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Source Information

Ancestry.com. Washington State and Territorial Censuses, 1857-1892 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.
Original data: Washington. Washington Territorial Census Rolls, 1857-1892. Olympia, Washington: Washington State Archives. M1, 20 rolls.

About Washington State and Territorial Censuses, 1857-1892

Washington became a territory on 2 March 1853 and later became the 42nd U.S. state in 1889. Several territorial and state censuses have been taken for Washington. This database is an index to several of these censuses. It includes the following counties and years:

  • Adams: 1885, 1887, 1889
  • Asotin: 1885, 1887, 1889
  • Chehalis: 1860, 1871, 1885
  • Clallam: 1857, 1860, 1871, 1883, 1885, 1887
  • Clark: 1860, 1871, 1883, 1885, 1887
  • Columbia: 1883, 1885, 1887, 1889
  • Cowlitz: 1871, 1883, 1885, 1887
  • Douglas: 1885, 1887
  • Franklin: 1885, 1887
  • Garfield: 1883, 1885, 1887, 1889, 1892, 1898
  • Island: 1860, 1871, 1883, 1885, 1887
  • Jefferson: 1860, 1871, 1875, 1877, 1878, 1879, 1880, 1881, 1883, 1885, 1887, 1889, 1891
  • King: 1856, 1871, 1879, 1880, 1881, 1883, 1885, 1887, 1889, 1892
  • Kitsap: 1857 (county then called Slaughter), 1860, 1871, 1883, 1885, 1887, 1889
  • Kittitas: 1885, 1887, 1889
  • Klickitat: 1871, 1883, 1885, 1887, 1889, 1892
  • Lewis: 1857, 1860, 1871, 1883, 1885, 1887
  • Lincoln: 1885, 1887, 1889
  • Mason: 1860 (county then called Sawamish), 1871, 1879, 1880, 1881, 1883, 1885, 1887, 1889, 1892
  • Pacific: 1883, 1885, 1887
  • Pierce: 1857, 1871, 1878, 1879, 1883, 1885, 1887, 1889, 1892
  • San Juan: 1885, 1887, 1889
  • Skagit: 1885, 1887
  • Skamania: 1871, 1885, 1887
  • Snohomish: 1871, 1883, 1885, 1887, 1889
  • Spokane: 1885, 1887
  • Stevens: 1871, 1878, 1885, 1887, 1892
  • Thurston: 1871, 1873, 1875, 1877, 1878, 1879, 1880, 1881, 1883, 1885, 1887, 1889, 1892
  • Wahkiakum: 1871, 1885, 1887
  • Walla Walla: 1885, 1887, 1892
  • Whatcom: 1860, 1871, 1885, 1887, 1889
  • Whitman: 1883, 1885, 1887, 1889
  • Yakima: 1883, 1885, 1887

Information recorded on the census and available in this database includes:

  • Date of enumeration
  • Place of enumeration (locality, county, state)
  • Name of individual
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Marital Status
  • Birth place

Note: Not all of this information may be available for every individual. Also, additional information may be listed on the census. This information can be obtained by viewing the census image.

Why these censuses are important:

Since state censuses were usually taken in between federal census years they are especially useful for pinpointing an ancestor in a particular time and place. These records can aid in finding the same individual in the federal decennial censuses.

Several censuses were recorded while Washington was still a territory. These are useful for finding early settlers of the area.

The 1890 U.S. Federal Census was damaged and destroyed by fire in 1921. None of the Washington population schedules survived. In fact, less than 1% of all the schedules are available for research today. Because of this problem, the Washington state censuses circa 1890 are highly valuable sources, as they provide a wealth of information that would otherwise be found in the Federal Census.

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