Difference between revisions of "Okanogan County, Washington Genealogy"

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
(Family History Centers)
(Family History Centers)
Line 352: Line 352:
{{FamilySearch Centers Intro}}
{{FamilySearch Centers Intro}}
*[[Brewster Washington Family History Center]] 410 SW first St., Brewster, WA [http://Maps.Google.com/maps?q=410+SW+First+St.,+Brewster,+Washington&hl=en&sll=47.039333,-122.893869&sspn=0.198877,0.488205& Map]
*[[Brewster Washington Family History Center]] 410 SW first St., Brewster, WA [http://Maps.Google.com/maps?q=410+SW+First+St.,+Brewster,+Washington&hl=en&sll=47.039333,-122.893869&sspn=0.198877,0.488205& Map]
*[[Coulee Dam Washington Family History Center]]  
*[[Coulee Dam Washington Family History Center]] 806 Spruce St., Coulee Dam WA [https://www.google.com/maps/preview#!q=806+Spruce+St.%2C+Coulee+Dam+WA&data=!4m15!2m14!1m13!1s0x549c463b8665e4cd%3A0xa9ee4889a2c8d7ef!3m8!1m3!1d2453!2d-122.0256721!3d47.3609422!3m2!1i1536!2i697!4f13.1!4m2!3d47.969857!4d-118.973282 Map]
*[[Omak Washington Family History Center]]  
*[[Omak Washington Family History Center]]  
*[[Oroville Washington Family History Center]]
*[[Oroville Washington Family History Center]]

Revision as of 19:37, 16 November 2013

United States Gotoarrow.png Washington Gotoarrow.png Okanogan County [[Image:Template:WAOkanoganCrawfishLake]]

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

County QuickStart:

800px-Flag map of Washington.svg.png Washington
Online Records
Okanogan County, Washington
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.
Founded February 2, 1888
County Seat Okanogan
Address Okanogan County Courthouse
149 3rd N; PO Box 72
Okanogan, WA 98840
Phone 509.422.7275
Okanogan County Website

County Overview

Parent County(s)

Okanogan County, Washington was created 2 February 1888 from Stevens County.[1]

County Seat: Okanogan [2]. For Courthouse, see Archives, libraries, etc. See also Towns and communities

Neighboring Counties

Okanogan County, Washington Genealogy is surrounded by: Chelan · Douglas · Ferry · Grant · Lincoln  · Skagit  · Whatcom

Okanogan CountyFerry CountyLincoln CountyAdams CountyGrant CountyDouglas CountyKittitas CountyChelan CountyPierce CountyYakima CountyKing CountySnohomish CountySkagit CountyWhatcom CountyBritish ColumbiaOkanogan County.JPG

Boundary Changes

Dates of Major County Records

Beginning dates for major county records[4]
* For earlier dates, try... Obituaries | Cemeteries


Below are resources used for family history and genealogy, with dates, value of records, and how to access them for Okanogan County, Washington Genealogy. Internet links may contain names, images, or more information for the county.

Bible Records


Business Records and Commerce


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.

Okanogan County, Washington Genealogy cemeteries from state and national resources
Online County-wide Name Searches
Published Grave
Lists of Cemeteries
(Several will also link to names)
FindAGrave (Add a name to the search) FamilySearch Library Click Cemeteries. Press space bar to select town Combined list (Sortable by town, cemetery name)
WA State Archives - Digital Collections Click any cemetery for search window, select county, enter name(s). WorldCat FindAGrave
Billion Graves Switch to "Person Lookup" Washington Periodicals Interment.net
Washington State Digital Archives Put county name in Search box
Billion Graves
USGenWeb Tombstone Project
Genealogy Trails
See Washington Cemeteries for details about these and other sites.


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.

  • Online indexes and images of US Federal Censuses 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940. By FamilySearch, Ancestry.com, HeritageQuestOnline and others.
  • 1910 census at Washington State Digital Archives. Transcribed and proofread by the Washington State Genealogical Society. (Free)

Church Records

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

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


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political or Religious Groups

American Indian

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

  • 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.




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


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.

History Timeline

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 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.
  • 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

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.




Naturalization and Citizenship

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.


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 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.

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

Also check:


Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

Postmaster Indexes

  • Prior to 1965 Part of: County Records, Prior to 1965 FamilySearch Historical Collections (free) A-L
  • Prior to 1965 Part of: County Records, Prior to 1965 FamilySearch Historical Collections (free) L-Z

Probate Records

  • 1888-1903 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (free)

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

Public Records were created by local authorities and include items valuable for genealogy which don't easily fit in other topics.


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

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 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]

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

Template:WA Birth Tips


Marriages were kept in the counties from 1866 until 1968, when the state took over collecting marriage records. Marriage records usually include the residences of the bride and groom.

Marriage records come in many forms. Affidavits, for example, are given by persons who personally know the couple and affirm there are no legal reasons they should not be married.

  • 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.
  • Marriage Records, 1998-2013 Okanogan County Auditor, at Washington State Digital Archives Collection (Free, index only)

Divorce records give the names of the parties and may give the date and place of their marriage. See Washington Vital Records for more information.


In 1891, coroners, physicians, and midwives were to report births and deaths (called "returns" to the county auditor. Many went unrecorded. In 1907, the State Center for Health Statistics assumed this responsibility.

Death returns may include name, date, location and cause of death, place of birth, and parents' names and places of birth.

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


Sites with online indexes or images:

  • Current Collections at Washington State Digital Archives (Free) Type county name, click Search, then select a collection. Collections were posted to the appropriate headings for this Wiki page in November, 2013.
  • Historical Collections at FamilySearch.org. (Free) Click "Last Updated." Collections through October 2013 have been posted to the appropriate headings for this Wiki page.
  • Web Sites at RootsWeb - Okanogan WA (Free)

Sites that search the Internet for records:

Major catalogs to offline genealogical records:
Catalogs refer to books, microfilm, manuscripts, and/or Internet images and indexes for various topics.

Archives, Libraries, etc.

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


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.

Family History Centers

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.


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.

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



Towns and Communities

See a list of towns and communities in Okanogan County per Wikipedia.

Indian Reservation

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


  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. Alice Eichholz, Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Pub., 2004), 733-734. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004.
  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