Mason County Placenames
Mason County Published Resources and Databases
Mason County Addresses
Mason County Queries-prior to 5 September 1998 only
Mason County Queries after 5 September 1998
Mason County Surname Register
Mason County Lookup Volunteers
Links to Neighboring Counties
Other Genealogical Links
At the same time, volunteers were found who were willing to coordinate the collection of databases and generally oversee the contents of the web page. The Washington GenWeb Project is an extension of the Kentucky GenWeb Project. My name is
Garry Holland, and I am the coordinator for Mason County. Please contact me, if you would like to add your data to the database.
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Shelton was named for David Shelton, who homesteaded the area in 1853. A former fur trapper, Indian fighter, and gold prospector, Shelton was a member of the first territorial legislature and succeeded in having his home area organized as Sawamish County. At a later session he sponsored a bill to change the county name to Mason.
Allyn was named for Judge Frank Allyn of Tacoma, who was involved in the formation of the town about 1889.An addition for how Allyn was named-Hi! I noticed on the Mason County, WA page that the town of Allyn, WA was started by Judge Allyn. In my family, the story is that my GG Grandfather John N. Eberhart and his brother George Philip Eberhart (who was Justice of the Peace) were co-founders of the town. They lived in Allyn in the late 1880s and they had a saloon there. John Nicholas Eberhart was married to Delilah Ellenorah Payne and George Philip Eberhart was married to Rebecca Gill. They each had several daughters who were known as the "Eberhart Girls" in town! One of the Eberhart Girls, a daughter of John & Delilah's was Martha and she married Stephen Willett. Stephen had donated land in or near Union for the first school house to be built upon. They are on the 1889 Mason County Census. Another daughter of John's, Frances, married John Shaw. In 1890 Stephen Willett and John Shaw had a salloon in Mason County (maybe in Allyn, Bellfair, or Union?) and I have one of their shotglasses. It says, "Willett & Shaw 1890" engraved on it. John and George were both veterans of the Civil War (Union side) and I believe that George is buried in Mason County. I know that John is buried in the Old Soldiers Home Cemetery in Retsil, Kitsap, WA. I would like to locate the cemetery where George is buried and then register it with the SUV, Sons of Veterans database. In his Civil War record, for some reason George Philip Eberhart's says John G P Eberhart, and it is really our George Philip. Just thought I'd e-mail, Edith "Edie" Sando firstname.lastname@example.org
Belfair was originally called Clifton, as were several other WA towns. To avoid confusion, it was renamed in 1925 by Mrs. Murray, the postmistress, who submitted the name Belfair from a book that she was then reading.
Dewatto is a Hood Canal community that bears an adaptation of the Indian place name du-a-to, meaning "home of evil spirits who make men crazy." In Indian legend, spirits emerged from the bowels of the earth in the Dewatto Bay area and attempted to enter the bodies of normal warriors.
Grapeview was platted in 1891 as Detroit. The town was later renamed, as it faces the vineyards of the Isle of Grapes (Stretch Island)
The island community of Harstine Island was named for Lt. Henry J. Harstine, of the Wilkes expedition.
Hoodsport took its name from Hood Canal, which was named for Lord Samuel Hood by the Vancouver expedition.
Kamilche is a corruption of an Indian word meaning "valley."
Lilliwaup took its name from an Indian word meaning "inlet." Matlock was first called Mason. It was renamed in the late 1890s by early settler James Hodkinson for his home town in England.
Oakland was the original county seat. It was named in 1852 by pioneer settler William T. Morrow for a scattering of oak trees in the area.
Potlatch is named for its location at the site of a former Skokomish Indian potlatch house.
Squaxin Island, the reservation on it, and the present tribal name are derived from the Indians' original name for themselves.
Stretch Island is a small island in Case Inlet. It was named by the Wilkes Expedition for gunner's mate Samuel Stretch. In 1878 Walter Eckert established a vineyard on the island. The place became known locally as the Isle of Grapes.
Tahuya derives its name from Indian words meaning "that done," in reference to some now unknown event at that place.
Union was originally a logging center on Hood Canal, and the town was named Union City in 1858. The latter word was dropped by the post office in 1904, and by the town fathers some years later.
Victor was named in 1892, but the source of the name is unknown.
(From Washington State Placenames, by James W. Phillips, Univ. of WA Press.)
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|Census Online||1857 Sawamish (Mason) County Territorial|
|1860 Sawamish (now Mason) County Federal|
|1860 Sawamish County (Mason) Mortality Index|
|1870 Mason County Federal|
|1870/1880 Mason County Mortality Index|
|1871 Mason County Territorial Part 1|
|1871 Mason County Territorial Part 2|
|1879 Mason County Territorial Part 1|
|1879 Mason County Territorial Part 2|
|1910 Mason County Federal|
|Washington State Archives
PO Box 9000
Olympia, WA 98504
|Holds pre 1907 vital records (births and deaths from 1891, marriages from 1860). Holds State and Territorial Census Records for 1857, 1871, 1879, 1883, 1885, 1887, 1889, 1892.|
|Mason County Courthouse
4th and Adler
Shelton, WA 98584
|County Auditor holds birth and death records (from 1891), marr records (from 1857), and deeds (from 1856). Co Clerk holds probate records (from 1858), divorce records (from 1899), and civil court records (from 1858).|
|Washington State Library|
PO Box 9000
Olympia, WA 98504
|Federal Census Records for 1850 (as Oregon Territory), 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920. Also has a large collection of WA State Newspapers (on microfilm).|
|Mason County Historical Society|
PO Box 1366
Shelton, WA 98584
|Mason Co census for 1860, 1871, 1879, 1880, 1889, 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930. Births, deaths and marriages from Mason Co Journal 1887-1897. Death records for 1909-21, 1958-70. Burials and information for 15 Mason County cemeteries. Obituary files. Family history archives, photos and memorabilia. Mason Co Journal 1879-Current. Heckman Photo collection and 33 local history publications.|
|Mason County Genealogical Society|