Search For Your Ancestors in Historical Documents




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. See also Oregon History Page for more Details

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.

Select a Oregon County Below

Getting Started with Oregon Family Trees and Genealogy

Oregon Genealogy Tips & Hints - Now a very popular location for people to relocate, the state of Oregon has a much more diverse and lengthy history than most realize. A strong Native American background, plus the history associated with early exploration, the Gold Rush, and immigration from Asia have created a heavy demand for Oregon genealogy materials.

Begin Looking for Oregon Genealogy Information - Where do you find such materials? They are going to be “online” and “offline” resources found in a large number of locations. Because the modern era is one of digitized information, many places have started to convert their collections into online databases when possible. This means that as you begin searching for Oregon genealogy materials, you will be able to begin in front of your computer, where you will harvest data and even order copies of documents.

When you discover that your resources are not digitized, you can still look for Oregon genealogy data on the Internet before traveling to any location, and ensure you will be able to obtain what you need. It is important to spend time identifying such resources for Oregon genealogy in order to discover which are the best online tools for your project.

Resources for Oregon Genealogy Data - A researcher will quickly learn that their search tends to begin in the public records. These are also among the most commonly found of the online tools for Oregon genealogy too. They fall under the following categories:

  • State Records – from probate information to surname lists, state census information, private manuscripts, newspapers, military or veterans information, marriage details, maps, land records, genealogical folders, estate information, deeds, death records, cemetery information, birth certificates and more, these are records usually available as online and offline resources for Oregon genealogy.
  • Local Records – researchers looking for Oregon genealogy data will need to visit a county clerk’s office at some point should data be unavailable in the online format. They may also have to head to the local genealogical societies, small local libraries, historical societies, and school or college libraries for Oregon genealogy information as these are the places that are usually offline and/or open only by appointment or special arrangement.
  • Vital Records – these include the birth, marriage, divorce and death records from county, state, and national archives, and can also contain census records, cemetery or obituary information, immigration and naturalization details, newspaper items, military records, passenger lists and records as well. These are available as online and offline resources for Oregon genealogy.

Resources for Oregon Genealogy Materials - Where are the best resources found? Below is a list of the primary resources for targeted information for Oregon genealogy research:

  • Oregon Vital Records, P.O. Box 14050, Portland, OR 97293-0050. This is where you can find birth, death, marriage and divorce records via a written request or even through an online form.

Additional state and local records can be found at the:

  • Oregon State Archives, 800 Summer St. NE, Salem, OR 97310; Their genealogical page is a main resource for Oregon genealogy because it links directly to digitized sources. They have everything from vital records to land information dating back to the early 1800s.

Also, consider using the Oregon Genealogical page at:

Also, these websites give researchers a tremendous amount of state-specific details for those in search for Oregon genealogy data.

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