Douglas County, Washington

Douglas County

Douglas County was founded on November 28, 1883 from Lincoln County. The county was named in honor of Stephen A. Douglas (1813–1861), U.S. Senator from Illinois.

The Douglas County Seat is situated in Waterville (from 1883-1886 the county seat was located at Okanogan) and the county government website is http://www.douglascountywa.net/

Locations bordering Douglas County are Okanogan County (north), Grant County (south), Kittitas County (southwest), Chelan County (west).

Cities and towns found in Douglas County consists of Bridgeport, Coulee Dam (partial), East Wenatchee, Mansfield, Rock Island, Waterville

Groups of settlers first entered the county in 1871 and by 1883 the lure of plentiful land for cattle raising brought ranchers into the county. The late 1880s were punctuated by range wars between cattlemen and sheep raisers. The disastrous winter of 1889-90 decimated the cattle herds and brought about a shift in the economy to grain raising. Today agriculture still remains the county's main economic activity. Wheat and barley are primary crops with fruit production rapidly growing in importance.

Douglas County vital records can be found at the 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.

You can search online for Douglas County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also Order Electronically Online or can download an application for Washington Birth or Death Certificate and Marriage or Divorce Certificate Applications to mail.

Douglas County has Federal Census Schedules to assist in researching your family tree. Federal government Population Schedules exist for 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

Douglas Co. Union Veterans Schedules can be acquired for 1890. You'll find free down loadable in addition to printable census forms that can help with your research.

Douglas County Society and Family History Resources

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

  • Washington Genealogy Network Community (plus.google.com)
  • Washington State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
  • Douglas County Genealogical Society, c/o Waterville Public Library, Box 580, Waterville, WA 98858-0580.
  • Douglas County Historical Society, Box 63, 113 East Locust Street, Waterville, WA 98858; Phone:(509) 745-8800
  • East Wenatchee Family History Center, 667 Tenth NE, East Wenatchee, WA 98001. Phone 509-884-8686.
  • Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society Library, 133 S Mission St, Wenatchee, WA 98001. Collection includes extensive reference collection, many family histories, census publications, and genealogical society bulletins. Maintains ancestral file, multi-volume surname index, indexed 25th & 50th Wedding Anniversary scrapbooks, indexed Pictorial Past scrapbooks. Publishes a library shelf list.
  • Colville Tribal Museum, PO Box 233, 512 Mead Way, Coulee Dam, WA 99116. Phone 509-633-0751.
  • Douglas County Historical Museum, Box 63, 124 W Walnut, Waterville, WA 98858. Phone 509-745-8435. Museum features pioneer and early day living, family photographs, scrapbooks, and mineral collection of William Schluenz.
  • Ft. Spokane Museum, 1008 Crest Drive, Coulee Dam, WA 99116. Fax 509-633-9332.
  • 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.
  • Douglas County, Washington Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Douglas County
  • Douglas County, Washington Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Douglas County
  • Washington State Digital Archives (digitalarchives.wa.gov)
  • USGenWeb Archives for Douglas County (usgwarchives.net)

Douglas County Courthouse and Government Records


Douglas County Courthouse

Genealogist often forget the benefits of Douglas 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 Douglas 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.

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

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.
  • Douglas County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 213 S Rainier, Waterville 98858
    • Courthouse hours: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Douglas 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. All recording records within the last 24 years have been put onto microfiche, computer files, or both.
    • Birth and Death Records: 1891 to 1907 
    • Marriage Records: 1887 
    • Land Records: 1884
  • Douglas 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.
    • Court Records: 1887 
    • Probate Records: 1888 
  • Douglas 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. Find out who currently owns the property you are interested in or bring a legal description..
  • The Douglas County Health Department can issue Birth, Marriage and Death certificates while you wait.

Douglas County Links

The following are links to Family history and genealogy, Records and Resources pertaining to Douglas 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 Douglas County genealogy or family history affiliated sites.

Douglas Co. WA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Douglas Co. WA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Douglas Co. WA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Douglas Co. WA Census Records

Douglas Co. WA Church & Cemeteries

Douglas Co. WA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Douglas Co. WA General and History Websites

Douglas Co. WA Immigration & Naturalization

Douglas Co. WA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Douglas Co. WA Military Records

Douglas Co. WA Schools & Directories

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