president to establish reservations by executive order.
  • 1872 - Pres. Ulysses Grant created the Colville Indian Reservation.
  • 1886 - Colville Indian Reservation was reduced in size to its current size making possible non Indian settlement.
  • 1888 - Feb 2, Okanogan County came into being.
  • 1888 - Ruby was the first county seat of Okanogan County.
  • 1888 - The county seat was moved to Conconully.
  • 1893 - Repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act/ ended the mining boom in Okanogan County.
  • 1890-1900 - The population nearly tripled
  • 1900-1910 - The population nearly tripled again.
  • 1906 - The first rail service came into Okanogan County.
  • 1914 - Okanogan became the county seat of Okanogan County.
  • 1934-1942 - A big spurt to the economy of the county and the state of Washington was the construction of Grand Coulee Dam.

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Land Records reveal
Yes or Maybe  Y  M
Seller (Grantor) Green check.png  
Seller's Spouse Green check.png  
Buyer (Grantee) Green check.png  
Heirs   Green check.png
Witnesses Green check.png  
Land Description and Dates Green check.png  
Tips -or- Land Contents

Land records (especially deeds) may give the name of a spouse, heirs, and witnesses, who may be 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.

  • The County Recorder's Office has deeds, mining claims, copies of county plat maps and records dating back to 1878, prior records having been destroyed in a fire.

Maps[edit | edit source]

 

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 (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, his* foreign and "Americanized" names, residence, and date of arrival. See Washington Naturalization and Citizenship for more information.     *Women were not naturalized until 1922 in the United States.

  • Declarations of intention 1890-1945 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 1899-1916; Depositions 1915-1922; Petition evidence 1902-1947; Petitions for naturalization 1900-1945.

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 Okanogan 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.

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See also: NewspapersLibrariesSocietiesFuneral Homes • Obituaries of neighboring counties or of the person's previous residence • Family records.

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.

  • 1888-1903 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (free)
  • Probate case files 1888-1953 Part of Washington, County Records, 1856-2009 at FamilySearch Historical Collections. (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes Probate petitions 1888-1894; Special Naturalization 1944-1953.

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.

Schools[edit | edit source]

 

School records vary from yearbooks, class photos, and more. School censuses were taken to plan and fill educational needs, and include names and birth dates of the children, residences, and the names of the parents or guardians.

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]
Birth Records reveal
Yes or Maybe
 Y  M
Name of Child Green check.png  
Birth Date and Place Green check.png  
Parent's Names Green check.png  
Mother's Maiden Name Green check.png  
Parent's Ages   Green check.png
Parents' State or Country of Birth Green check.png  
Name of Doctor or Midwife Green check.png  

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.[7]

ArrowGreen.svg.png

See Washington Online Genealogy Records for indexes.
Also see Washington Birth Records.

  • 1884-1907 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse)

For earlier or unrecorded births, search:


Marriage[edit | edit source]
Marriage Records reveal
Yes or Maybe
 Y  M
Date of Marriage or License Green check.png  
Names of Bride and Groom Green check.png  
Ages Green check.png  
Birth Places Green check.png  
Residences Green check.png  
Names of Parents   Green check.png
Husband's Occupation   Green check.png
Witnesses Green check.png  
Minister or Officiator Green check.png  

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


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See Washington Online Genealogy Records for indexes.
Also see Washington Marriage Records.

  • 1888-1985 - Marriage affidavits 1888-1985 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free to browse images)
    • The affidavits start on image 31. Images 10-30 are an index to the groom.
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]
Death Records reveal
Yes or Maybe
 Y  M
Name of Deceased Green check.png  
Death Date and Place Green check.png  
Age or Birth Date and Place Green check.png  
Parent's Names Green check.png  
Mother's Maiden Name Green check.png  
Name of Spouse   Green check.png
Residence Green check.png  
Occupation Green check.png  

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....[8]

ArrowGreen.svg.png

See Washington Online Genealogy Records for indexes.
Also see Washington Death Records.

  • Death Index,1907 -1960 (statewide, can select the county) at Washington State Digital Archives Collection (Free, no images)

Voting Registers[edit | edit source]

 

Websites[edit | edit source]



Sites with online indexes or images of records
WAGenWeb for Okanogan County 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 FamilySearch.org.
  • 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 Okanogan County, Washington Genealogy
Websites at RootsWeb - Okanogan WA (Free) Free Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions
Linkpendium Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
CyndisList Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
StateofUS.com Free "Okanogan County, Washington Facts" (mis-labeled "Okanogan County, Alabama Facts")
Major catalogs for hard copy collections of Okanogan 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]

See also a List of Washington Archives, Libraries, Publications, Historical & Genealogical Societies  

Resources for Okanogan 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.

See also Courthouse · FamilySearch Centers · Libraries · Museums · Other Repositories · Societies

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family history centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

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.


The public libraries in Okanogan County are part of North Central Regional Library. Their Research and Homework Center includes Heritage Quest. Library cards and passwords may be required for access.

  • Brewster Community Library
    108 S Third Brewster
    Brewster, WA 98812
    Phone: 509-689-4046
    Website
  • Okanogan Library
    228 Pine
    Okanogan, WA 98840
    Phone: 509-422-2609
    Website
  • Omak Community Library
    30 S Ash
    Omak, WA 98841
    Phone: 509-826-1820
    Website
  • Oroville Community Library
    1276 Main Street
    Oroville, WA 98844
    Phone: 509-476-2662
    Website
  • Pateros Community Library
    174 Pateros Mall
    Pateros, WA 98846
    Phone: 509-923-2298
    Website
  • Tonasket Community Library
    209 S Whitcomb
    Tonasket, WA 98855
    Phone: 509-486-2366
    Website
  • Twisp Community Library
    201 N Methow Valley Hwy
    Twisp, WA 98856
    Phone: 509-997-4681
    Website
  • Winthrop Community Library
    509 State, Rt 20
    Winthrop, WA 98862
    Phone: 509-996-2685
    Website

Museums[edit | edit source]

 

Societies[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:[9]

Cities
Towns
Unincorporated communities
Native American communities
Census-designated places
Ghost towns

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


Indian Reservation

The Colville Indian Reservation is located in southern Ferry and southern Okanogan Counties

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Okanagan County, Washington," in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okanogan_County,_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), Okanogan 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.
  6. John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.
  7. Washington State Archives - Digital Archives, Birth Records, About this Collection
  8. About Death Records at Washington State Digital Archives.
  9. Wikipedia contributors, "Okanogan County, Washington," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okanogan_County,_Washington, accessed 20 March 2019.