King County, Washington
Genealogy and Facts
King County, Washington genealogy and family tree research page. Discover links to record collections, history, and genealogy sources to assist you to you track your personal King Co. ancestors. Get started by building a Free Family Tree.
King County was founded on December 22, 1852 from Thurston County. The county was named in honor of William R. King (1786–1853), U.S. Vice President under Franklin Pierce; officially renamed in 1986 after Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968).
The King County Seat is situated in Seattle and the county government website is http://www.kingcounty.gov/
Locations bordering King County are Snohomish County (north), Chelan County (northeast), Kittitas County (southeast), Pierce County (south), Kitsap County (west).
Cities and towns found in King County consists of Ames Lake, Baring, Bryn Mawr-Skyway, Cascade-Fairwood, Cottage Lake, East Hill-Meridian, East Renton Highlands, Eastgate, Fall City, Hobart, Inglewood-Finn Hill, Kingsgate, Lake Marcel-Stillwater, Lake Morton-Berrydale, Lakeland North, Lakeland South, Maple Heights-Lake Desire, Mirrormont, Ravensdale, Riverbend, Riverton-Boulevard Park, Tanner, Union Hill-Novelty Hill, Vashon, West Lake Sammamish, White Center.
The first settlements in the county were the donation land claims of Luther Collins, Henry Van Asselt, and Jacob Maple in September of 1851 in the Duwamish Valley area of present day Seattle. This settlement was followed in November by one led by David Denny and Leander Terry at Alki Pont. The next year the Denny-Terry settlers moved to a better location for loading lumber on the east side of Elliott Bay and named the settlement Seattle after the friendly chief of the Duwamish Indians. The next year Henry Yesler set up the first steam sawmill on Puget Sound.
King 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.
King Co. Mortality Schedules can be acquired for 1870 and 1880. King Co. Industry and Agriculture Schedules can be found for 1870 and 1880. King 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.
King County Society and Family History Resources
A list of King County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- Washington State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- King County Archives, 1215 E. Fir Street, Seattle, WA 98122
- Seattle City Municipal Archives, 3rd Floor of the Seattle City Hall Bldg., 600 4th Ave, Seattle, WA. Phone 206-233-7807.
- Puget Sound Regional Branch—Washington State Archives, Pritchard-Fleming Bldg., 3000 Landerholm Circle SE, MS-N100, Bellevue, WA 98007-6484
- Pacific Alaska Region - Seattle, The National Archives, 6125 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115-7999; Phone 206-336-5115
- Ballard Historical Society, PO Box 17775, Seattle, WA 98127. Phone 206-660-8463.
- Black Diamond Historical Society, 32626 Railroad, PO Box 232, Black Diamond, WA 98010. Phone 360-886-2142
- Des Moines Historical Society, PO Box 98055, Des Moines, WA 98198
- Duvall Historical Society, 26526 NE Cherry Valley Road Duvall, WA 98019
- Enumclaw Plateau Historical Society, 1837 Marion St., PO Box 1087, Enumclaw, WA 98022. Phone 360-825-4028
- Highline Historical Society, P. O. Box 317, Seahurst, WA 98062
- Historical Society of Seattle & King County. 2700-24th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112, Phone 206-324-1126
- Issaquah Historical Society, P. O. Box 695, Issaquah, Washington 98027; Telephone ~(425) 392-3500
- Kent Historical Society and Museum, 855 E. Smith Street, Kent WA 98030. Phone: 253-854-4330
- Mercer Island Historical Society 8236 SE 24th St., Mercer Island, WA 98040. Phone: 206-236-7321 or 206-236-3545
- Newcastle Historical Society, 7331 Lakemount Blvd SE, Issaquah, WA 98027, Phone 425-255-6996
- Pacific Northwest Historians Guild, PO Box 85457, Seattle, WA 98145
- Queen Anne Historical Society, P.O. Box 19432, Seattle, WA 98109
- Rainier Valley Historical Society, P.O Box 18143, Seattle, WA 98118, 3710 S. Ferdinand St., Seattle, WA 98118-0143, Phone 206-723-1663
- Redmond Historical Society, The Old Redmond Schoolhouse, 16600 NE 80 St, Redmond, WA 98052. Phone: 425-885-2919
- Renton Historical Society, 235 Mill Ave S, Renton, WA 98055. Phone 425-255-2330
- Snoqualmie Valley Historical Society, P.O. Box 179, 320 Bendigo Blvd, North Bend, WA 98045, Phone: 425-888-3200
- White River Valley Historical Society, 918 H St SE, Auburn, WA 98002. Phone 253-288-7433
- Association of King County Historical Organization (Woodinville Heritage Society, P.O. Box 216, 17143 133rd Ave NE, Woodinville, WAAKCHO), PO Box 3257, Seattle, WA 98114
- Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Washington, PO Box 353010, 17th Ave NE and NE 45th St, Seattle, WA 98195. Phone 206-543-5590
- Historic Seattle, Dearborn House 1117 Minor Ave, Seattle, WA 98101, Phone: 206-622-6952,
- Maple Valley Historical Museum, 23015 SE 216th Way, PO Box 123, Maple Valley, WA 98038
- Shoreline Historical Museum, 749 N 175th, PO Box 7171, Seattle, WA 98133. Phone 206-542-7111
- Family History Centers
- Auburn Washington, 625 M Street NE, Auburn, WA, Phone 253-735-2009.
- Bellevue Washington, 10675 NE 20th St, Bellevue, WA, Phone 425-454-2690.
- Bellevue Washington South, 4200 124th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA, Phone 425-562-0361.
- Federal Way Washington, 34815 Weyerhaeuser Way South, Federal Way, WA. Phone 253-874-3803.
- Kirkland Washington, 7910 NE 32nd St, Kirkland, WA. Phone 425-821-3939.
- Maple Valley Washington, 26800 236th Place SE, Maple Valley, WA. Phone 425-413-7566.
- North Bend Washington, 527 Mountain Side Blvd., North Bend, WA.
- Redmond Washington, 10115 172nd Ave NE, Redmond, WA. Phone 425-861-9273.
- Seattle Washington, 14022 Ambaum Blvd SW, Seattle, WA. Phone 206-444-6017.
- Seattle Washington North, 5701 8th Ave NE, Seattle, WA. Phone 206-522-1233.
- Tiffany Park Washington, 8220 S. 126th St., Seattle, King, WA. Phone 425-207-0092
- Vashon Washington, 9330 S.W. 204th St, Vashon, WA. Phone 206-463-1863.
- Puget Sound Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogist - Meetings usually occur every other month starting in February. Please check
the website to learn about the coming
programs. The website also provides ideas for more genealogical education, events, and
chapter news along with the profile of the members of the chapter
- King County, Washington Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in King County
- King County, Washington Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for King County
- Washington State Digital Archives (digitalarchives.wa.gov)
- USGenWeb Archives for King County (usgwarchives.net)
King County Courthouse and Government Records
Genealogist often forget the benefits of King 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 King 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 King County. The dates pointed out below could be the first noted records for this particular county.
- King County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Address: 516 3rd Ave, Seattle 98104-3272
- Courthouse hours: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
- King County Recorder's 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: 1866
- Land Records: 1853
- King 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: 1854
- Probate Records: 1864
- King 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.
King County Links
The following are links to Family history and genealogy, Records and Resources pertaining to King 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 King County genealogy or family history affiliated sites.
King Co. WA Books, Newspapers & Publications
King Co. WA Birth, Marriage & Death Records
King Co. WA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
- See Also Washington Court & Tax, Land and Probate Records
- Order County Court, Civil or Criminal Records Online
- King County Probate Records, 1854-1927 (familysearch.org)
- Washington, County Records, 1856-2009 (familysearch.org) Collection of various records including vital, probate, school, tax, naturalization and other records.
- Washington, County Land Records, 1850-1954 (familysearch.org)
- Washington, County Probate Case Files, 1832-1950 (familysearch.org)
- Washington, County Probate Records, 1853-1929 (familysearch.org)
- BLM Land Records (glorecords.blm.gov)
King Co. WA Census Records
King Co. WA Church & Cemeteries
King Co. WA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories
King Co. WA General and History Websites
King Co. WA Immigration & Naturalization
King Co. WA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
King Co. WA Military Records
King Co. WA Schools & Directories