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Pierce County, Washington

Pierce County

Pierce County was founded on December 22, 1852 from Thurston County. The county was named in honor of Franklin Pierce (1804–1869), 14th U.S. President.

The Pierce County Seat is situated in Tacoma and the county government website is

Locations bordering Pierce County are King County (north), Yakima County (east), Lewis County (south), Thurston County (southwest), Mason County (northwest), Kitsap County (northwest).

Cities and towns found in Pierce County consists of Auburn (partial), Artondale, Ashford, Bonney Lake, Buckley, Carbonado, DuPont, Eatonville, Edgewood, Elbe, Elk Plain, Enumclaw (partial), Fife, Fircrest, Fort Lewis, Fox Island, Frederickson, Gig Harbor, Graham, Greenwater, Lakewood, McChord AFB, Midland, Milton (partial), Orting, Pacific (partial), Parkland, Prairie Ridge, Puyallup, Roy, Ruston, South Hill, South Prairie, Spanaway, Steilacoom, Summit, Sumner, Tacoma, University Place, Waller, Wilkeson.

The first U.S. military base established on Puget Sound was Fort Steilacoom in 1849. The county achieved prominence in the late nineteenth century when two major transcontinental railroads made Tacoma their western terminus. Tacoma also became the headquarters for the Weyerhaeuser Company and a major Pacific shipping center. Today, Pierce County possesses a varied economy based on wood products, metal manufacturing food processing and shipping. Its county seat, Tacoma, is the state’s third largest city.

Pierce 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 Pierce 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.

Pierce 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.

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

Pierce County Society and Family History Resources

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

Pierce County Courthouse and Government Records

Pierce County Courthouse

Genealogist often forget the benefits of Pierce 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 Pierce 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 Pierce 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.
  • Pierce County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: County-City Building, 930 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma WA 98402-2102
    • Courthouse hours: 7:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Pierce 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: 1858
  • Pierce 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: 1855 
    • Probate Records: 1855
  • Pierce 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 Pierce-Tacoma Health Department can issue Birth, Marriage and Death certificates while you wait.

Pierce County Links

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

Pierce Co. WA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Pierce Co. WA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Pierce Co. WA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Pierce Co. WA Census Records

Pierce Co. WA Church & Cemeteries

Pierce Co. WA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Pierce Co. WA General and History Websites

Pierce Co. WA Immigration & Naturalization

Pierce Co. WA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Pierce Co. WA Military Records

Pierce Co. WA Schools & Directories

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