Locating Records

Most Multnomah County records must be requested through the department which originally created the record, including records stored in the Records Center. Archival (historic) records are the exception and can be viewed in our office by appointment. Please contact us if you have any questions.  

The links below describe records that are frequently requested and where they may be located, both within and outside of Multnomah County. Please contact us if you have any questions. Additional information may be found on the Multnomah County Records Inventory maintained by the Oregon State Archives.

Adoption Records
How to research adoption records in Oregon, including the Oregon Adoption Registry, and pre-adoption birth records.

Bankruptcy Records
Bankruptcy records are not held by Multnomah County. Records of bankruptcies filed by residents of Multnomah County are held by the United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Oregon. See this PDF for detailed instructions on ordering copies.

Birth Records
How to research birth records in the State or Oregon, including early City of Portland birth records. All birth records have a 100 year access restriction.

Criminal History Records
Multnomah County does not hold these records. Criminal Court Records are available through the Multnomah County Circuit Court. Call 503-988-3003 to request copies of criminal court records. General Criminal History Records for Multnomah County residents are held by the Oregon State Police. Requests for criminal histories, including requests as part of a background check, may be requested through their Public Records Unit.

Death Records
How to research death records, and obtain both certified and un-certified copies. All death records are subject to a 50 year access restriction.

Divorce Records
How to research divorce decrees and divorce certificates in Multnomah County. Divorce certificates have a 50 year access restriction.

Genealogical Records
Various types of records held by Multnomah County that may contribute to genealogical research, including Birth, Death, Marriage, Divorce, and Naturalization Records. If your relative was a Multnomah County employee, you may find context to their working life through archival records. Additional assistance can be provided by the Geneological Forum of Oregon

House and Property History
Some helpful tips on getting started in this faceted area of research. See the link to Property Ownership Information for details on finding information on the current or past owner of a property rather than for information on the house or property itself.

Law Enforcement Records
Including Police Records, links to the Sheriff's Office, and information about criminal history records and traffic tickets.

Marriage and Domestic Partnership Records
How to obtain both certified and non-certified copies of marriage records and copies of domestic partnership records. These records have a 50 year access restriction.

Name Change Records
How to find name change records, as a result of marriage or domestic partnership, divorce, naturalization, or as a result of court petition.

Naturalization Records
Some useful starting points for researching these records.

Permits
Advice on finding building permits, certificates of occupancy, and land use records.

Property Ownership Information
How to find the owner of a property in Multnomah County. See our section on House and Property History for information on locating records related to the house or property rather than owner.

Recording Documents
These records are available at Recording, a division of the Department of Assessment, Recording, and Taxation, and include easements, deeds, mortgages, property titles, and military discharges. Recording documents can be useful when researching House and Property History or Property Ownership Information.

Voter Registration Records
Canceled voter registration records have proven useful to genealogists.