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Jefferson County, Washington

Jefferson County

Jefferson County was founded on December 22, 1852 from Thurston County. The county was named in honor of Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), 3rd U.S. President and principal author of the Declaration of Independence.

The Jefferson County Seat is situated in Port Townsend (spelled Port Townshend until 1853) and the county government website is

Locations bordering Jefferson County are Island County (northeast), Kitsap County (southeast), Mason County (southeast), Grays Harbor County (southwest), Clallam County (northwest), San Juan County (northeast).

Cities and towns found in Jefferson County consists of Brinnon, Marrowstone, Port Hadlock-Irondale, Port Ludlow, Port Townsend, Quilcene.

In 1792 Captain George Vancouver named Port Townsend, the present county seat. During the mid-nineteenth century the city experienced a building boom resulting from its status as a major Puget Sound port of entry and it is now a showpiece of Victorian architecture. Today the county bases its economy on wood products and agriculture while the Olympic National Park, occupying over half of the county, and the unique character of Port Townsend make tourism a major industry.

Jefferson 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 Jefferson 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.

Jefferson 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.

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

Jefferson County Society and Family History Resources

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

Jefferson County Courthouse and Government Records

Jefferson County Courthouse

Genealogist often forget the benefits of Jefferson 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 Jefferson 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 Jefferson 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.
  • Jefferson County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 1820 Jefferson St, PO Box 1220, Port Townsend WA 98368-1220
    • Courthouse hours: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Jefferson 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.
    • Birth and Death Records: 1891 to 1907 
    • Marriage Records: 1853 
    • Land Records: 1855
  • Jefferson 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: 1853 
    • Probate Records: 1854
  • Jefferson 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.
  • The Jefferson County Health Department can issue Birth, Marriage and Death certificates while you wait.

Jefferson County Links

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

Jefferson Co. WA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Jefferson Co. WA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Jefferson Co. WA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Jefferson Co. WA Census Records

Jefferson Co. WA Church & Cemeteries

Jefferson Co. WA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Jefferson Co. WA General and History Websites

Jefferson Co. WA Immigration & Naturalization

Jefferson Co. WA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Jefferson Co. WA Military Records

Jefferson Co. WA Schools & Directories

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