Chelan County, Washington
Genealogy and Facts

Chelan County

Chelan County was founded on March 13, 1899 from Okanogan County and Kittitas County. The county was named in honor of a Native American word meaning "deep water", likely referring to Lake Chelan.

The Chelan County Seat is situated in Wenatchee and the county government website is http://www.co.chelan.wa.us/

Locations bordering Chelan County are Okanogan County (northeast), Douglas County (east), Kittitas County (south), King County (southwest), Snohomish County (west), Skagit County (northwest).

Cities and towns found in Chelan County consists of Cashmere (2,843), Chelan (3,993), Entiat (1,043), Leavenworth (2,324), South Wenatchee (2,118), Sunnyslope (2,672), Wenatchee (29,898), West Wenatchee (1,782)

Fur traders first visited the county in 1811. Later, Catholic missionaries established themselves in the Wenatchee Valley. The development of the county in the nineteenth century was closely linked to the Northern Pacific and Great Northern railroads.. Today the county is a major apple and fruit growing center while the wood products industry, mining and tourism also contribute to its economy.

Chelan County has Federal Census Schedules to assist in researching your family tree. Federal government Population Schedules exist for 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940. You'll find free down loadable in addition to printable census forms that can help with your research.

Chelan County Society and Family History Resources

A list of Chelan County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.

  • Washington State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
  • State Archives Central Branch Bledsoe & Washington Archives Building, Central Washington University, 400 E. University Way, Mail Stop 7547, Ellensburg, Washington 98926-7547. Phone: 509-963-2136. Research Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon and 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Chelan Valley Genealogical Society, PO Box Y, Chelan, WA 98816. Have begun a pioneer and ancestor card file. Operates the Chelan Valley Genealogical Society Library in the Chelan Community Library. Emphasis on Washington State and Chelan area. Have collected local obituaries from 1990-1994 for the Chelan Valley area. Maintains surname card files. Pioneer Card File is in progress.
  • Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society, PO Box 5280, Wenatchee, WA 98807-5280. Obituaries of pioneers of Entiat Valley (before 1956) are being collected. Maintains the Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society Library. Collection includes extensive reference collection, many family histories, census publications, and genealogical society bulletins. Has a computer and genealogical CD collection. Maintains ancestral file, multi-volume surname index, indexed 25th & 50th Wedding Anniversary scrapbooks, indexed Pictorial Past scrapbooks. Publishes a library shelf list.
  • Chelan County Historical Society, PO Box 22, Chelan, WA 98815. Phone 509-782-3230.
  • Entiat Community Historical Society, 2800 Entiat Way, Entiat, WA 98822. Entiat Community Museum Collecting historical items and family histories of Entiat and the Entiat Valley.
  • Lake Chelan Historical Society, 204 E Woodin Ave, PO Box 1948, Chelan, WA 98816. Phone 509-682-5644. Operates Lake Chelan Historical Society Museum emphasizing local history, genealogy, Indian tribes of the area, early photographs, scrapbooks, cemetery records, memorabilia of early pioneers, history of the apple industry and a display of apple shipping crate labels.
  • Chelan Family History Center, 195 Highway 150, Chelan, WA. Phone 509-682-5714.
  • Chelan County Historical Museum & Pioneer Village, 600 Cottage, PO Box 22, Cashmere, WA 98815. Phone 509-782-3230. Fax 509-782-8905. Noted for the Willis Carey collection of Indian artifacts and pioneer relics. The Pioneer Village has many original pioneer buildings.
  • North Central Washington Museum , 127 S Mission, Wenatchee, WA 98801. Phone 509-662-3340. Collection strong in archival materials regarding local area, including business and organizations records.
  • Rocky Reach Dam, Chelan Hwy 97, PO Box 1231, Wenatchee, WA 98807-1231. Phone 509-663-8121. Collection emphasizes archaeology, geology, and history of area and electricity museum. Collections of photographs and negatives from local companies, individuals, and educational institutions. Portrait collection of Nez Perce Indians.
  • Chelan County, Washington Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Chelan County
  • Chelan County, Washington Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Chelan County
  • Washington State Digital Archives (digitalarchives.wa.gov)
  • USGenWeb Archives for Chelan County (usgwarchives.net)

Chelan County Courthouse and Government Records

Genealogist often forget the benefits of Chelan County court, probate, and land files as a source of genealogy information and facts. Buried away in Washington courthouses and archives everywhere tend to be the desires and frustrations of countless Washington men and women.

The possibilities are great that your ancestors have left a in-depth record of at least a few factors of their lives in the Chelan County court records. Even if your forebears is not discussed in a Court case, contemplate all of the other methods which could have lead to her or him appearing in court records.

Please make sure to speak to the clerk's department to confirm hours, mailing address, fees and other details prior to visiting or seeking information because of sometimes changing contact information. The Department Offices DO NOT DO RESEARCH. The documents are accessible to interested parties, barring private issues. A lot of workers will help individuals in finding the resources, however it is up to the man or women to complete the research. Although originally held in the county seat, many county land, probate, and court records have been transferred to the state archive's regional branches.

The below specifics denotes exactly what death, marriage, birth, property, wills, and court records will be in Chelan County. The dates pointed out below could be the first noted records for this particular county.

  • Chelan County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 350 Orondo Avenue, Wenatchee, WA 98801
    • Courthouse hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Chelan County Auditor has many responsibilities which include the recording of real property documents such as deeds and other recorded documents, issuing various licenses such as marriage liscense. Will instruct searchers, but cannot do research. Prefer to have requests for information at least 24 hours in advance. Need names and approximate dates. Early land records searcher needs to know if individual was the buyer or seller.
    • Birth and Death Records: 1899 to 1907 
    • Marriage Records: 1900 
    • Land Records: 1882
  • Chelan County Clerk is the administrator of the Superior Court Clerk's Office. The Clerk's Office is responsible for keeping the permanent records of all cases filed in Superior Court. The type of cases filed are felony criminal cases, civil lawsuits, petitions for protection from domestic violence, family law matters (dissolutions 3rd Party Custody, parenting plans, modifications) probates, guardianships, Last Will & Testaments, paternities, adoptions and mental commitments. Chelan County has a computer index of all cases since 1900 on microfiche. Since Jan. 1, 1996 all documents in case file are available on computer image rather than microfilm. Insanity, adoption, juvenile, and some guardianship cases are confidential. For judicial purposes, many of the Washington counties were attached to other counties.
    • Court Records: 1888 
    • Probate Records: 1876 
  • Chelan County Treasurer is the property tax collector for the County. Property Taxes are levied on the property by the various taxing authorities based on the valuation and current property usage as set by the Assessor's Office.
  • Washington Office of Vital Records has copies of birth, marriage, divorce and death records. There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in Washington for current fees and application process. Birth, marriage, and death records are connected with central life events.

Chelan County Links

The following are links to Family history and genealogy, Records and Resources pertaining to Chelan County. Most of these genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Commercial Sites, Private Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some require a fee. This is simply a directory that has been gathered or submitted. I do not endorse or promote one genealogy site above another. Feel free to present your own favorite Chelan County genealogy or family history affiliated sites.

Chelan Co. WA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Chelan Co. WA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Chelan Co. WA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Chelan Co. WA Census Records

Chelan Co. WA Church & Cemeteries

Chelan Co. WA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Chelan Co. WA General and History Websites

Chelan Co. WA Immigration & Naturalization

Chelan Co. WA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Chelan Co. WA Military Records

Chelan Co. WA Schools & Directories

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