About the Database
As a legacy to the sesquicentennial of Oregon’s statehood, the Oregon State Archives presents the Early Oregonians Database. This extensively researched resource uses data from census, death, probate, and other records to help researchers find relevant information and documents about people who lived in Oregon prior to statehood.
The database currently contains over 105,500 entries. Further review and editing will result in additional entries when evidence supports inclusion in the database. Because of limits on available records and documentation, the project can realistically be defined to include people living in Oregon from 1800 to 1860. Despite the fact that large populations of Native Americans lived in the Oregon Country prior to 1840, documentation of those individuals is scant and not readily available. If you have documentation you would like to contribute to the Early Oregonians Database, please contact the Archives staff at:
The initial information for this project was extracted from the 1850 and 1860 federal censuses for Oregon. Volunteers and student interns reviewed the extracted 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 were included in this database as Early Oregonians. As later census information became available online, staff searched for individuals who meet the Early Oregonian criteria and added additional information and individuals.
Various 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 become functional, researchers will be able to view a list of associated records for individuals and request copies from the Archives.
Additional information in the profiles has been derived from numerous sources. The source field in some profiles will include references to secondary sources and publications. Family tree data from various Web sites is also noted, however, the abundance of online information precludes the project staff from reviewing all the available resources. If you would like to recommend specific Web sites, please send information to: