Early Oregonians FAQ

What is the Early Oregonian database?

The Early Oregonian database is a project that attempts to document all individuals who lived in Oregon prior to statehood through 1860.

How many Early Oregonians were there?

There are approximately 103,000 Early Oregonians represented in the database.

How can I search for Early Oregonians?

Name: Enter a first or last name. At least one character is required in a name field. The application at this time can't search for middle names, so it's best to omit the middle name when searching. The database displays results as an exact match unless the wildcard character is used. 

Once the search criteria are entered and you click search, the database displays the search results in a list. Clicking on the hyperlinked name takes you to the Person Profile, which represents all the information we have on this particular Early Oregonian. The Person Profile also lists additional information, such as associated records and federal census records, in their own tabs. State census records are displayed in the associated records tab. You can navigate between Person Profiles by clicking the “Next” and “Previous” links. There are page numbers at the top of the page, as the database will only display 20 results per page. Click on the numbered pages to navigate through the search results.

County: A location can be used in searching. At the present time, only one county can be selected. The list includes current Oregon counties plus additional counties of Champoeg, Clark, Island, King, Lewis, Pacific, Pierce, Thurston, Tuality and Vancouver.

Date Range: A date range can be helpful when searching. The date range for Early Oregonians is 1700 – 1970. For example, if you want to find all Early Oregonians that lived in Marion County 1850 – 1880. If you are using the date range, the end date is not required. If left blank, the database will default to 1970.

Is there a wildcard? Yes. The wildcard character (*) can be used along with at least two other characters. For example, searching for Smith last name and Jo* for first name will return all the Smiths last name and contains Jo in the first name. The wildcard can be used on either last name or first name.

Are there special characters I can use in the search? Yes. There are three special characters. The apostrophe (‘), dash (-), and space ( ) can be used in searching. For example, O’Neal, A-Wi-Yw Lucy.

How often will the data be updated?

The data will be updated every quarter.

How can I purchase records of Early Oregonians?

You can purchase records by contacting the Reference Desk.

How can I ask questions about the Early Oregonians?

Contact the Reference Unit​.