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Vital Records Information
Washington Vital Records are indexed using the Soundex code. Learning to code a surname is not difficult, and many computer genealogy programs will code names for you automatically, or Press Here for more information on Soundex.


Washington State Vital Records Office, or visit their web site for the most current information.

Washington State Department of Health
1112 SE Quince Street
P.O. Box 47890
Olympia, WA. 98504-7890
(360) 236-4300 for info

Note! There are restrictions regarding obtaining copies of vital records from State or County offices. In some cases the record will NOT be provided unless it is requested by a person listed on that record! Contact the state office for more information.


Birth Records

Washington State officially began recording births on July 1, 1907. You can either contact the state office to obtain a certified birth certificate, or, for Klickitat County Births, the county office at Goldendale. For the Klickitat County Vital Records office contact the Klickitat County Clerk, 205 South Columbus Avenue, Goldendale, WA. 98620-9286 (509) 773-4001. In 2002, the charge from either office was $13.00 per certificate. Note! Microfilms of the WA. Birth Index and WA. Birth Certificates are available thru any LDS Family History Center. The Index and Certificate films cover from 1907 - 1952 only, however the costs would still be much less than from the state or county office. There is also a publication titled Klickitat County, Washington, Death & Birth Records by Jean Allyn Smeltzer (1976), which might also be useful. This book is available from many libraries in the area. (This book covers deaths from July 1891 - March 1907; births from May 1891 - June 1907; and births from other sources November 1859 - December 1899)


Marriage Records

Washington State officially began recording marriages on January 1, 1968. Contact the state office to obtain a certified marriage certificate, or, for Klickitat County Marriage Licenses, the county office at Goldendale. For the Klickitat County Vital Records office contact the Klickitat County Clerk, 205 South Columbus Avenue, Goldendale, WA. 98620-9286 (509) 773-4001. In 2002, the charge from the State office was $13.00 per certificate, while the charge from the County office was usually $3.00 per certified copy. Before 1968 there is NO state-wide marriage index! To find a marriage in WA. before 1968 you must contact each county individually to request a marriage records search. Note! Due to the distance from the communities in western Klickitat County to Goldendale, the county seat, to obtain a marriage license, many people might have went to Stevenson, WA., The Dalles, OR., or Hood River, OR., which were much closer, to obtain a marriage license. You might have to check all 4 counties in some cases. Oregon does have a state-wide marriage index available at many locations. There is also a publication titled Marriage Records of Klickitat County, Washington 1867-1917,  by Homer E. Townsend and Patricia A. Scarola, which might also be useful. This book is available from many libraries in the area.


Divorce Records

Washington State officially began recording divorces on January 1, 1968. Divorce records are filed in the county where the divorce was granted. Contact the county office to obtain a copy of a divorce record. For Klickitat County Vital Records, contact the Klickitat County Clerk, 205 South Columbus Avenue, Goldendale, WA. 98620-9286 (509) 773-4001. In 2002, the charge from the County office was usually $3.00 per certified copy. Note! Due to the distance from the communities in western Klickitat County to Goldendale, the county seat, to file for divorce, many people might have went to Stevenson , WA., The Dalles, OR., or Hood River, OR., which were much closer, to file. You might have to check all 4 counties in some cases. Oregon does have a state-wide divorce index available at many locations.


Death Records

Washington State officially began recording deaths on July 1, 1907. You can either contact the state office to obtain a certified death certificate, or, for Klickitat County Deaths, the county office at Goldendale. For the Klickitat County Vital Records office contact the Klickitat County Clerk, 205 South Columbus Avenue, Goldendale, WA. 98620-9286 (509) 773-4001. In 2002, the charge from either office was $13.00 per certificate. Note! Microfilms of the WA. Death Index and WA. Death Certificates are available thru any LDS Family History Center. The Index covers from 1907 - 1996, and the certificate films cover from 1907 - 1952 only, however the costs would still be much less than from the state or county office. There is also a publication titled Klickitat County, Washington, Death & Birth Records by Jean Allyn Smeltzer (1976), which might also be useful. This book is available from many libraries in the area. (This book covers deaths from July 1891 - March 1907; births from May 1891 - June 1907; and births from other sources November 1859 - December 1899)


Probate Records

Probate Records recorded in Klickitat County are filed alphabetically by the decedents surname, and are available at the Courthouse in the clerk's office. In 2002, Copy fees were $2.00 for the first page, and $1.00 for each additional page copied from that file, and the general research fee was $8.00 per hour. Since Probate Record files can vary greatly in size, according to the information they contain, the Clerk recommends that you contact them for an estimate of copy charges FIRST, before actually ordering copies. For Klickitat County Probate Records contact the Klickitat County Clerk, 205 South Columbus Avenue, Goldendale, WA. 98620-9286 (509) 773-5744.


Naturalization Records

     In accordance with a Federal law passed in 1790, any alien who desired to become a citizen of the United States had to apply to a common law court of record. In Washington State and Washington Territory, naturalization was handled by the county courts, through the office of the County Clerk (Superior Court Clerk).
     In 1906, Naturalization was placed under the direct supervision of the United States government. Prior to that date, the U.S. government had no jurisdiction over naturalization. However, even after 1906 the County Clerk continued to be the keeper of the original records, forwarding copies of naturalization proceedings to the U.S. government.
     The procedure for becoming a naturalized citizen involved first filing either a Declaration of Intention to become a naturalized citizen or a Petition for Naturalization. Upon filing a Declaration of Intention, the prospective citizen had to reside seven years in the United States before obtaining a Certificate of Naturalization. Petitions for Naturalization were filed by individuals who had already fulfilled the residency requirement but had not filed a Declaration of Intention.
     At one time, all naturalization records resided in the various county courthouses of Washington, under the jurisdiction of each County Clerk. Some of those records are still with the counties and access to them is through the County Clerk. However, many of the records have been transferred to the Central Regional Branch, and all of those are described in the guide below.
     When searching for naturalization records under a particular county, researchers should be aware that not every type of naturalization record may be represented among a particular county's records, and that not every stage of an individual's naturalization process may be documented within a single county.
     The process of naturalization for an individual may result in one or more of the following records in any one county.

Note! All Naturalization Records that were filed with the Klickitat County clerk have been transferred to the Washington State Archives Central Regional Branch in Ellensburg. Press here for a link to their web-site, and they will assist you further.

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