A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada

South Tacoma, Washington

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Our Genealogical Helper for South Tacoma ...

We have a couple of goals for our Gazetteer:

  • That it be a tool that can help us with planning our trips.
  • That it also helps us to understand the community in which our ancestors lived, the community that was part of their daily lives.

By learning about South Tacoma (and the surrounding area) during the time that our ancestors lived, we hope to have a better understanding of both their community and its relationship to their lifes. We hope that this tool helps to give us insight while doing our genealogical research.

As we add data and organize our Gazetteer to help with our family research, we will be adding to this, our Genealogical Helper for South Tacoma. While we don't have information that is specific to any given person or family, we intend to expand our understanding about where and how people lived.

It's still very early in our research, but as we gather more information it will be added to this page.

Name Variations for South Tacoma ...

When searching records, keep in mind that names and their spelling can change over time. Various errors happen - anything from simple spelling to bad translations or people who just guessed at the name. Sometimes the post office had a slightly different name than the community and while one document might refer to the community name, the next might use the post office name.

Although we can't give a definitive list, hopefully the following will give a you a feel for the variations that might have occurred with South Tacoma.

  • Typical abbreviation for South Tacoma: S. Tacoma

Newspapers Published in the area of South Tacoma ...

An ongoing effort between the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has resulted in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

To share their results, the partnership has created the Chronicling America website. The goal of this partnership is to assemble a database about the current and historic newspapers of the United States. This includes a growing collection of scanned images from selected papers. All of it available to the public on their website.

Using information that we've taken from the Chronicling America website, we've identified 238 newspapers that have been published in the area around South Tacoma.

We have organized these newspapers into two lists:

  • A Local Newspaper List - focusing on the papers published in the immediate area of South Tacoma. There are actually two parts to this list - papers printed in the immediate area of South Tacoma and those printed in the larger area surrounding South Tacoma.
  • An Extended Newspaper List - a longer list, sorted by paper name and containing those papers published within 15 miles [24.1 km]<1> of South Tacoma.

Cemeteries Near South Tacoma ...

Below are cemeteries that are in the vicinity of South Tacoma.

This is a new section and is likely to have errors. If you find an error, such as a missing cemetery or we have the wrong name, please let us know. If you know of them, we would also appreciate learning about previous or alternate names.

If you click on the [Map] that follows each cemetery's name, a new browser window will open with a Google map showing a satellite view of the area where the cemetery is located. We have tried to place the cemetery in the center of the map, but we're still working on our data and the map might not not be centered properly. If you don't see the cemetery right away, try zooming-in. Usually, but not always, you can see the outline of the cemetery and some of the headstones.

If you need information about a burial or interment, photos, transcripts, how to contact the cemetery or local authorities, please visit our selection of Genealogy Websites (see below).

If not found below, our Cemetery List for South Tacoma covers a larger area, with the cemeteries listed in alphabetical order.

Distance &

        Name of Cemetery  
      Less than 2 miles  
  NE Pauper Cemetery   [Map]     
  NE Oakwood Hill Cemetery   [Map]     
  NNE Tacoma Cemetery   [Map]   [FindAGrave<2>]  
  SW Old Pioneer Cemetery   [Map]     
  SW Calvary Cemetery   [Map]     
  SSW Mountain View Memorial Park   [Map]   [FindAGrave]  
      About 2 miles [3.2 km]  
  WSW Byrd Cemetery   [Map]     
  SSW Home of Peace Cemetery   [Map]     
      About 3 miles [4.8 km]  
  W New Tacoma Cemetery   [Map]     
      About 4 miles [6.4 km]  
  WSW Ft. Steilacoom Cemetery   [Map]     
  WSW Western State Hospital Memorial Cemetery   [Map]     
  SW Old Settlers Cemetery   [Map]     
  ENE Puyallup Tribal Cemetery   [Map]     
      About 5 miles [8 km]  
  SW Steilacoom Masonic Cemetery   [Map]     
  SSE Parkland Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery   [Map]     
  SSE Trinity Lutheran Cemetery   [Map]     
      Within 7 miles [11.3 km]  
  SSE Spanaway Cemetery   [Map]     
  WNW Fox Island Cemetery   [Map]     
      Within 8 miles [12.9 km]  
  SSE Fir Lane Memorial Park   [Map]     
  ESE Woodbine Cemetery   [Map]     
  E Firwood Indian Cemetery   [Map]     
  ENE Georges Cemetery   [Map]     
  ENE Gethsemane Cemetery   [Map]     
  NW Cromwell Cemetery   [Map]     
      Within 9 miles [14.5 km]  
  NW Artondale Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Hillcrest Cemetery   [Map]     
      Within 10 miles [16.1 km]  
  WSW Anderson Island Cemetery   [Map]     
  NNW Gig Harbor Cemetery   [Map]     
  E Sumner Cemetery   [Map]     
  NNW Haven of Rest Cemetery   [Map]     


Nearby Communities in 1895 ...

We've built the following list with information that came from an Atlas published by Rand McNally in 1895. The Atlas had details such as the population of the community (which appears to have come from the 1890 Census) and whether there was a post office and/or railroad service available. We also indicate if the community no longer exists and is now historic.<3>

While we didn't find South Tacoma in the Atlas, the following 1895 communities would have been found near the current location of South Tacoma.

These communities are listed based on their distance from South Tacoma, with the one closest to South Tacoma listed first.

Excelsior   [Map]
 - Located Less than 2 miles to the East (E) from South Tacoma
 - Excelsior had a post office and no railroad service
Fern Hill   [Map]
 - Located 2 miles [3.2 km] to the Southeast (SE) from South Tacoma
 - Fern Hill had a post office and no railroad service
Lakeview   [Map]
 - Located 3 miles [4.8 km] to the South Southwest (SSW) from South Tacoma
 - 1895 population of 256 people
 - Lakeview had a post office and railroad service
Tacoma   [Map]
 - Located 3 miles [4.8 km] to the North Northeast (NNE) from South Tacoma
 - 1895 population of 36,006 people (with 213,418 people in 2017)
 - Tacoma had a post office and railroad service
Parkland   [Map]
 - Located 4 miles [6.4 km] to the South Southeast (SSE) from South Tacoma
 - Parkland had a post office and no railroad service
Midland   [Map]
 - Located 4 miles [6.4 km] to the Southeast (SE) from South Tacoma
 - Midland had a post office and no railroad service
Lake City   [Map]
 - Located 5 miles [8 km] to the Southwest (SW) from South Tacoma
 - Lake City had a post office and no railroad service
Steilacoom   [Map]
 - Located 6 miles [9.7 km] to the West Southwest (WSW) from South Tacoma
 - 1895 population of 270 people (with 6,337 people in 2017)
 - Steilacoom had a post office and no railroad service

We've also created an expanded list of communities that existed in the 1890's and were located in the area around South Tacoma. The list can be found on our page for Communities Neighboring South Tacoma in the 1890's.

Neighboring Counties ...

When searching for family records, we have frequently made the mistake of not checking the neighboring counties.

For example, we have great-grandparents who lived in the northeast corner of their home county. During their lives, most hospitals and doctors were in the next county to the east. Almost all of the nearby churches and cemeteries were in the county to the north.

So when searching for records, we had our best success by looking in neighboring counties instead of the county in which they lived:  their home county contained property and probate records; the county to the east contained birth and death records; the county to the north contained their burial records. If we hadn't included the neighboring counties, we would have missed many valuable sources of information.

If you're in a similar situation, we hope that the following information helps.

South Tacoma is located in Pierce County.

The following counties adjoin and form the boundaries of Pierce County: King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Lewis, Mason, Thurston & Yakima.

Below are the counties that are near South Tacoma. For each of these counties, we show a sample of those communities that are closest to South Tacoma:

Pierce     (The home county for South Tacoma)
      Fircrest   [Map]   NW   2 miles [3.2 km]
      Lakewood   [Map]   SW   2 miles [3.2 km]
      Tacoma   [Map]   NE   3 miles [4.8 km]
      University Place   [Map]   NW   3 miles [4.8 km]
      Midland   [Map]   SE   4 miles [6.4 km]
      Parkland   [Map]   SE   4 miles [6.4 km]
      Waller   [Map]   E   5 miles [8 km]
      Lake City   [Map]   SW   5 miles [8 km]
      Fife   [Map]   E   6 miles [9.7 km]
      Ruston   [Map]   N   6 miles [9.7 km]
      Gardenville - Historic   [Map]   NE   6 miles [9.7 km]
      Summit   [Map]   SE   6 miles [9.7 km]
      Steilacoom   [Map]   SW   6 miles [9.7 km]
Grays Harbor
      McCleary Junction   [Map]   W   38 miles [61.2 km]
      McCleary   [Map]   W   38 miles [61.2 km]
      Sine   [Map]   W   38 miles [61.2 km]
      Garden City   [Map]   W   39 miles [62.8 km]
      Brinnon   [Map]   NW   37 miles [59.5 km]
      Tahlequah   [Map]   N   8 miles [12.9 km]
      Pacific   [Map]   E   11 miles [17.7 km]
      Federal Way   [Map]   NE   11 miles [17.7 km]
      Algona   [Map]   NE   12 miles [19.3 km]
      Redondo   [Map]   NE   12 miles [19.3 km]
      Auburn   [Map]   NE   13 miles [20.9 km]
      Woodmont Beach   [Map]   NE   13 miles [20.9 km]
      Des Moines   [Map]   NE   15 miles [24.1 km]
      Vashon   [Map]   N   16 miles [25.7 km]
      Lea Hill   [Map]   NE   16 miles [25.7 km]
      North Hill   [Map]   NE   16 miles [25.7 km]
      Normandy Park   [Map]   N   17 miles [27.4 km]
      Kent   [Map]   NE   17 miles [27.4 km]
      Olalla   [Map]   N   15 miles [24.1 km]
      Burley   [Map]   NW   16 miles [25.7 km]
      Bethel   [Map]   N   21 miles [33.8 km]
      South Colby   [Map]   N   21 miles [33.8 km]
      Southworth   [Map]   N   21 miles [33.8 km]
      East Port Orchard   [Map]   N   22 miles [35.4 km]
      Parkwood   [Map]   N   23 miles [37 km]
      South Park Village   [Map]   N   23 miles [37 km]
      Manchester   [Map]   N   24 miles [38.6 km]
      Port Orchard   [Map]   N   24 miles [38.6 km]
      Retsil   [Map]   N   24 miles [38.6 km]
      Gorst   [Map]   NW   24 miles [38.6 km]
      Fort Ward   [Map]   N   25 miles [40.2 km]
      Mineral   [Map]   SE   36 miles [57.9 km]
      Centralia   [Map]   SW   40 miles [64.4 km]
      Fords Prairie   [Map]   SW   40 miles [64.4 km]
      Grapeview   [Map]   NW   18 miles [29 km]
      Allyn   [Map]   NW   20 miles [32.2 km]
      Belfair   [Map]   NW   23 miles [37 km]
      Bayshore   [Map]   W   26 miles [41.8 km]
      Tahuya   [Map]   NW   29 miles [46.7 km]
      Shelton   [Map]   W   29 miles [46.7 km]
      Skokomish   [Map]   W   32 miles [51.5 km]
      Hoodsport   [Map]   NW   33 miles [53.1 km]
      Potlatch   [Map]   W   33 miles [53.1 km]
      Lilliwaup   [Map]   NW   34 miles [54.7 km]
      Mohrweis   [Map]   W   35 miles [56.3 km]
      Esperance   [Map]   N   40 miles [64.4 km]
      Woodway   [Map]   N   40 miles [64.4 km]
      Nisqually Indian Community   [Map]   SW   16 miles [25.7 km]
      North Yelm   [Map]   S   17 miles [27.4 km]
      Tanglewilde   [Map]   SW   17 miles [27.4 km]
      Yelm   [Map]   S   19 miles [30.6 km]
      Lacey   [Map]   SW   19 miles [30.6 km]
      Kellys Korner   [Map]   SW   20 miles [32.2 km]
      Olympia   [Map]   SW   22 miles [35.4 km]
      East Olympia   [Map]   SW   23 miles [37 km]
      Rainier   [Map]   SW   23 miles [37 km]
      Tumwater   [Map]   SW   24 miles [38.6 km]
      Tenino   [Map]   SW   29 miles [46.7 km]
      Littlerock   [Map]   SW   32 miles [51.5 km]
      Bucoda   [Map]   SW   33 miles [53.1 km]

For an expanded list of the communities that are closest to South Tacoma, see our County-by-County Page for South Tacoma.

Websites to Help With Your Genealogy Research ...

When we do our genealogical research, we start with the websites from Cyndi's List, FamilySearch, the UsGenWeb Project or Genealogy Trails. These helpful websites offer the information directly or else point to where you can find it. Their information is open to all and free to view - you should note that they might link to other websites which do charge.

To help you get started, the following links will take you to the pages that are relevant to South Tacoma:

These websites are specific to Washington:

Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails     USGenWeb    

Website for the Washington State Archives

Not to be confused with the official state website, we've found the Digital State Archives website for the State of Washington to be a good source for additional links.

These pages are specific to Pierce County:

Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails     USGenWeb    

Genealogy information for nearby counties:

Grays Harbor County:       Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails     USGenWeb    
Jefferson County:       Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails     USGenWeb    
King County:       Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails     USGenWeb    
Kitsap County:       Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails     USGenWeb    
Lewis County:       Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails      
Mason County:       Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails     USGenWeb    
Snohomish County:       Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails     USGenWeb    
Thurston County:       Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails      

Cemetery Information and Directories for Washington:

Cyndi's List:     Cemeteries of Washington,     of Pierce County
Cemetery Junction:     Directory for Washington     Cemetery Wiki for Washington
Find-A-Grave:     Home Page     Cemeteries of Washington,     of Pierce County

Of Special Interest ...

The GenDisasters website specializes in newspaper articles about tragedies and disasters. While it makes interesting reading all by itself, it should be of special interest to genealogists and family historians looking for people who were either affected by or directly involved in such tragedies.

Disaster Stories from Washington

Other Roadside Stops ...

Communities in Washington

About Pierce County

About Washington

Off-the-Road Links ...

Unfortunately, we don't know of a website for South Tacoma. If you can help, please contact us through our Feedback Page.

The official website for Pierce County:

The official website for State of Washington:

Footnotes ...

<1>Our distances are not driving distances, but are calculated as a 'straight-line' distance starting from South Tacoma. A straight line distance ignores obstructions like rivers, canyons, lakes, et cetera - it's truly a line from Point A (ie- South Tacoma) to Point B.

Our distance measurements begin at a specific point in South Tacoma. The point that we are using is located at these GPS coordinates - Latitude: 47.2059, Longitude: -122.4835     [Map].   In this case, the coordinates for South Tacoma have been provided by the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS).

- Return to Citation

<2>The Find-a-Grave website is an excellent research tool with information about a cemetery's location and interments. They also offer a forum for their members which can provide additional help. More information about Find-a-Grave can be found on their website:

- Return to Citation

<3>We use the term 'Historic' broadly and it generally means that the community no longer exists. However, it can also mean that the community might still exist, but was significantly larger or had a more 'official' existence in the past than it does now. Unfortunately our sources of data have proven to be unreliable. If you can provide us with more specific information about South Tacoma, please let us know so that we can improve our accuracy.

- Return to Citation


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This page was last modified: 03 Dec 2018
By John Hall