Unorganized Borough

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Unorganized Borough, Alaska

A core-based statistical area (CBSA) is a U.S. geographic area defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that consists of one or more counties (or equivalents) anchored by an urban center of at least 10,000 people plus adjacent counties that are socioeconomically tied to the urban center by commuting. Areas defined on the basis of these standards applied to Census 2000 data were announced by OMB in June 2003. These standards are used to replace the definitions of metropolitan areas that were defined in 1990. The OMB released new standards based on the 2010 Census on July 15, 2015.[1][2][3] add citations


Unorganized Borough Census Areas

This page gives some history, facts and genealogy resources for the census areas and related municipalities in the State of Alaska in more detail for this borough in Alaska government.

Census Areas in Unorganized Borough Main Municipalities in Unorganized Borough
Aleutians West Census Area Unalaska
Bethel Census Area Bethel
Dillingham Census Area Dillingham
Hoonah–Angoon Census Area Hoonah
Kusilvak Census Area Hooper Bay
Nome Census Area Nome
Prince of Wales – Hyder Census Area Craig; Metlakatla
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area Deltana; Delta Junction; Tok
Valdez–Cordova Census Area Cordova and Valdez
Yukon–Koyukuk Census Area Fort Yukon; Nenana

Aleutians West Census Area, Alaska‎

Located in southwestern Alaska, the Aleutians West Census Area is one of the most extensive and remote regions in the state. It consists of the western half of the Aleutian Island chain, and extends north to the Pribolof Islands in the Bering Sea. It has no organized borough government. In 2003, it had an estimated resident population of 5,420.The Unangan, known since the Russian era as "Aleuts," originally inhabited the Aleutians Islands. The Native village of Nikolski may be the oldest continuously occupied community in the world and still relies heavily on subsistence wild foods. Unalaska is also a former Native village and a World War II army base.

The Aleutian Islands became a theatre of battle in World War II with an attack by the Japanese on Unalaska on June 3, 1942 and the Japanese occupation of Kiska and Attu islands. Some Aleuts were taken prisoner by the Japanese; most other Aleut residents were evacuated and interned in Southeast Alaska for the duration of the war. Adak became the base of operations for a U.S. offensive on the Japanese-held islands of Kiska and Attu, and after the war was developed as a naval air station which played a part in the Cold War as a submarine surveillance center. The naval air station was closed in 1997.[1]


Aleutians West Census Area, Alaska‎ Villages
Adak, Alaska Native Village of Atka Native Village of Nikolski Native Village of Nuiqsut Pribilof Islands Aleut Communities of St. George Pribilof Islands Aleut Communities of St. Paul Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska

Aleutian West Census Area Genealogy Resources

Bethel Census Area, Alaska

The Bethel Census Area encompasses a 41,087 square mile area in western Alaska, nearly the size of the state of Ohio. The population at the time of the 2000 census was 16,006. On the map, the Bethel Census Area with its 34 communities appears to be a well-populated place, by rural Alaska standards. Its 16,280 (in 2001) residents do make it by far the most populous remote rural area. But is acreage is so vast that the population density is a mere 4/10 person per square mile!

Two types of landscapes predominate this area. In the southwest lies the vast Yukon-Kuskokwim delta region, commonly referred to as the Y-K delta. In this lower section the Kuskokwim River flows southwest and effectively divides the Y-K delta region into a western and eastern half. Few people live east of the river in the area of the Kilbuck Mountains. The northeast part of the census area is a long rectangular stretch of land bordering the Kuskokwim River.

The Y-K delta is a large coastal plain with approximately 900 miles of shoreline along the Bering Sea. Two near shore islands, Nunivak and Nelson, belong to the area. The coastal villages are home to nearly 28% of the area's population.[3]

Bethel Census Area, Alaska‎ Towns/Villages
Akiachak Akiak Aniak Atmautluak Bethel Chefornak Chuathbaluk Crooked Creek
Crow Village Eek Goodnews Bay Kalskag Kasigluk Kipnuk Kongiganak Kwethluk
Kwigillingok Lime Village Lower Kalskag Mekoryuk Napaimute Napakiak Napaskiak Newtok
Nighmute Nunapitchuk Oscarville Platinum Quinhagak Red Devil Sleetmute Stony River
Toksook Bay Tuluksak Tuntutuliak Tununak Upper Kalskag

Bethel Census Area Genealogy Resources

Dillingham Census Area, Alaska‎

Dillingham is located at the extreme northern end of Nushagak Bay in northern Bristol Bay, at the confluence of the Wood and Nushagak Rivers. It lies 327 miles southwest of Anchorage, and is a 6 hour flight from Seattle. Dillingham is located in the Bristol Bay Recording District. The area encompasses 33.6 sq. miles of land and 2.1 sq. miles of water. The primary climatic influence is maritime, however, the arctic climate of the Interior also affects the Bristol Bay coast. Average summer temperatures range from 37 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit. Average winter temperatures range from 4 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Annual precipitation is 26 inches, and annual snowfall is 65 inches. Heavy fog is common in July and August. Winds of up to 60-70 mph may occur between December and March. The Nushagak River is ice-free from June through November.

The area around Dillingham was inhabited by both Eskimos and Athabascans and became a trade center when Russians erected the Alexandrovski Redoubt (Post) in 1818. Local Native groups and Natives from the Kuskokwim Region, the Alaska Peninsula and Cook Inlet mixed together as they came to visit or live at the post. The community was known as Nushagak by 1837, when a Russian Orthodox mission was established. In 1881 the U.S. Signal Corps established a meteorological station at Nushagak. In 1884 the first salmon cannery in the Bristol Bay region was constructed by Arctic Packing Co., east of the site of modern-day Dillingham. Ten more were established within the next seventeen years. The post office at Snag Point and town were named after U.S. Senator Paul Dillingham in 1904, who had toured Alaska extensively with his Senate subcommittee during 1903. The 1918-19 influenza epidemic struck the region, and left no more than 500 survivors. A hospital and orphanage were established in Kanakanak after the epidemic, 6 miles from the present-day City Center. The Dillingham townsite was first surveyed in 1947. The City was incorporated in 1963.

A federally-recognized tribe is located in the community -- the Curyung Native Village Council. The population of the community consists of 60.9% Alaska Native or part Native. Traditionally a Yup'ik Eskimo area, with Russian influences, Dillingham is now a highly mixed population of non-Natives and Natives. The outstanding commercial fishing opportunities in the Bristol Bay area are the focus of the local culture.

Dillingham is the economic, transportation, and public service center for western Bristol Bay. Commercial fishing, fish processing, cold storage and support of the fishing industry are the primary activities. Icicle, Peter Pan, Trident and Unisea operate fish processing plants in Dillingham. During spring and summer, the population doubles. The city's role as the regional center for government and services helps to stabilize seasonal employment. Many residents depend on subsistence activities and trapping of beaver, otter, mink, lynx and fox provide cash income. Salmon, grayling, pike, moose, bear, caribou, and berries are harvested.

Dillingham can be reached by air and sea.

Dillingham Census Area’s economic base is highly seasonal and predominantly driven by the harvest and processing of Bristol Bay sockeye salmon. The area has three onshore processing facilities and a number of floating facilities east of Dillingham in Nushagak Bay, and several more floating processors that operate near Togiak. The City of Dillingham is the center of economic, transportation, government, and public services in the area. Commercial fishing, fish processing, cold storage, and support of the fishing industry are the primary sectors that sustain the economy of the area. Other communities in the region are heavily involved in subsistence activities.[5]

Dillingham Census Area, Alaska‎ Towns/Villages
Aleknagik Clark's Point Dillingham Ekwok Manokotak
Koliganek New Stuyahok Portage Creek Togiak Twin Hills

Dillingham Census Area Genealogy Resources

Hoonah-Angoon Census Area, Alaska‎

Hoonah-Angoon Census Area, Alaska‎ Towns/Villages[7]
Angoon Chilkat Cube Cove Elfin Cove Game Creek
Gustavus Hoonah Pelican Tenakee Springs Whitestone Logging Camp

The Hoonah-Angoon Census Area was significantly larger in the 1990 census, at which time it was the Skagway-Yakutat-Angoon Census Area. After Yakutat was incorporated as a unified city-borough on September 22, 1992, it was renamed Skagway-Hoonah-Angoon Census Area, and hen Skagway followed suit on June 20, 2007, the census area assumed its current name.

The Hoonah-Angoon Census Area is made up of scattered coastal communities in northern Southeast Alaska. Commercial fishing remains the primary focus in most of these. Logging also played an important role in the economies of Hoonah and Angoon. Both industries have suffered setbacks in recent years, with reduced timber cuts eliminating many logging jobs and low ex-vessel prices impacting fisheries earnings and participation.

Klukwan. also known as Chilkat, is a Tlingit village located on the Chilkat River near Haines. While commercial fishing continues to be important to the community, subsistence also plays a major role.

Tenakee Springs, on Chichagof Island, was once the site of a salmon cannery.

Hoonah-Angoon Census Area Genealogy Resources

Kusilvak Census Area, Alaska‎

Kusilvak Census Area was formerly known as Wade Hampton Census Area. The census area was originally named for Wade Hampton III, a South Carolina politician whose son-in-law, a territorial judge in Nome, posthumously named a mining district in western Alaska for him in 1913.

The original name had no connection to the culture or history of Alaska. Kusilvak means the high one, the name of the highest mountain in the area, located between Scammon Bay and Mountain Village. Kusilvak was chosen because of its area history. Governor Walker, renamed the census area in July, 2015.

Kusilvak Census Area, Alaska‎ Towns/Villages[8]
Alakanuk Bill Moore's Slough Chevak Chuloonawick Emmonak Hamilton Hooper Bay Kotlik
Marshall Mountain Village Ohogamiut Pilot Station Pitkas Point Russian Mission Scammon Bay St. Mary's

Kusilvak Census Area Genealogy Resources

Kusilvak Census Area Genealogy

Nome Census Area, Alaska

Nome Census Area, Alaska‎ Towns/Villages[9]
Brevig Mission Diomede Elim Gambell Golovin
Koyuk Nome Port Clarence Savoonga
Shaktoolik Shishmaref St. Michaels Stebbins
Teller Unalakleet Wales White Mountain

Nome was built along the Bering Sea, on the south coast of the Seward Peninsula, facing Norton Sound. The area encompasses 12.5 sq. miles of land and 9.1 sq. miles of water.

Malemiut, Kauweramiut and Unalikmiut Eskimos have occupied the Seward Peninsula historically, with a well-developed culture adapted to the environment. Around 1870 to 1880, the caribou declined on the Peninsula and the Eskimos changed their diets.

Gold discoveries in the Nome area had been reported as far back as 1865 by Western Union surveyors seeking a route across Alaska and the Bering Sea, but it was a $1500-to-the-pan gold strike on tiny Anvil Creek in 1898 by three Scandinavians, Jafet Lindeberg, Erik Lindblom, and John Brynteson, that brought thousands of miners to the "Eldorado." Almost overnight an isolated stretch of tundra fronting the beach was transformed into a tent-and-log cabin city of 20,000 prospectors, gamblers, claim jumpers, saloon keepers, and prostitutes. The gold-bearing creeks had been almost completely staked, when some entrepreneur discovered the "golden sands of Nome." With nothing more than shovels, buckets, rockers and wheel barrows, thousands of idle miners descended upon the beaches. Two months later the golden sands had yielded one million dollars in gold (at $16 an ounce). A narrow-gauge railroad and telephone line from Nome to Anvil Creek was built in 1900. The City of Nome was formed in 1901. By 1902 the more easily reached claims were exhausted and large mining companies with better equipment took over the mining operations. Since the first strike on tiny Anvil Creek, Nome's gold fields have yielded $136 million. The gradual depletion of gold, a major influenza epidemic in 1918, the depression, and finally World War II, each influenced Nome's population.

A disastrous fire in 1934 destroyed most of the City.

A federally-recognized tribe is located in the community -- the Nome Eskimo Community. The population of the community consists of 58.7% Alaska Native or part Native. The population of Nome is a mixture of Inupiat Eskimos and non-Natives. Former villagers from King Island also live in Nome. Nome is the finish line for the 1,100-mile Iditarod Sled Dog Race from Anchorage, held each March.

Nome is the supply, service and transportation center of the Bering Strait region. Government services provide the majority of employment. 60 residents hold commercial fishing permits. Retail services, transportation, mining, medical and other businesses provide year-round income. Several small gold mines continue to provide some employment.

Nome is a regional center of transportation for surrounding villages. There are two State-owned airports. The Nome Airport has a two paved runways, one is 6,001' long and 150' wide, and the other is 5,576' by 150' wide. The entire seaward side of the City is protected by a 3,350-foot-long sea wall of granite boulders. These huge rocks were trucked in from Cape Nome, 13 miles distant, at a cost of more than one million dollars. A port and berthing facilities accommodate vessels up to 18 feet of draft. Lighterage services distribute cargo to area communities. Local roads lead to Teller, Council and the Kougarok River.[10]

Nome Census Area Genealogy Resources

Nome Census Area Genealogy

Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, Alaska‎

Prince of Wales-Outer Ketchikan Census Area lies at the southern end of the Alaska panhandle, in the heavily forested Southeast region of Alaska. It encompasses 7,411 square miles of acreage on three pieces of land - two islands (Prince of Wales and Annette), and part of the coastal range to the islands' east.[11]

Annette Island is located across from the Alaska mainland on the east and across from Revillagigedo Island on the north. The largest settlement on the island is Metlakatla, the only federally recognized Indian reservation in Alaska. Around 1887, Reverend William Duncan brought 1,000 Tsimshian followers from Metlakatla in British Columbia to Annette Island. On land obtained through a congressional grant he built a new Metlakatla, designed to make the Natives self-sufficient. They were taught trades such as carpentry, seamanship, and boat-building, built their own sawmills and a cannery, and engaged in other enterprises.

Prince of Wales Island is the third largest island under the American flag, second largest in Alaska Hawaii and Kodiak are larger). The Island was originally inhabited by Tlingit and Haida Tribes for centuries before Spanish explorers first came in the 1770's, naming many of the surrounding islands, inlets, and waterways. Captain George Vancouver, a British chart-maker, explored the area in the late 18th century, and named the Island in 1793 for George, Prince of Wales, who would be crowned King George IV in 1821.

Russian occupation in the 19th century and phonetic rendering of original Tlingit names account for the names of many other islands, towns, and waterways in Southeast Alaska.

Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, Alaska‎ Towns/Villages[12]
Coffman Cove Craig Edna Bay Hollis Hydaburg Hyder Kake Kasaan
Klawock Metlakatla Naukati Bay Point Baker Port Alexander Port Protection Thorne Bay Whale Pass

Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area Genealogy Resources

  • Adoption Records in Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area Genealogy. "One of the remarkable features of this Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area adoption search index in Alaska is that the genealogists can easily access other public and vital records including birth, marriage, death certificate, divorce, military & service database, land assessment, obituary notice information, census data, public civil court-case lookups, ancestral SSN, naturalization, immigration, will & probate records, war specifics, and many more. The huge database thus offers flexibility to the entire pattern of the research and makes it successful in the due course of time." May be fee based/must register.

Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, Alaska‎

The Southeast Fairbanks Census Area lies in eastern Interior Alaska. The Tanana River, following a northwesterly course, bisects the area. This census area covers a total area of 25,061 square miles. As of 2000, the population is 6,174.

In 1994, the Sumitomo Company found substantial deposits of gold at its Pogo prospect 40 miles northeast of Delta Junction. These reserves, estimated at 5.5 million ounces may soon be developed by a joint venture between Teck/Cominco and Sumitomo. The company, Teck-Pogo, planned to finalize the permitting process for both the underground mine and surface mill in 2003.

In addition to the anticipated growth in mining operations and military support activities, this region is Alaska's second most productive agricultural region. In 2001, farm production in the Tanana area yielded a value of more than $7.5 million.[13]

Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, Alaska‎ Towns/Villages[14]
Alcan Border Big Delta Chicken Delta Junction Deltana Dot Lake Dot Lake Village
Dry Creek Eagle Village Healy Lake Northway Junction Northway Village Tanacross Tetlin Tok

Southeast Fairbanks Census Area Genealogy Resources

Valdez-Cordova Census Area, Alaska‎

The Valdez-Cordova Census Area is situated along Prince William Sound. This census area encompasses a total area of 40,199 square miles; 34,319 square miles of it is land and 5,880 square miles of it is water. In 2003 the population was 10,230. (Population citations in the table to the right are extracted from the 2000 census.) There is no specific seat of government.

The major population centers are focused in the Glennallen, Copper Center and Kenny Lake communities which are situated near the junctions of major highways. Glennallen is the major commerce and administrative center, while Kenny Lake is the agricultural center.

In the 1800s, the Ahtna Athabaskan Natives occupied most of this region, the upper Copper Valley. Ahtna is the Athabaskan name for the Copper River. The Ahtna People lived a semi nomadic life style - most of their settlements were either fish camps or winter villages along the river, or hunting and trapping camps in the uplands. The Native residents divided themselves into autonomous clans, each group having their own hunting, fishing and berry-picking areas.

Though historical records show Russian contact in this area as early as the 18th century, it was not until the late 1800's that the Ahtna People had their first true involvement with outside explorers. About 1885, Lt. Henry Allen traveled the Copper River as far north as the Tanana River. With his exploration came the word of the large concentrations of copper found in this volcanic valley.

In 1898, the United States Geological Survey published reports on the geology of the region. In 1900 the great copper deposit was staked on a ridge just north of what is now McCarthy. The Kennecott Copper Company developed the mine and built the railroad between Cordova and Kennecott/McCarthy, one that was active from 1910 until it shut down in 1938.

Lt. Joseph Caster headed a scouting party that would eventually blaze trail from the Cook Inlet to where Circle City is now located. His charted course became the route for the Glenn Highway (#1), which was completed in 1945. In 1899, surveying began for what is now known as the Richardson Highway (#4).

Discovery of gold in in 1898 and 1899 the Klondike resulted in the creation of the Valdez-Eagle trail as an alternate route for gold miners. It later became an important stage coach and mail route for those people who, under the Homestead Act, had settled through the Copper Valley region. Roadhouses sprang up along the trail offering rest and food to travelers and gold seekers.

Once transportation routes were in place, communication came to this once isolated land. Telegraph lines were constructed from Valdez to Copper Center, Eagle, Fairbanks, and other interior posts. In 1941, the Alaska Road Commission received appropriations for the Glenn Highway, which was completed four years later.

The economy in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area is diverse and dominated by oil and cargo shipping, and commercial fishing and seafood processing. This region hosts the largest seaport in Alaska and has one of the busiest commercial fisheries. Perhaps the greatest social and economic impact to this region occurred with the construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline in 1971. Many small settlements were built through the Copper Valley to accommodate the pipeline workers and their families, many of whom remained after construction was completed.

In March 1989, the Valdez-Cordova Census Area was the center for the massive oil-spill cleanup after the Exxon Valdez disaster.[15]

Valdez-Cordova Census Area, Alaska‎ Towns/Villages[16]
Chenega Chistochina Chitina Copper Center Copper Center- Kluti Kaah
Cordova Eyak Gakona Glennallen Gulkana
Kenny Lake McCarthy Mendeltna Mentasta Lake Nelchina
Paxson Silver Springs Slana Tatitlek Tazlina
Tolsona Tonsina Valdez Whittier Willow Creek

Valdez-Cordova Census Area Genealogy Resources

Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, Alaska‎

Located in Alaska's Interior, the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area stretches across more than 157,121 square miles from the Canadian border to the lower Yukon River. Five national wildlife refuges and several mountain ranges lie within this vast landscape. The Yukon River roughly bisects the area, flowing nearly 1,100 miles through it in a southwesterly direction.

Only 8,478 people reside in the area, over 70% of them Alaska Natives. One third of the area's population live in the four largest communities, Galena (675), Fort Yukon (595), Nenana (402), and McGrath (401). Most settlements are located on the Yukon River or its tributaries. McGrath is an exception and lies on the banks of the Kuskokwim. Rivers are important transportation routes. In winter they serve as ice roads for snow machines. In summer, riverboats ply the waters. Just seven of the 41 settlements in this vast area are on Alaska's road system. Year-round connections depend upon air transport.

At Huslia, the Koyukon Athabascans traditionally traded with the Kobuk River Eskimos. By 1843, Russian explorers had made contact with Athabascans about 50 miles downriver. Hughes also was a trade center between Athabascan and Eskimo traders. It later served as a riverboat landing and supply port for the Indian River gold fields until 1915. The first mission on the Koyukuk River, St. John's-in-the-Wilderness Episcopal Mission, was established in 1906 at modern day Allakaket. Tanana was a traditional trading settlement for Koyukon and Tanana Athabascans long before European contact. In 1880, Harper's Station, an Alaska Commercial Company Trading Post, was established 13 miles downriver from the present site. In 1881, Church of England missionaries from Canada built a mission 8 miles downriver from Tanana. At Takotna, gold discoveries in the upper Innoko Region enabled the town to prosper. By 1919, there were several commercial companies, roadhouses, a post office, and about 50 houses. Today there are about 20 households in Takotna. McGrath became an important refueling stop during World War II.[17]

Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, Alaska‎ Villages/Towns[18]
Alatna Allakaket Anvik Arctic Village Beaver Bettles Birch Creek Central
Chalkyitsik Circle Coldfoot Evansville Fort Yukon Four Mile Road Galena Grayling
Holy Cross Hughes Huslia Kaltag Koyukuk Lake Minchumina Livengood Manley Hot Springs
McGrath Minto Nenana Nikolai Nulato Rampart Ruby Shageluk
Stevens Takotna Tanana Telida Venetie Wiseman

Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area Genealogy Resources


  1. Aleutian towns
  2. Aleutians West Census Area on Wikipedia
  3. Bethel Census Area
  4. Bethel Census Area
  5. Dillingham Census Area
  6. Dillingham Census Area
  7. Hoonah-Angoon Census Area
  8. Kusilvak Census Area
  9. _Census_Area,_Alaska Nome Census Area
  10. Nome Census Area
  11. Prince of Wales
  12. Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area
  13. Southeast Fairbanks Census Area
  14. Southeast Fairbanks Census Area
  15. Valdez-Cordova Census Area
  16. Valdez-Cordova Census Area
  17. Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area
  18. Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area

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