I have no direct family lines who settled in the Pacific Northwest. However, both my husband and I have collateral lines who made their way to Oregon and Washington by the late 1800s.
I decided it was time to investigate resources available online for those who followed the Oregon Trail all the way there.
The #1 first stop for everyone should be the Family Search Wiki.
Oregon became a state in 1859 with settlers arriving via many different routes. The wiki gives information about the many trails taken and where to find many state resources.
The Oregon State Archives has an Historical Records Index online, which is searchable by name.
I entered just the surname Carlisle and got 69 hits, which included tax records from 1859, one penitentiary record, divorce records, a military record, an 1895 state census, an asylum commitment record, delayed births, death record and much more. It looks like an excellent resource and it’s free.
There is a second collection on the same site, Early Oregonian Search, which brought up 14 Carlisle hits, including one branch of my Maine family, who were in Oregon by 1850.
The Oregon Historical Photographs Collection is another government site that has over 10,000 photos from the earliest days of Oregon settlement.
Online Oregon Death Records and Indexes provides links to mostly death and burial information with a bit on probate and obituaries. It notes whether the collections are on a free site or if a subscription is required.
The Oregon Genealogy Trails History Group has links to county records, much like USGenWeb uses.
Speaking of USGenWeb, one of my favorite “old time” (early internet days) resources, the Oregon GenWeb page is chock full of links for Oregonian researchers.
As always, Cyndi’s List has an extensive Oregon section.
Many people overlook historical societies when they do genealogical research. However, historical societies include historical documents which were created by – people! You may well find information on your family there.
The Oregon State Library has a great photograph collection online:
Access Genealogy also has a long list of links to Oregon state and county records available.
Libraries for The University of Oregon has a lengthy list of digital collections, ranging from photograph collections by individual photographers to Pacific Northwest Streams Survey to Oregon State University items, even though this is the University of Oregon website.
As always, don’t forget to check local genealogical and historical societies and public libraries, including their vertical files.
Happy hunting in Oregon!