The library houses a growing collection of genealogical resources.

GeneLibrary2013 The Genealogy Area is located on the third floor of the Downtown library and has a special emphasis on Spokane, Eastern Washington and the surrounding states. We also have several tools available online to assist with regional research.

Please ask a librarian if you have any questions about genealogy at the library. We would be happy to help familiarize you with the resources we have available.

Ancestry

ancestry_splashAncestry Library Edition is one of the most important genealogical collections available today with unparalleled coverage of the United States andthe United Kingdom

Only accessible through library computers or on library WiFi

 

Obituary searches

Search our records of more than 100,000 regional obituaries.

This is a comprehensive record of obituaries since 2008, with some addional records dating back to the early 1900s.

This search will return the person’s name, the publication the obituary appeared in, as well as the publication date and page. You can then use the results to make an accurate search in the appropriate publication.


Additional search sources

Patchen Obituary File

This free database is an obituary index of the Spokane papers from approximately 1940-1979. It was compiled by Lee Patchen and made available online by the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society.

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Spokesman Review Obituaries

You can search recent obituaries directly on the Spokesman Review page at legacy.com.

You can also use the advanced search to narrow down your search.

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FamilySearch.org

FamilySearch is an free online database provided by the LDS church. It includes birth, marriage and death records as well as most U.S. Census records. More information is added daily by volunteers.

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Washington State Digital Archives

The Washington State Digital Archives contain electronic indexes and records from both State and Local databases, including Marriage Records, Naturalization Records, Census Records, Death Records, Birth Records, Military Records, and Institution Records.

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Death & birth records request

Are you doing research from outside the greater Spokane area?

Our librarians can search our records on your behalf for birth or death notices.

We will search for 3 announcements at a time and will search the newspaper for 5 days after an event date.

You may interlibrary loan a microfilm copy of the newspaper from the State Library if you wish to continue the search yourself.

Make a vital records request →

Important notice

This service is for out-of-town customers only.

If you live in the Spokane area, we ask that you come in to do your research.
We'll be glad to help!

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Northwest Room digital archives

Some of the digital archives curated by the Northwest Room might be useful in your research.


Biographical files

Biofiles For over 100 years, librarians at SPL clipped the newspapers for biographical information.

These clippings include obituaries on pioneers, but they also contain all kinds of biographical information from papers in Spokane and around the Northwest.

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High school yearbooks

Yearbooks Several hundred Spokane high scool yearbooks are now available online. You can view these yearbooks in your web browser without downloading any files or additional software.

These yearbooks are searchable, so if you have a name of someone who attended high school in Spokane take a look.

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House & neighborhood history

We have collected quite a bit of information on researching house history and previous ownership using public records.

House History

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Digitized photo archives

These collections emphasize the homes, buildings, streets and activities in and around Spokane. They might provide some interesting context to your search.

Digital Collections

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Genealogy resources & reference material

Resources available in the library

Located Downtown

Resources housed in the Genealogy Area on the Third Floor include:

  • A collection of Spokane city directories
  • Spokane newspapers obituary indexes
  • Census microfilm
  • Periodicals
  • Family histories
  • Vertical files
  • And much more!

Resources housed in the Northwest History Room on the Second Floor include:

  • County plat maps
  • Sanborn fire maps
  • Early Spokane newspaper indexes

Spokane newspaper archives

  • 1882 – 1894 are on microfilm in the Northwest Room
  • 1895 – present are on the Third Floor

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Eastern Washington Genealogical Society

The Eastern Washington Genealogical Society is here to help you!

ewgsVolunteers are on duty in the Genealogy Area to answer questions and assist researchers:

  • Every Tuesday 10am–12pm & 1–3pm
  • Every 1st & 4th Thursday 3–6pm

Beginning researchers are encouraged to visit.

Please call 509-444-5357 or email askewgsi@ewgsi.org if you are coming from out of town or to make an appointment with the genealogists.

Check flyers posted in the Genealogy Area for information on workshops, beginner classes, luncheons and other activities. Please feel free to attend all functions…and you are also invited to join the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society.

Upcoming EWGS events →

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Genealogy talk on the library blog

Follow our Obituary Goddess to stay up to date with the past!

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More genealogy posts →

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