How do I track down the genealogy of a person who used to live in Minnesota ?


While the University Libraries is unable to provide individualized research services for genealogists, we would like to draw your attention to a few alternatives.


  • Genealogy Resources Available at the University of Minnesota Libraries
    • This site outlines resources and collections available at the University Libraries, including links to subject-specific genealogy guides. It also includes a list of other collections of interest to genealogists.
  • The Immigration History Research Center
    • This University resource is used by genealogists who wish to make use of its manuscript and archival collections of records of selected ethnic groups and organizations from throughout the United States. For Minnesota genealogists, its Finnish and South Slavic collections may be of special interest. For the most part, its holdings are not listed in MNCAT. Contact the Center before taking a trip to use its materials.
    • NOTE: The IHRC does not maintain certain types of records commonly associated with genealogical research on immigrants, such as ship manifests and naturalization records. The collection's primary focus is on the experiences of the immigrants. It generally consists of documentation they themselves generated, as opposed to information recorded by government officials or others involved in processing newcomers through American ports or assigning them in citizenship. Nevertheless, the Center's holdings have proven useful to numerous researchers attempting to identify immigrant ancestors or wishing to learn more about the lives and legacy of millions of Americans who came from other lands. The collections span the period between the mid-1800s to the present, reflecting more recent migration activity and manifestations of ethnicity as well as the mass migration period. Materials include the written records of American-born generations as well as immigrants. The collection is national and international in scope, with strengths of geographic coverage relating closely to concentrations of immigrant settlement.


  • The Minnesota Historical Society, has the best collection of sources on Minnesota genealogy. Located at the Minnesota History Center are the Minnesota State Archives; a newspaper collection of approximately 5,000 Minnesota newspaper titles; an extensive manuscript collection; and more than 500,000 books, pamphlets, periodicals, and government publications. The Research Center also holds sound and visual collections, oral histories, and maps.
    • The Minnesota Historical Society offers an online tutorial called Family History Research, which you may find useful in developing your search strategy.
  • Minnesota Genealogical Society should also be contacted for help with Minnesota research.


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