Difference between revisions of "Thurston County, Washington Genealogy"

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=== Resources  ===
=== Resources  ===
The types of records that follow are used for genealogy and family history. Most tell what you may learn and how to locate the records. Links to Internet sites usually go directly to {{PAGENAME}} entries with names, images, or information.
{{Tip|Don't overlook {{FHL|Washington, Thurston|place|disp={{PAGENAME}}}} items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see [[Thurston County, Washington#Archives.2C_Libraries.2C_etc.|Archives and Libraries]].}}
*[https://www.familysearch.org/catalog-search FamilySearch Catalog]
*[https://www.familysearch.org/catalog-search FamilySearch Catalog]

Revision as of 14:27, 17 July 2013

United States Gotoarrow.png Washington Gotoarrow.png Thurston County

Guide to Thurston County Washington genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

800px-Flag map of Washington.svg.png Washington
Online Records

Quick start:

Thurston County, Washington
Map of Washington highlighting Thurston  County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the U.S. highlighting Washington
Location of Washington in the U.S.
Founded 12 January, 1852
County Seat Olympia
Address Thurston County Courthouse
2000 Lakeridge Dr SW;
Olympia, WA 98502
Phone: 360.786.5438
Thurston County Website

Historical Facts

In August 1848 Congress established Oregon Territory, which included the future state of Washington. By 1850 there were more than 300 non-Indian inhabitants north of the Columbia River, and as the new communities on and near the southern shores of Puget Sound began to grow, so grew the need for a local organized government and a new county. Simmons (in honor of Michael Simmons) was proposed as the name of the new county.

Instead, Thurston was chosen as the new county’s name and Olympia was chosen as the county seat. The Oregon Territorial Legislature carved the new county out of Lewis County on January 12, 1852. The early Thurston County was considerably larger than it is today, covering territory from west of the Cascades to the coast and north to the Canadian border. However, other counties were quickly formed from parts of Thurston County and by 1877 it had been reduced to its present size.

Thurston County’s name came from Samuel R. Thurston (1816-1851), the first delegate to Congress in 1849 from the new Oregon Territory, who had made a name for himself during his brief tenure in office defending the territorial rights of the northern part of Oregon Territory against the claims of the Hudson’s Bay Company.[1]

Beginning dates for major county records
* For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries

American Indians

Boundary Changes

Record Loss


The types of records that follow are used for genealogy and family history. Most tell what you may learn and how to locate the records. Links to Internet sites usually go directly to Thurston County, Washington Genealogy entries with names, images, or information.

Following is list of sites where you might find county-specific information that you could add to your county page, as well as general links you might wish to include as further research resources.

Bible Records


Early history of Thurston County, Washington : together with biographies and reminiscences of those identified with pioneer days



Church Records

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political or Religious Groups


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




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.


Area map and other information from 1895: http://www.livgenmi.com/1895/WA/



Some military records for this county have been digitized at the Washington State Digital Archives.

Naturalization and Citizenship



Funeral Homes



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



Thurston County Courthouse
2000 Lakeridge Dr SW;
Olympia, WA 98502
Phone: 360.786.5438

County Auditor has birth and death records 1891-1907
and marriage records from 1891.
County Clerk has divorce probate and court records. [3]

Many civil records have been digitized and are available through the Thurston County Clerk's Office: http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/clerk/citizens%20guide.html

Family History Centers


Vital Records




Thurston County Washington Genealogy References

  1. HistoryLink.org - The Free Onlline Encyclopedia of Washington State History
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Thurston County, Washington page 734, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.