Oregon, Columbia County Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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United States
Oregon
Columbia County
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Oregon, Columbia County Records,1854-1958 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Columbia, Oregon, United States
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Flag of Oregon
US Locator Map Oregon Columbia.PNG
Location of Columbia, Oregon
US Locator Oregon.png
Location of Oregon
Record Description
Record Type County Courthouse Records
Collection years 1854-1958
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
County Courthouse, St. Helens



What is in This Collection?

This collection of various county records was obtained from the Columbia County Courthouse in St. Helens, Oregon. The collection includes indexes and images of of the following records:

  • Land and Property (1854-1920)
  • Civil Registration - Marriages (1854-1958)
  • Naturalization / Citizenship 1891-1945)
  • Tax (1898-1908)


Land and Property Records

Individuals who settled in the Oregon Territory before December 1, 1855, were eligible to receive donation land claims. The earlier, provisional claims were voided. The size of the piece of land was dependent upon the date of the arrival and the marital status of the claimant. The applications for these free lands may provide birth, marriage, citizenship, migration, or other valuable information. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions are recorded by the county auditor in the form of deeds and mortgages. These may be obtained from the appropriate recorder or clerk in each courthouse. The Family History Library has not acquired land records from the counties, except for the deed indexes of Douglas County for 1857 to 1974. Land and property records during the period, 1845 to 1849, were filed with the provisional recorder. These papers are now in the Oregon State Archives. The record contains a description of the land claimed, and may name adjoining land holders.

Marriage and Civil Registration

Marriages were usually recorded by the clerk of the district court for each county from the time the county was formed. Persons desiring to marry obtained a license that they presented to the minister or other person authorized to marry, such as a justice of the peace. Once the marriage was performed, the officiator sent a return to the clerk confirming that the marriage had occurred.

Naturalization and Citizenship

In the territorial era, immigrants could apply for citizenship at any U.S. district court. Naturalization records filed as part of the “donation land” laws are at the National Archives. After statehood in 1859, the circuit court had primary jurisdiction over naturalization. The county clerk served as clerk of the circuit court and kept the records. You can obtain copies of declarations and petitions from the clerk's office in each county. Some naturalization records may also be found in county court journals or U.S. district court records. The Family History Library has copies of some naturalization records for Oregon.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Oregon, Columbia County Records,1854-1958.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

Information typically found in Land and Property Records includes:

  • Name of owner
  • Legal description of real and personal property
  • Names and ages of property owners and possible relationships
  • Number of acres of land
  • Town plot description
  • Name of city or town

Information found in these marriage records includes:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Names of the groom and bride and their residences
  • Names of witnesses
  • Name of officiator at marriage
  • Family History Library Microfilm and item numbers for the source materials

Information typically found in tax records includes:

  • Name of owner
  • Legal description of real and personal property
  • Names and ages of property owners and possible relationships
  • Original grantee
  • Number of acres of land
  • Value
  • Town plot description
  • Name of city or town
  • Kind, number, and value of livestock
  • Kind, quantity, and value of farm commodities
  • Amount of state taxes
  • Amount of county taxes

Collection Content

Coverage Map

To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Oregon marriages click here.

Sample Images

How Do I Search This Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor.
  • The date of the event.

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select the Record Type, Date Range and Volume which takes you to the images.


How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images.

What Do I Do Next?

Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members.

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching a nearby locality.
  • Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Check the infobox above for additional FamilySearch websites and related websites that may assist you in finding similar records.

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation

"Oregon, Columbia County Records, 1854-1958." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Columbia County Clerk's Office, St. Helens.

Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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