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 http://www.co.pierce.wa.us
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.
- RAOGK Volunteers for Washington (raogk.org)
- Washington Genealogy Network Community (plus.google.com)
- Washington State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Puget Sound Regional Branch—Washington State Archives, Pritchard-Fleming Bldg., 3000 Landerholm Circle SE, MS-N100, Bellevue, WA 98007-6484;
- Tacoma-Pierce County Genealogical Society, PO Box 1952, Tacoma, WA 98401. 253.572.6640
- Anderson Island Historical Society, 9306 Otso Point Rd, Anderson Island, WA 98303. Phone 253-884-2069.
- DuPont Historical Society & Museum , 207 Barksdale Ave., DuPont, WA 98327. Phone 253-964-2399.
- Fort Nisqually Association, 5400 N. Pearl St. #11, Tacoma, WA 98407. Phone 253-591-5339.
- Fox Island Historical Society, 1017 Ninth Ave., Fox Island, WA 98333. Phone 253-549-2461.
- Historic Fort Steilacoom Association, 9601 Steilacoom Blvd. SW, Lakewood WA 98498. Phone 253-582-5838..
- Key Peninsula Historical Society & Museum, PO Box 577, Vaughn, WA 98394. Phone 253-884-6951.
- Points Northeast Historical Society, 6602 Spring St NE, Tacoma, WA 98411. Phone 253-927-3329.
- Salmon Beach Historical Commission, 46 Salmon Beach, WA 98407. Phone 253-752-7010.
- South Pierce County Historical Society, PO Box 1131, Eatonville, WA 98328. Phone 253-847-6182.
- Steilacoom Historical Museum Association , PO Box 88016, Steilacoom, WA 98388-0016. 253-584-4133.
- Sumner Historical Society, 1228 Main St., PO Box 517, Sumner, WA 98390. Phone 253-299-5780.
- Tacoma Historical Society, PO Box 1865, Tacoma, WA 98403. Phone 253-472-3738.
- Washington State Historical Society, (www.wshs.org) 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402. Phone 1-888-238-4373. Fax 253-272-9518.
- Pierce County Library System, 3005 112th St E, Tacoma, WA 98446-2215. Phone 253-536-6500.
- African American Museum, 925 Court C, Tacoma, WA 98402. Phone 253-274-1278. Fax 253-274-9644.
- Buckley Foothills Historical Society Museum, PO Box 530, 123 River Ave. , Buckley, WA 98321. Phone 360-829-1291.
- Ezra Meeker Mansion, PO Box 103, 321 Pioneer St., Puyallup, WA 98371. Phone 253-848-1770.
- Fox Island Historical Museum, PO Box 242, 1017 Ninth Ave., Fox Island, WA 98333. Phone 253-549-2461.
- Gig Harbor Peninsula Historical Society Museum, PO Box 744, 4218 Harborview Dr., Gig Harbor, WA 98335-0744. Phone 253-858-6722.
- Historic Fort Steilacoom, Fort Steilacoom Park, 9601 Steilacoom Blvd. SW., Lakewood, WA 98388 (on the grounds of Western State Hospital). Phone 253-756-3928
- Pioneer Farm Museum and Ohop Indian Village, PO Box 1520, 7716 Ohop Valley Rd E, Eatonville, WA 98328. Phone 360-832-6300.
- Sumner, Washington LDS Family History Center, 512 Valley Ave, Sumner, WA. Phone 253-863-5167
- Puyallup Washington South Family History Center, 13420 94th Ave E, Puyallup, WA. Phone 253-840-1673.
- Tacoma, Washington LDS Family History Center, 1102 S. Pearl St., Tacoma, WA 98465 Phone 253-564-1103.
- Pierce County, Washington Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Pierce County
- Pierce County, Washington Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Pierce County
- Washington State Digital Archives (digitalarchives.wa.gov)
- USGenWeb Archives for Pierce County (usgwarchives.net)
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
- See Also Washington Court & Tax, Land and Probate Records
- Washington Court Records Research Guide (raogk.org)
- McNeil Island, Washington, U.S. Penitentiary, Photos and Records of Prisoners Received, 1875-1939 (search.ancestry.com)
- 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)
Pierce Co. WA Census Records
Pierce Co. WA Church & Cemeteries
Pierce Co. WA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories
Pierce Co. WA General and History Websites
- See Also State History for Washington
- Pierce County, Washington Wikipedia (wikipedia.org)
- Commemorative celebration at Sequalitchew Lake, Pierce County, Washington, July 5th, 1906, at 2 o'clock, p.m. (search.ancestry.com)
- Tacoma illustrated (search.ancestry.com)
- Tacoma and vicinity (search.ancestry.com)
- Tacoma, the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad (search.ancestry.com)
- Pierce County, Washington Wiki (familysearch.org)
- Pierce Co. WA Genealogy (kindredtrails.com)
- Family History Library (familysearch.org)
- Pierce County, Washington (linkpendium.com)
- Cyndi's List - United States - Washington - Counties - Pierce (cyndislist.com)
- Pierce County Washington (genealogytrails.com)
- Pierce Co. WAGenweb (wagenweb.org)
- Pierce County Genealogy Queries (cousinconnect.com)
- Pierce Co. Data Collections (search.ancestry.com)
Pierce Co. WA Immigration & Naturalization
Pierce Co. WA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Pierce Co. WA Military Records
Pierce Co. WA Schools & Directories