Thurston County, Washington
Genealogy and Facts
Thurston County was founded on January 12, 1852 from Lewis County. The county was named in honor of Samuel Thurston (1815–1851), the Oregon Territory's first delegate to U.S. Congress.
The Thurston County Seat is situated in Olympia and the county government website is http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/
Locations bordering Thurston County are Pierce County (northeast), Lewis County (south), Grays Harbor County (west), Mason County (northwest).
Cities and towns found in Thurston County consists of Bucoda, Grand Mound, Lacey, Nisqually Indian Community, North Yelm, Olympia, Rainier, Rochester, Tanglewilde-Thompson Place, Tenino, Tumwater, Yelm.
The first American settlement north of the Columbia River was established in the county in 1845 at Tumwater, along with the first industry, a gristmill established the next year. In 1853 Governor Isaac Stevens proclaimed Olympia the Territorial capital, and the first Washington Territorial legislature met here in 1854. Today, Thurston County, in addition to having the seat of government at Olympia, bases its economy on wood products manufacturing, dairying and poultry raising. The Port of Olympia continues to grow in importance as an exporter of wood products.
Thurston 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.
Thurston Co. Mortality Schedules can be acquired for 1870 and 1880. Thurston Co. Industry and Agriculture Schedules can be found for 1870 and 1880. Thurston 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.
Thurston County Society and Family History Resources
A list of Thurston County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- Washington State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Washington State Archives, Southwest Regional Branch. 1129 Washington Street SE, PO Box 40238, Olympia, WA 98504. Phone 360) 753-1684.
- Olympia Genealogical Society, PO Box 1313, Olympia, WA 98507-1313. Membership available.
- Olympia Historical Society, PO Box 6064, Olympia, WA 98507-6064
- Lacey Historical Society, 2020 Centerwood Dr, Olympia, WA 98501.
- Lacey Historical Museum, 829 ½ Lacey St SE, PO Box B, Lacey, WA 98503. Phone: 360-352-7596. The museum holds artifacts, photographs and information relevant to Lacey history from the time of settlement to the present day. The earliest photos date from the 1880's.
- South Thurston County Historical Society, Park St, PO Box 339, Tenino, WA 98589. Phone: 360-264-4321. Operates the Tenino Depot Museum and has copies of local weekly newspaper from 1920 to 1960. Though not indexed, they are available to the public.
- Tumwater Historical Association, 602 Des Chutes Way, Tumwater, WA 98501.
- Washington State Capital Historical Association, 211 W 21st Ave, Room 11, Olympia, WA 98501.
- Timberland Regional Library, 415 Airdustrial Way SW, Olympia, WA 98501-5799. Phone: 360-943-5001.
- Thurston County, Washington Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Thurston County
- Thurston County, Washington Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Thurston County
- Washington State Digital Archives (digitalarchives.wa.gov)
- USGenWeb Archives for Thurston County (usgwarchives.net)
Thurston County Courthouse and Government Records
Genealogist often forget the benefits of Thurston 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 Thurston 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 Thurston County. The dates pointed out below could be the first noted records for this particular county.
- Thurston County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Address: 2000 Lakeridge Dr SW, Olympia WA 98502-6001
- Courthouse hours: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Thurston 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. We have a customer service area, which is staffed from 8am- 5pm each workday. We are glad to assist someone who comes into our office. When customers request information over the phone, we limit the search to online information, marriages 1973-1974, 1976-present. If the request requires a hand search, we will look through one year at no fee. All other searches must be requested with an accompanying fee of $8.00 per hour. All of our original records have been relocated to the Southwest Washington Branch Archives in downtown Olympia. We have microfilms of this information.
- Birth and Death Records: 1891 to 1907
- Marriage Records: 1877
- Land Records: 1852
- Thurston 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: 1852
- Thurston 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. Parcel number needed. Staff has limited time to help researchers.
- 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.
Thurston County Links
The following are links to Family history and genealogy, Records and Resources pertaining to Thurston 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 Thurston County genealogy or family history affiliated sites.
Thurston Co. WA Books, Newspapers & Publications
Thurston Co. WA Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Thurston 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
- 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)
Thurston Co. WA Census Records
Thurston Co. WA Church & Cemeteries
Thurston Co. WA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories
Thurston Co. WA General and History Websites
Thurston Co. WA Immigration & Naturalization
Thurston Co. WA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Thurston Co. WA Military Records
Thurston Co. WA Schools & Directories