History: Washington was first settled in 1836, it became part of Oregon Territory in 1848, it became Washington Territory in 1853, and became a state in 1889.
Birth records: Most Washington counties began keeping birth records in 1891. Statewide registration of births began in 1907 with complete records by 1917. Birth records from 1907 to the present can be obtained from the Washington State Department of Health.
Marriage records: Most Washington counties began keeping marriage records soon after the county was organized. Statewide registration of marriages began in 1968. Copies of marriage certificates can be obtained from the respective county auditor.
Death records: Most Washington counties began keeping death records in 1891. Statewide registration of deaths began in 1907 with complete records by 1917. Death records from 1907 to the present can be obtained from the Washington State Department of Health.
Divorce records: Divorce records can be obtained from county clerks.
Census records: The first federal census available for Washington is 1850. There are federal censuses publicly available for 1850 (listed with Oregon), 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940, and 1950. There were territorial censuses taken in 1871, 1883, 1885, 1887, and 1889.
County records: Court, land, probate, naturalization, and tax records were kept by the individual counties.
Other records: Many cities and towns kept newspapers, records kept by churches, cemeteries, histories, school, city directories, and other records that can be located by using the city pages on this site. Records specific to minority groups can be found in the Minority Records section.
All records: Use the links on this site to locate online indexes and images of many of the above records.