Genealogy at the library
The library houses a growing collection of genealogical resources.
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.
Search our records of more than 75,000 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
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.
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.
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.
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!
Northwest Room digital archives
Some of the digital archives curated by the Northwest Room might be useful in your research.
These clippings include obituaries on pioneers, but they also contain all kinds of biographical information from papers in Spokane and around the Northwest.
These yearbooks are searchable, so if you have a name of someone who attended high school in Spokane take a look.
We have collected quite a bit of information on researching house history and previous ownership using public records.
Genealogy resources & reference material
Resources available in the library
Resources housed in the Genealogy Area on the Third Floor include:
- A collection of Spokane city directories
- Spokane newspapers obituary indexes
- Census microfilm
- 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
Eastern Washington Genealogical Society
The Eastern Washington Genealogical Society is here to help you!
Volunteers 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 email@example.com 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.
Genealogy talk on the library blog
Follow our Obituary Goddess to stay up to date with the past!