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Minnesota Genealogy

The best collection of sources on Minnesota genealogy is the Minnesota Historical Society. 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 Genealogical Society should also be contacted for help with Minnesota research. The Society offers classes in beginning and advanced genealogical topics.

Table of Contents:

Dates of Interest
1763 Eastern Minnesota ceded from France to Great Britain
1774 Part of Quebec
1783 Eastern Minnesota is ceded from Great Britain to the U.S.
1787 Part of Northwest Territory
1803 Western Minnesota is part of the Louisiana Purchase
1803 All residents of Minnesota become U.S. citizens by legislation, except for Native Americans, whose tribes are considered a separate nation until 1924
1820 Fort Snelling is established at the site of St. Paul
1830 Part of the Michigan Territory; for pre-territorial federal census see Michigan
1836 Part of the Wisconsin Territory
1840 For pre-territorial federal census see Wisconsin
1849 Created as a separate U.S. territory; territorical census, published in "Census of the Minnesota Territory, June 11, 1849." Minnesota Genealogist 11 (September 1980): 121-32; and
1857 Special federal territorial census (film 0944283 ff./M1175)
1858 Statehood
1865 State census (film 0565714 ff.)
1875 State census (film 0565717 ff.)
1885 State census (film 0565334 ff.)
1895 State census (film 0565761 ff.)
1905 State census (rilm 0928767 ff.)
1918 Alien registration records of all non-U.S. citizens in Minnesota; records hel at the Minnesota Historical Society

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Handbooks and Manuals [Return to Top]

Archival, Library, and Museum Resources [Return to Top]

Cemeteries [Return to Top]

Microfilm of both Minnesota state and federal censuses can be found at the Minnesota Historical Society's microfilm room and the University of Minnesota's Government Publications Library. However, the University DOES NOT have indexes to these censuses. [Return to Top]

Counties [Return to Top]

Church Records [Return to Top]

Maps [Return to Top]

Newspaper Sources [Return to Top]

Records and Registers [Return to Top]

Miscellaneous [Return to Top]

Searching MNCAT

You can use MNCAT, the University Libraries' computerized catalog, to search for specific subjects. The following are some examples of useful subject terms for genealogists; other examples are found in the Library of Congress Subject Headings books located in Wilson Reference.

american newspapers--minnesota--bibliography
church records and registers--minnesota
[city name] (minn.)--genealogy
[county name} County (minn.)
[county name} County (minn.)--census
[county name} County (minn.)--directories
[county name} County (minn.)--genealogy
[county name} County (minn.)--history
[county name} County (minn.)--maps--indexes
For example:
waseca county (minn.)--genealogy
steele county (minn.)--genealogy
hennepin county (minn.)--maps--indexes
[ethnic group]--minnesota
genealogy--library resources--minnesota
iron miners--minnesota
land titles--minnesota
minnesota--emigration and immigration
minnesota--genealogy--archival resources
minnesota--genealogy--handbooks, manuals, etc
minnesota historical society--catalogs and collections
minnesota--statistics, vital
names, personal--minnesota
real property--minnesota--[county name] county--indexes
real property--minnesota--rock county--indexes
registers of births, etc.--minnesota
swedish americans--minnesota
women immigrants--minnesota

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Internet Resources
  • Minnesota Historical Society
    The Minnesota Historical Society is a private, non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849 to preserve and share Minnesota history

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