Genealogy Research Tips

Our library houses a limited collection of local history books, most of which are not indexed. We have the "Whitman County Washington Histories Every Name Index" and "Whitman County Washington Families : An Every Name Index."  These books are especially useful as you begin your research. You are welcome to browse and make copies of anything in our collection.

The library charges a research fee of $30 per hour for people who live outside of our library's taxing district. For more information please call 509-397-4366 or 877-733-3375 or email us.

WCL branch libraries in each town can help you find local historians in their area. Hours and contact information for our branches can be found by clicking here.

Local Obituaries are published in The Whitman County Gazette, contact at: 509-397-4333 or N. 211 Main Colfax, WA 99111. We house hard copies of the Gazette back to 1964. Additional obituary assistance may be found by contacting the Whitman County Genealogical Society (contact information below) or the Roy Chatters Newspaper & Printing Museum by emailing: barstow@palouse.com

The Whitman County Auditors Office, 397-6270 (Box 350, Colfax, WA 99111) has records of all marriages in Whitman County and death certificates from 1889 to July 1907. They charge a fee for copies and searching particular names with no dates.

The Whitman County Health Department, 397-6280 (310 N. Main, Colfax, WA 99111) has available copies of all Washington State birth certificates from 1875 to present and death certificates from 1907 to present. The cost of these downloaded, non-certified copies is $8.00. It is recommended that you call and check on staff availability before you bring in your request.

For other local publications and census data you might also try the microfilm files at Holland Library located at Washington State University, in Pullman, WA 99163. It is recommended that you call ahead, (509) 335-2691.

To assist in your research the Whitman County Library's website has several useful links available by clicking here or from the left side of a WCL webpage select Library Resources, then Web Resources, then select Genealogy from the list.  (Check often for new links.)

In addition to the links above, Whitman County Library offers access to Ancestry.com Library edition by visiting one of our library locations. From the library computer go to the library website. Select Library Resources from the left side of the web page, then Web Resources. Scroll down to find the link for Ancestry.

The following is contact information for the local genealogical and historical societies:

Whitman Genealogical Society shares space with the Whitman County Historical Society in Room 103A of the Gladish Community Center, 115 NW State Street, Pullman, WA. Mailing Address-PO Box 393, Pullman, WA 99163 Open hours-Wednesday 9-12 or call 509-332-2386 or 509-336-3901 for further information. The society charges a nominal research and mailing fee. Whitman County Historical Society also operates the Perkins House in Colfax, WA.

Eastern Washington Genealogical Society Located on the 3rd floor of the Downtown Spokane Public Library, 906 W. Main, Spokane, WA 99201. Phone (509) 444-5336. Open hours-Tue 10-7:30, Thur 10-5:30, & Sat 10-2.

Washington State Library has many valuable links for doing genealogy, especially their obituary request service. Click here to access the links. 

The staff at Whitman County Library hopes this information is of some assistance to you. Good luck in your search!

This Genealogy Research Tips sheet is available for download as a pdf document here.

For more information, please contact:

Clancy Pool
Whitman County Library
102 S. Main Street
Colfax, Washington 99111
1-877-733-337