Early Oregonians Database Overview

About the Database

The Early Oregonians Database includes information from census, death, probate and other records to document the people who lived in Oregon before statehood.

Scope

The project to includes people living in Oregon from 1800 to 1860. Although large populations of Native Am​ericans lived in the Oregon Country before 1840, documentation of those individuals is scant and not readily available.

With over 103,000 entries, the database continues to grow as we review more data. If you have documentation you would like to contribute, please contact the Reference Unit

Primary Sources

The initial information for this project comes from the 1850 and 1860 federal censuses for Oregon. Volunteers and student interns reviewed the information and combined entries that appeared on both censuses. The 1850 census for Oregon Territory included what became Washington Territory in 1853. Individuals living in or​ born in that part of the Oregon Territory prior to 1853 are included in the database as Early Oregonians. As later census information became available online, staff searched for individuals who meet the Early Oregonian criteria and added information and individuals.

Records from the Oregon State Archives such as probate records, death certificates and marriage records were also searched to identify individuals who appeared to meet the criteria. As additional features of the database b​ecome available, researchers will be able to view a list of associated records for individuals and request copies from the Archives.

Secondary Sources

Additional information in the profiles comes from numer​ous sources. The source field in some profiles includes references to secondary sources and publications. Family tree data from various websites is also noted.

We cannot review all online resources on our own. We welcome your recommendations of specific websites. Please send information to the Reference Unit​​​​

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