Difference between revisions of "Skamania County, Washington Genealogy"

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
(Topics for {{PAGENAME}})
(Public Records)
Line 259: Line 259:
==== Public Records  ====
==== Public Records  ====
*[https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-22029-17135-16?cc=1404287&wc=12809231 Prior to 1965] Part of: ''County  Records, Prior to 1965'' FamilySearch Historical Collections (free)
*Skamania [https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-22029-17135-16?cc=1404287&wc=12809231 Postmaster Index]Part of ''Washington, Postmaster Indexes, Prior to 1965'', [https://familysearch.org/search/collection/list#page=1&countryId=58 FamilySearch Historical Collections] for Washington. (Free, browse images)
==== Taxation  ====
==== Taxation  ====

Revision as of 16:37, 11 December 2013

United States Gotoarrow.png Washington Gotoarrow.png Skamania County [[Image:Template:WASkamaniaCarbon]]

Guide to Skamania County, Washington Genealogy genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records, since 1854, when the county was formed.

County QuickStart:

800px-Flag map of Washington.svg.png Washington
Online Records
Skamania County, Washington
Map of Washington highlighting Skamania County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the U.S. highlighting Washington
Location of Washington in the U.S.
Founded March 9, 1854
County Seat Stevenson
Address Skamania County Courthouse
240 Vancouver Avenue
Stevenson, WA 98648-0790
Phone: 509.427.9431
Skamania County Website

County Overview

Parent County(s)

Skamania County, Washington was created 9 March 1854[1] from Clark and Lewis counties.

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

Boundary Changes


Skamania County Courthouse
240 Vancouver Avenue
Stevenson, WA 98648-0790
Phone: 509.427.9431

County Auditor has land records
County Clerk has marriage records.
Divorce probate and court records from 1856. [4]

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

Dates of Major County Records

Beginning dates for major county records[5]
* For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries
Record Loss

Neighboring Counties

Skamania County, Washington Genealogy is surrounded by: Clark | Cowlitz | Klickitat | Lewis | Multnomah | Yakima | Hood River County, Oregon

Skamania CountyLewis CountyYakima CountyKlickitat CountyClark CountyCowiltz CountyThurston CountyPierce CountyKittitas CountyWahkiakum CountyColumbia CountyMultnomah CountyHood River CountyWasco CountySherman CountySkamania County.JPG

Topics for Skamania County, Washington Genealogy

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



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.

Skamania 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 FindAGrave
WA State Archives - Digital Collections Click any cemetery for search window, select county, enter name(s). WorldCat Interment.net
Billion Graves Switch to "Person Lookup" Washington Periodicals 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.

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

Court Records

Many of your ancestors may be found in court records as defendants, plaintiffs, witnesses, or jurors. Court records can establish family relationships and places of residence, occupations, and other family history information. See Washington Court Records for the various courts through the years.

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


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political or Religious Groups

American Indian

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



A FamilySearch Community Tree is available for this place.


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.


Local histories for Skamania 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[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. Skamania County -- Thumbnail History, History Link.org Essay 7811.

  • In what was to become Skamania County, the first residents called themselves Chilluckittequw. American settlers named them Cascades.
  • 1780 - The population of the Chilluckittequw dropped from about 3,000 to a few hundred in the mid-nineteenth century because of diseases acquired from Europeans and Americans.
  • The first Americans to visit the future Skamania County were the explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.
  • The Cascades Rapids became the main engine of economy in Skamania County.
  • 1830s - The Chilluckittequw charged tolls and rented their labor to the fur trappers.
  • Before 1850, the names and dates of arrival of the earliest settlers around the Cascades are obscure. Whites squatted where they liked without any legal title.
  • 1851 July - Francis Chenoweth built a railroad consisting of one wagon on wood rails pulled by a single mule.
  • Americans who crossed the Oregon Trail settled around the rapids.
  • 1854 March 9 - Skamania County was formed.
  • 1855 - Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens secured treaties with many of the Indian tribes in Washington, who ceded their lands to the United States.
  • 1860 - Captain John C. Ainsworth, Simeon G. Reed, and Robert R. Thompson founded the Oregon Steam Navigation Company.
  • 1865 January - The legislature deleted Skamania County.
  • 1867 - Due to a Legislature repeal, Skamania became a county again

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.


This map highlights the county within the state of Washington. The map soon will have inter-active links.



Naturalization and Citizenship

  • 1884-1974 Part of: County Records, 1850-1982 FamilySearch Historical Collections (free)

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 Skamania 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.

Probate Records

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.

  • 1872-1921 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (free)

Public Records


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. .


Template:WA Birth Tips


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.

  • Washington Death Certificates 1907-1960 A free internet index to the 1907-1960 death certificates can befound at FamilySearch Record Search, no images are available. A transcribed death certificate may contain such information as name of the deceased, date and place of death, age, gender, birth date and birth place, mother’s maiden name and name of spouse, place of residence, occupation and certificate numbers.


Sites with online indexes or images of records:

Sites that search the Internet for Skamania County, Washington Genealogy records online:

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 Skamania 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

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.

North Bonneville Community Library, , North Bonneville 98639 Phone: (509) 427-4439
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:
Stevenson Community Library, 120 NW Vancouver Avenue, Stevenson 98648 Phone: (509) 427-5471
Online Resources:
Unique Collections:

Towns and Communities

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


  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),Skamania County, Washington page 734, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. 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.
  6. John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.