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State of Oregon Genealogy

In the 1500s and 1600s, it is believed that sailors from both England and Spain sailed along the coast of what is now Oregon. However, it wasn't until 1778 that the Northwest Passage was charted by Captain James Cook. Then Captain Robert Gray came to the area in the Columbia and named the river that he found the Columbia, after his ship. At that time, the area was claimed for the United States by him.

The famous explorers Lewis and Clark explored the region in 1805. Then, in 1811, the Astoria fur depot was founded by John Jacob Astor. The Hudson Bay Company and the American settlers had many disputes over land control. However, the Oregon Treaty, which was enacted in 1846, brought an end to those disputes, since it stated that the region was firmly out of British control and in the hands of the United States.

The State of Oregon was organized as territory on Aug. 14, 1848 and entered the union as the 33rd state on Febuary 14, 1859. It has 36 Counties.

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Oregon History

The State of Oregon is bordered by California (south), Idaho (east), Nevada (southeast), Washington. It has a land area of 98,386 square miles making it the 9th largest state. The 2010 population was 3,831,074. The capital is Salem and the official state website is

The State's largest cities (2010) are Portland, 583,776; Eugene, 156,185; Salem (Capital) 154,637; Gresham, 105,594; Hillsboro, 91,611; Beaverton, 89,803; Bend, 76,639; Medford, 74,907; Springfield, 59,403; Corvallis, 54,462.

The State of Oregon nname may have come from the French word Ouragan (which means Hurricane) and was a former name of the Columbia River. Oregon's nickname is " Beaver State ". The State Motto is "She Flies With Her Own Wings" and "The Union" .

Oregon is located in the northwestern part of the United States. It's capital, Salem, is located in the state's northwestern section. Washington borders it to the north and shares the Columbia River with it. Idaho is to its east and over 50 percent of that border is defined by Hells Canyon and the Snake River. Both California and Nevada border Oregon to its south. They share similar desert and mountain topography. The Pacific Ocean makes up Oregon's western border, which is part of why the western part of the state has such a mild climate.

Oregon is the 33rd state to join the Union, which it did in 1859, on February 14. It is a state that is quite physically diverse. It features plains, valleys, plateaus, deserts, and mountains. The eastern deserts are harsh and dry, while the western regions of the state are more lush and fertile. The state also includes many natural wonders, including: Columbia River Gorge, Oregon Caves National Monument, Crater Lake National Park, Central Oregon "Moon Country"

The so-called "Moon Country" is a region that has been used for astronaut training back in the 1960s due to the lava field landscape.

Oregon, which is believed to have gotten its name from the Native Americans, also has many forest-filled mountains in both its northeastern and western areas, which are a large part of the state's economic support system. In fact, a large part of the country's soft plywood, paper, pulp, hardboard, and softwood lumber all come from Oregon forests. Oregon is one of the country's top suppliers of products made from wood.

The state's Columbia River system is also economically beneficial to residents, since it supplies recreational water, electricity, shipping channels, and irrigation water. However, it is the Willamette River Valley that is the state's major hub. That area is home to the major cities of Salem, Portland, and Eugene, as well as many agricultural areas.

Oregon has an area of 97,048 square miles, which is 251,353 square kilometers. Its population in 2010 was 2,831,074. As of 2012, it had an estimated population of 3,899,353.

In 1829, fur trappers of French-Canadian descent came to the Oregon region. They were affiliated with the Hudson Bay Company and created the first white settlements in the area. Those settlements were near what is now St. Paul. At the time the settlement was at Champoeg on the Willamette River. American missionaries began coming to the region in the 1840s, settling in various parts of what was then the territory of Oregon. Various churches sponsored those missions, including the Catholic, Congregational, Methodist, and Presbyterian church groups.

In the early 1840s, settlers began coming to the Oregon area, thanks to encouragement from missionaries. Many of those settlers came from the Ohio, Mississippi, and Missouri River valleys and were farmers. In fact, over the two decade span of 1840 to 1860, over 53,000 immigrants came to the area because they were promised a better life and free land to live on. White male settlers were given between 160 and 320 acres of land by order of the 1850 Oregon Donation Land Act. Wives of those settlers were also allowed to receive that amount of land.

The first Oregon city to be established was originally called Willamette Falls, but that name was later changed to Oregon City. The Hudson Bay Company's chief broker, Dr. John McLoughlin, founded the city in 1829. In 1844, the city of Portland was founded. It was originally made up of 16 blocks of land along the banks of the Willamette River. When the California gold rush was going on, Portland became a hub where ships and wagons met to exchange goods. Gold was found in Rogue River Valley in 1850, which caused the city of Jacksonville to be founded in 1852. 1852 was also when Roseburg was founded as a town and California-Oregon Trail way station. There were many conflicts between settlers and Native Americans in both northeastern and southern Oregon from 1847 to 1856. However, those disputes settled down a bit around the time that Oregon gained its statehood, which was in 1859.

The region experienced a prosperity boom from 1862 to 1865, thanks to the Grant and Baker County gold mining success. The cattle industry also gave the economy a large boost, since cattle were driven to the mines across the Cascades as food for the miners and other workers in the area. That led to many cattle towns being founded, including Prineville, Burns, and Lakeview. Then sheep became a major industry in the area, especially in the northeastern part of Oregon. That led to towns like Heppner, Condon, and Pendleton popping up in the area between Umatilla and Dalles.

In the 1870s, Oregon became home to several immigrants of European descent. The coast was settled by Scandinavian fishermen, while Astoria was settled by a group of Finns. Tillamook became a Swiss settlement that was known for starting an area cheese industry. Also in the 1870s, Portland became known as one of the world's major wheat ports. That led to an influx of foreign immigrants to that area, including Scottish, Irish, German, Jewish, Scandinavian, and Chinese people.

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