Pierce County, Washington Genealogy Guide
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Pierce County, Washington (Map It) was created on December 22, 1852 from Thurston County. The county was named in honor of Franklin Pierce (1804–1869), 14th U.S. President. 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. Learn More About State of Washington History.
Pierce County Cities and Towns include 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.. A Map of Pierce County, Washington contains detailed information about roads and boundaries, these maps may include rural communities, churches, and cemeteries.
Pierce County, Washington Courthouse Records
Pierce County, WA Courthouse
Please contact the each clerk's department to confirm mailing address, hours, fees and other information before visiting or requesting information because contact information sometimes changes. The Clerk's Office DOES NOT DO RESEARCH. The documents are available to interested parties, barring confidential issues. Most staff will assist people in finding the materials, but it is up to the individual to do 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 Pierce County record dates below are from the earliest date to present time. They may include records of land, estates, taxes, vital records, divorces, naturalizations, voter registration, court records, and so forth.
- Pierce County Auditor has Birth and Death Records from 1891 to 1907, Marriage Records from 1853 and Land Records from 1858 . The 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.
- Pierce County Clerk has Court Records from 1855 and Probate Records from 1855. The 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. For judicial purposes, many of the Washington counties were attached to other counties.
- 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, Washington Census Records
- Learn More: State of Washington Census Records
- U.S. Federal Population Schedules: 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragmented), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940
- State and Territorial Population Schedules: 1857-1892
- U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules: 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Selected U.S. Federal Census Agriculture Schedules: 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Selected U.S. Federal Census Industry Schedules: 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Union Veterans Schedules: 1890
Pierce County, Washington Vital Records
- Learn More: State of Washington Vital Records
- Birth and Death Records: from July 1, 1907 to present.
- Marriage and Divorce Records: from January 1, 1968 to present
- Locations: Washington Department of Health
- Vital Records Online: USAVital or Social Security Death Index
- Vital Records by Mail: Birth / Death Certificate or the Marriage / Divorce Certificate Applications.
- In Person: Center for Health Statistics, Department of Health, 101 Israel Road SE, Tumwater, WA 98501
Pierce County, Washington Resources
- Puget Sound Regional Branch
- Tacoma-Pierce County Genealogical Society
- Anderson Island Historical Society
- DuPont Historical Society & Museum
- Fort Nisqually Association
- Fox Island Historical Society
- Historic Fort Steilacoom Association
- Key Peninsula Historical Society & Museum
- Points Northeast Historical Society
- Salmon Beach Historical Commission
- South Pierce County Historical Society
- Steilacoom Historical Museum Association
- Sumner Historical Society
- Tacoma Historical Society
- Washington State Historical Society
- Pierce County Library System
- African American Museum, 925 Court C, Tacoma, WA 98402. Phone 253-274-1278. Fax 253-274-9644.
- Buckley Foothills Historical Society Museum
- Ezra Meeker Mansion
- Fox Island Historical Museum
- Gig Harbor Peninsula Historical Society Museum
- Historic Fort Steilacoom
- Pioneer Farm Museum and Ohop Indian Village
- 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
- Pierce County, Washington Genealogy Forum
- Washington State Digital Archives
Pierce County, Washington External Links
- Historical Newspapers from Washington (1890 - 1984)
- Pierce County, Washington Books - Amazon
- Pierce County Marriage Returns, 1891-1950
- Pierce County Birth Records (1914 - 1923) Washington State Digital Archives
- McNeil Island Death Records (1940 - 1943) Washington State Digital Archives
- McNeil Island, Washington, U.S. Penitentiary, Photos and Records of Prisoners Received, 1875-1939
- Steilacoom Masonic Cemetery
- Pierce Co., Washington - FindaGrave
- Commemorative celebration at Sequalitchew Lake, Pierce County, Washington, July 5th, 1906, at 2 o'clock, p.m.
- Tacoma illustrated
- Tacoma and vicinity
- Tacoma, the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad
- Pierce County, Washington Links - Cyndi's List
- Pierce Co. WAGenweb
- Pierce County, Washington Ancestry Database Collections
- Pierce County, Washington Military Records
- Washington, Postmaster Indexes, Prior to 1965
- Tacoma, Washington Directories, 1889-91
- Washington gazetteer and business directory : 1901-1902.