Grays Harbor County, Washington
Genealogy and Facts

Grays Harbor County

Grays Harbor County was founded on March 15, 1915 from Thurston County. The county was named in honor of Grays Harbor, a body of water named after explorer and merchant Robert Gray (1755–1806).

The Grays Harbor County Seat is situated in Montesano (The county seats have been Bruceport or Bruceville from 1854-1860 and Montesano from 1860-present) and the county government website is http://www.co.grays-harbor.wa.us

Locations bordering Grays Harbor County are Jefferson County (north), Mason County (northeast), Thurston County (southeast), Lewis County (southeast), Pacific County (south).

Cities and towns found in Grays Harbor County consists of Aberdeen, Aberdeen Gardens, Brady, Central Park, Chehalis Village, Cohassett Beach, Copalis Beach, Cosmopolis, Elma, Grayland, Hoquiam, Humptulips, Junction City, Malone-Porter, Markham, McCleary, Moclips, Montesano, Neilton, Oakville, Ocean City, Ocean Shores, Oyehut-Hogans Corner, Satsop, Taholah, Westport

The county was permanently settled in 1859 around Hoquiam, while Aberdeen was settled in 1861 by Scotsmen who set up a packing plant financed in part by investors from Aberdeen Scotland. The great stands of timber in the county made logging, milling and timber exporting the main economic activities of the county, and today wood products, fishing, agriculture and tourism are of primary importance.

Grays Harbor County has Federal Census Schedules to assist in researching your family tree. Federal government Population Schedules exist for 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

Grays Harbor Co. Mortality Schedules can be acquired for 1870 and 1880. Grays Harbor Co. Industry and Agriculture Schedules can be found for 1870 and 1880. Grays Harbor 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.

Grays Harbor County Society and Family History Resources

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

Grays Harbor County Courthouse and Government Records

Genealogist often forget the benefits of Grays Harbor 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 Grays Harbor 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 Grays Harbor County. The dates pointed out below could be the first noted records for this particular county.

  • Grays Harbor County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 100 W Broadway, Montesano WA 98563
    • Courthouse hours: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Grays Harbor 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. Our office is open to the public Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm. Our staff does not do genealogy research; however, the records are open to the public.
    • Birth and Death Records: 1891 to 1907 
    • Marriage Records: 1855 
    • Land Records: 1855
  • Grays Harbor 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. Easiest access is from 1980 forward. Older records are on microfilm. For judicial purposes, many of the Washington counties were attached to other counties.
    • Court Records: 1857 
    • Probate Records: 1884
  • Grays Harbor 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. Must do research yourself. Good idea to call ahead for an appointment.
  • 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.

Grays Harbor County Links

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

Grays Harbor Co. WA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Grays Harbor Co. WA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Grays Harbor Co. WA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Grays Harbor Co. WA Census Records

Grays Harbor Co. WA Church & Cemeteries

Grays Harbor Co. WA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Grays Harbor Co. WA General and History Websites

Grays Harbor Co. WA Immigration & Naturalization

Grays Harbor Co. WA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Grays Harbor Co. WA Military Records

Grays Harbor Co. WA Schools & Directories

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