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Washington State Resources

Research in Washington State starts with the Washington State Archives or one of its regional branch offices. Don't forget the Washington State Library.

The state archive consists of 5 regional branch locations and the main branch located in Olympia which also houses the Southern Regional Branch of the archives. This archive is not to far from the State Library and the State Capital grounds.

The Washington State Archives main office is located at:
1129 Washington Street SE, Olympia, WA 98504
Mailing address: PO Box 40238, Olympia, WA 98504-0238
Email: research@secstate.wa.gov
Phone: 360-586-1492

Research Strategy: You can search the archive catalogue from the main branch website as listed above. The catalogue will tell you what branch the collection is located in or what county. Or you can go to the branch that houses the county you are interested in and search at that site. See the information below for websites.

Washington State Digital Archives:
In addition to the main branch is the Washington State Digital Archives. The digital archives have been working hard to provide indexes and documents for online viewing.

What you will find there are many great records to explore, the highlights are:

  1. Birth Records
  2. Census Records
  3. Death Records
  4. Land Records
  5. Marriage Records
  6. Military Records
  7. Naturalization Records
  8. Plats/Survey Records
  9. Much more...

Washington State Archive Regional Branch offices:
The following 3 branch offices of the Washington State Archive are located west of the Cascade Mountain range and are considered part of Western Washington.

Hours are: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday (excluding state holidays). Some of the branches might open at 8 am.

Research strategy: You can email your research question to one of the following archive branches of the Washington State Archives that you determine houses the information you seek. First you need to study what they have in their collection and the dates to make sure it fits your timeframe and then prepare your email. Keep your request brief to the point and explain what you need. If you want them to look up a marriage, give the names, the dates and as much information as you can. If they find something and make copies you will have to pay first before they will send you the information. It might take anywhere from 1 day to 2 weeks or more for them to respond. Be patient. If it requires extensive research like estates/probate they prefer you hire someone to assist you. Go to our Members Profiles page for someone to assist you.

  1. Puget Sound Regional Branch (located on the campus of the Bellevue College)
    King, Pierce and Kitsap Counties
    Pritchard-Fleming Building
    3000 Landerholm Circle SE, MS-N100,
    Bellevue, WA 98007-6484
    Research Telephone: 425-564-3940
    Research Email: PSBranchArchives@sos.wa.gov

    This branch website gives a good detailed listing of what is available in their collection for King, Pierce and Kitsap County. If you still have a question then feel free to email them.

    One of their special collections is the King County Property Records research. You can research your house. Instructions on how to locate house records is presented on the website.

    If you plan a visit you need to make an appointment. It is a good idea to tell them in advance what you want that way they can have the materials ready for you when you arrive.

  2. Northwest Regional Branch
    Clallam, Island, Jefferson, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom Counties
    Western Washington University, MS-9123
    Bellingham, WA 98225-9123
    Phone: 360-650-7930
    Email: NWBranchArchives@sos.wa.gov

    You will find a brief description of what is in their collection on their website. Your best research goal here is to study the catalogue for details.

  3. Southwest Regional Branch
    Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Skamania, Thurston and Wahkiakum Counties
    1129 Washington Street SE
    Olympia, WA 98504
    Phone: 360-753-1684
    Email: SWBranchArchives@sos.wa.gov

    The Southwest Region website gives a brief description of what is in their collection. Your best strategy is to study the main archive catalogue for more information and to conduct your research.

    We now cross the Cascade Mountain Range and go to eastern Washington.

  4. Central Regional Branch
    Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Franklin, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Okanogan and Yakima Counties
    Bledsoe & Washington Archives Building
    400 E. University Way, Mail Stop 7547
    Ellensburg, Washington 98926-7547
    Phone: 509-963-1753
    Email: CEBranchArchives@sos.wa.gov

    The Central Branch website has a very detailed collections guide online. You can start there. Click on the guide to holdings and start researching.

  5. Eastern Regional Branch (located on the campus of Eastern Washington University)
    Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties
    960 Washington Street
    Chelan, WA 99004
    Phone: 509-235-7508
    Email: EABranchArchives@sos.wa.gov

    The Eastern Branch Regional archive also has a detailed description of what is in their collection at their website. Click on Guide to holdings.

This website provides links to county GenWeb sites, libraries and archives, newspapers, cemeteries and more.


LINKPENDIUM for Washington State Genealogy & Family History