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Originally, no official records were kept to document births in King County. The City of Seattle began keeping birth records in November of 1890 and King County began keeping birth records in July of 1891. On July 1, 1907, Washington state took over the task of keeping record of all births in the state.

 

The King County Archives holds the following historical birth records:
  • Birth Registers - Seattle only (1890-1907)
    These records are organized chronologically. Records from 1890-1891 have self contained indexes. Records from 1891-1907 have no included indexes. All of these records can be accessed using the Birth Indexes (below). Entries from 1890-1891 include date of birth, sex of the child, name and birthplace of both parents, residence of the parents, attending physician and remarks. Entries from 1891-1907 include name of the child, date of birth, place of birth, sex, race, whether a live or stillbirth, the name, age, race and birthplace of both parents, as well as the occupation of the father and number of births of the mother. The King County Archives holds the original volumes as well as digital copies. Identical digital copies and microfilm records are also at the Puget Sound Regional Branch of the Washington State Archives.

  • Birth Indexes - Seattle only (1890-1907)
    These alphabetical index entries contain individual's name, birth date, mother's maiden name (surname only) and birth certificate number.

  • Birth Registers - county wide (1891-1907)
    These records are organized by first letter of the last name, and then chronologically. Entries contain the same type of information as the Seattle Birth Registers (above). The King County Archives holds the original volumes as well as digital copies. Identical digital copies and microfilm records are also at the Puget Sound Regional Branch of the Washington State Archives.

The King County birth registers have been indexed and are available online.

Ordering Certified Birth Certificates?

King County birth and death and records are available through King County Vital Statistics.

Phone: 206-897-5100 or toll-free 1-800-325-6165

For all births in Washington State (1907-present), contact:

  • Birth Returns - county wide (1891-1907)
    The birth returns are the original records/certificates that were used to create the above county birth registers. They generally contain the same information, but since they are the original document they may be more accurate and may contain more information. Birth returns generally include the name of the child (although this is often blank), the date of birth, place of birth, sex, whether alive or dead, whether legitimate or illegitimate, name of mother, mother's age, mother's race, number of children born to mother, father's name, father's age, father's race, father's occupation, father's place of birth, and name of attending physician or midwife. Birth returns sometimes have corresponding Affidavits of Correction in situations where an affidavit was later submitted correcting an error on the return (which was almost always providing the name of the child that was missing from the original return). Records of stillbirths are recorded as birth returns. In situations where there are multiple births (twins or triplets), there is usually only one birth return record.

    The returns are indexed by the King County Birth Registers, which are online at the Washington State Digital Archives.


  • Birth Certificates - Southeast King County only (1913-1951)
    These certificates are limited to districts in southeast King County, in districts containing Black Diamond and Enumclaw. The records are organized by district and then chronologically.

    Birth Indexes (1907-1952, 1954-1966)
    These alphabetical index entries contain the individual's name (often with no first name), birth date, mother's maiden name (surname only) and birth certificate number. It is assumed that these indexes cover all of King County, but some years might only index births in the city of Seattle.

Additional sources of historical birth records

birthreturn5744
Sample Birth Return