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Yakima County, Washington Genealogy

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Guide to Yakima County Washington ancestry, family history, and genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records, since 1865, when the county was formed.

Mt. Adams bathed in afternoon light, Yakima County, Washington
County QuickStart:




WA ORP.png

Yakima County, Washington
Map
Map of Washington highlighting Yakima County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the U.S. highlighting Washington
Location of Washington in the U.S.
Facts
Founded January 21, 1865
County Seat Yakima
Courthouse
Address Yakima County Courthouse
128 N 2nd Street
Yakima, WA 98901
Phone: 509.574.1430
Yakima County Website


County Overview[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

Yakima County, Washington was created 21 January 1865[1] from Klickitat and Walla Walla counties.

County Seat: Yakima [2] See also Towns and Communities in Yakima County, Washington Genealogy. For Courthouse, see Archives, libraries, etc.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Yakima County Courthouse
128 N 2nd Street
Yakima, WA 98901
Phone: 509.574.1430

County Auditor has birth and death records 1891-1907,
marriage records from 1880 and land records;
County clerk has probate, divorce and court records from 1881.

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

Dates of Major County Records[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1890 1877 1896 1882 1882 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 Yakima 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
WAGenWeb
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.



  • School Records 1875-1925 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes School attendance records 1875-1925; School census records 1894-1925.

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 Yakima 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

  • Yakima 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 Yakima Indian Reservation is located primarily in Yakima County, with a small portion in Klickitat County.

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]

 

King CountyPierce CountyLewis CountySkamania CountyKlickitat CountyBenton CountyGrant CountyKittitas CountyWA YAKIMA.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Genealogy[edit | edit source]

Many local libraries and societies have collections of family genealogies. County histories or biographies often include brief genealogies of the featured persons.

A FamilySearch Community Tree is available for this place.

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.

Guardianship of orphans or adults unable to manage their own affairs were handled by the probate and the Federal District courts. See Washington Court Records.

History[edit | edit source]

Local histories for Yakima 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 Timeline[edit | edit source]

Historical County Boundaries from Newberry Library[5]

Emphasis for this timeline is on events that affected migration, records, or record-keeping. Unless otherwise mentioned, the events below were gleaned from Jim Kershner. Yakima County -- Thumbnail History, HistoryLink.org Essay 9187.

  • The city of Yakima occupies what was once the traditional hunting and gathering grounds of the region's tribes, known collectively as the Peoples of the Plateau.
  • 1800s - Trappers traversed the country.
  • 1853 - March 2, U.S. President Millard Fillmore establishes Washington Territory.
  • 1860s - The first white settlers were cattle ranchers who recognized that the lush grasslands on the stream banks were excellent places to winter their cattle.
  • 1865 - January 21, Yakima County was established.
  • 1870 - Settlers began referring to a small village with two stores as Yakima City.
  • 1885 - By the end of the year, the population of North Yakima had swelled to 1,200 people.
  • 1885 - Paul Schulze, the railroad's land manager, laid out the streets on the rough general plan of his native city, Baden-Baden, Germany. By other accounts, the city was modeled after the plan of Salt Lake City.
  • 1890s - North Yakima, along with the rest of the country, hit hard times, largely because of a series of nationwide financial panics.
  • 1898 - All signs of commercial stagnation and business depression had completely disappeared" in North Yakima.

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.

Maps[edit | edit source]

 

Wayakima.jpg
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 (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]

 

Museums[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.

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 Yakima 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.

  • The Yakima Valley Genealogical Society has a massive collection of obituaries starting from 1860 on, from counties in and around Yakima. They are in the process of putting this collection online. For now, contact the Society at 509-248-1328 or yvgs1901@gmail.com. They have researchers who are willing to do lookups from this collection.

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]

 

  • School Records 1875-1925 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes School attendance records 1875-1925; School census records 1894-1925.

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.

See also How to order Washington Vital Records, order electronically online or download an application for Washington Birth or Death Certificate and Marriage or Divorce Certificate Applications to mail. 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.[6]

ArrowGreen.svg.png

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

  • Birth 1891-1907 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)

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.

  • 1877-2001 - Marriage1877-2001 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes Marriage affidavits 1889-1939; application certificate record 1941-1948; applications 1939-1999; certificates 1877-2001; certificates index 1877-1985; licenses 1929-1979; record index 1902-1909; register 1891-1944; returns 1896-1944; returns and affidavits index 1891-1982.
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

  • 1921-1977 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (free)
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....[7]

ArrowGreen.svg.png

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

Voting Registers[edit | edit source]

 

Websites[edit | edit source]



Sites with online indexes or images of records
WAGenWeb Yakima 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 Yakima County, Washington Genealogy
Websites at RootsWeb -Yakima 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 ($)
CyndisList Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
StateofUS.com Free "Yakima County, Washington Facts" (mis-labeled "Yakima County, Alabama Facts")
Major catalogs for hard copy collections of Yakima 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 Yakima 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 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.


Museums[edit | edit source]

 

Societies[edit | edit source]

 

Yakima Valley Genealogical Society
1901 S 12th Ave.
Union Gap, WA 98903-1256
Telephone: 509-248-1328
E-mail:yvgs1901@gmail.com
Website


  • Gerald Shephard - current librarian
  • Sue Ericksen - Treasurer and President of the Washington State Genealogical Society
  • Judy Schuster - researcher

LIBRARY HOURS: The library is open from 10:00am to 4:00pm Monday-Saturday. The library is closed on Saturdays in November, December and January; January 1st, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day,Thanksgiving and December 24-25. The library can be opened during closed hours by appointment. Please call several days ahead to make arrangements.

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]

Cities
Towns
Unincorporated communities
  • Artesian
  • Ashue
  • Belma
  • Birchfield
  • Blackrock
  • Brownstown
  • Byron
  • Cliffdell
  • Cougar Valley
  • East Selah
  • Emerald
  • Empire
  • Farron
  • Flint
  • Fort Simcoe
  • Fruitvale
  • Givens Corner
  • Goose Prairie
  • Gromore
  • Harwood
  • Holtzinger
  • Jonathan
  • Liberty
  • Lichty
  • Midvale
  • Nass
  • Nile
  • Pinecliff
  • Plainview
  • Pomona
  • Rimrock
  • Sawyer
  • Spitzenberg
  • Venner
  • Waneta
  • Weikel
  • Wenas
  • Wiley City
  • Willy Dick Crossing
  • Yethonat
Native American communities
Census-designated places

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

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 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.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Yakima 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.
  5. John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.
  6. Washington State Archives - Digital Archives, Birth Records, About this Collection
  7. About Death Records at Washington State Digital Archives.
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Yakima County, Washington," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakima_County,_Washington, accessed 26 March 2019.