Minnesota Genealogical Society

1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
Mendota Heights, MN  55120-1367
(651) 330-9312 • info@mngs.org

mORE Minnesota Resources

Minnesota's 87 counties have additional resources which might be valuable to your family research. Most have a historical society and/or museum, where you can immerse yourself in actual artifacts from the times and places where your ancestors lived. They may also have a genealogical society or interest group that offers meetings or publications.  If your people have roots somewhere  in Minnesota, check out this list of county  links for information on hours, exhibits, and services.

Each of the MGS interest groups, branches, and affiliated partners is a rich treasure trove of specialized expertise  about  particular countries and ethnic groups. Learn more about what they have to offer and open new family history vistas,

Consider some of these additional sources for Minnesota genealogy  information if you are seeking your family's past in the North Star state.

American Historical Society of Germans from Russia - North Star Chapter of Minnesota - https://www.northstarchapter.org/

An affiliate of both the AHSGR and the Germans from Russia Heritage Society (GRHS), the Minnesota chapter sponsors events for researchers with ancestors connected to  the main German areas in Russia: the Black Sea, Bessarabia, Crimea, Caucasus, and Volga. It also maintains a library focused on immigration from these regions.

The Wallenberg Library and Archives is a collection about Sweden and Swedish America, with topics such as immigration, Scandinavian traditions, arts, history, literature, music and food. It includes books, photographs, manuscripts, audio recordings and more, is closed-stacks and non-circulating. Access to the library and archives is by appointment only. The Institute itself is a must-see destination for anyone with Swedish heritage, and it offers events, exhibits, and cultural learning opportunities year-round.

Archdiocese of Saint Paul & Minneapolis Archives - https://www.archspm.org/archives-and-records/genealogical-research/

Microfilm copies of baptism, marriage, and death records are available for most Roman Catholic parishes in the counties of Ramsey, Hennepin, Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Goodhue, Le Sueur, Rice, Scott, Washington, and Wright. The Archives does not, as a rule, have copies of first communion, confirmation, or burial records. Documents created before January 1, 1921, are available for genealogy research, except in cases where particular items are restricted by canon law. The HRL has some of these records on microfilm - see our list of holdings.

Armenian Cultural Organization of Minnesota (ACOM)  -  http://www.mnarmenians.org/

ACOM preserves and promotes Armenian culture, language, history and heritage in Minnesota and the upper Midwest. Founded in 1980 and headquartered in St. Paul,  it is the oldest and largest Armenian organization in the state.

Bach Dunn Collection of Luxembourgiana - https://www.stthomas.edu/libraries/special/rare/bach-dunn/

The University of St, Thomas Department of Special Collections houses one the largest collection of Luxembourg-related material in North America - over 3,000 books, periodical volumes, maps, and rolls of microfilm. Much of this material is of potential use to the genealogis, and can be searched through the STU catalog.   Getting Started guide

 Celtic Junction Arts Center https://celticjunction.org/

This St. Paul-based collaborative offers a kaleidoscope of activities connected to world Celtic culture. Three independent organizations share the Celtic Junction building: O'Shea Irish Dance, the Center for Irish Music, and Irish Fair of Minnesota. Concerts, classes in dance and traditional instruments, and a research library are just part of their community outreach.

Center for Irish Studies - https://cas.stthomas.edu/centers-institutes/irish-studies/

St. Thomas University in St. Paul has a large Celtic Collection with resources on Irish and Irish-American history and culture. Many may be useful to family history researchers - see their Getting Started guide.

Cyndi's List : Minnesota https://www.cyndislist.com/us/mn/

The genealogy world's superstar link collector will start you out with lots of options for exploring Minnesota.

Searchable database of information about people who lived primarily in southeastern Minnesota, including Carver, Dakota, Dodge, Goodhue, Hennepin, McLeod, Olmsted, Rice, Scott, Steele, and Waseca counties.

Minnesota is home to 20 Family History Centers maintained by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There are also a number of affiliate libraries throughout the state, including the Hoffman Research Library.

This is a great place for new Minnesota researchers, with a step-by-step guide, clickable county map, and links to vital sources.

Festival of Nations - http://festivalofnations.org

The International Institute of Minnesota’s annual Festival of Nations is the oldest and longest running multicultural festival in the Midwest. Since 1932, its goal has been to inspire people to discover more about the world and embrace the rich cultural diversity in their own community. Nearly 100 ethnic groups gather in St. Paul for a unique, 4-day experience that celebrates cultural heritage through dancing, musical performances, exhibits, demonstrations -  and food! 

French-American Heritage Foundation of Minnesota - http://fahfminn.org/

The French-American Heritage Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote and cultivate French-language cultures through education and public programming.

Friends of Fort Snellinghttps://www.fortsnelling.org/

This non-profit advocacy group was integral in both establishing Fort Snelling State Park and in preserving and restoring Historic Fort Snelling, built in 1825 at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers. 

Gale Family Library (Minnesota Historical Society) - https://www.mnhs.org/library/

The vast resources of the MNHS include: local, county, and state histories; biography file; census records and indexes; directories; periodicals; genealogical periodicals; family genealogies; Minnesota newspapers; atlases; fire insurance maps; photographs; oral histories; Minnesota city, county, and state records; census; military records; church records; Alien Registration; railroad records; diaries; personal papers; and business records.

German-Bohemian Heritage Societyhttps://germanbohemianheritagesociety.com/ 

A cultural affinity group  for people who have either lived in or have ancestry in the outer rim of the Czech Republic,  once part of the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation.

Germanic Genealogical Society Libraryhttps://ggsmn.org/cpage.php?pt=27

The GGS research collection is housed at Concordia College in St. Paul, and contains over 2,500 books and periodicals relating to Germanic genealogy. It is self-service and non-circulating, open during the Concordia Library Technology Center hours. See their GGSCAT page and library guide for search tips.

Giants of the Earth Heritage Center - https://giantsoftheearth.org/

Founded in 2009, the Center is a nonprofit historical society that empowers individuals, families, and communities with a sense of meaning through cultural and historical programs. It is located in Spring Grove, Minnesota’s first Norwegian settlement. Activities such as creating family trees and recording family stories build multigenerational bonds and understanding.

Heritage Education Commission - http://www.heritageed.com/

The Commission is an independent, non-profit developed to create, initiate, and conduct programs that aid in the preservation or restoration of the cultural heritage of the Upper Midwest region. Projects include an annual family history workshop and oral histories.

Hmong Cultural Center Museum and Libraryhttps://www.hmonghistorycenter.org/

Provides exhibits and a comprehensive library to teach about the the Hmong in Minnesota and Hmong culture and history.

Icelandic Roots is a non-profit educational organization specializing in genealogy, history & traditions of Icelandic ancestors.

Immigration History Research Center - https://cla.umn.edu/ihrc

Located at the University of Minnesota, the Center supports interdisciplinary research on migration, race, and ethnicity in the US. and the world. Collections include ethnic newspapers; papers from fraternal organizations, private individuals, and religious organizations; and oral history.

Iron Range Research Center - https://www.ironrangeresearchcenter.org/

The Center’s collection of genealogical and local history research materials includes 1.4 million census, naturalization, and passenger arrival records, mining company newsletters, and a survey of Women in Industry taken in 1919.

Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwesthttps://www.jhsum.org/

Founded in 1984, JHSUM is the leading organization in the region dedicated to telling the story of Jewish history — from North Dakota to Minneapolis’ North Side, and everything in between. Its substantive collection physical collection of artifacts and oral histories was gifted to the University of Minnesota as part of the Nathan and Theresa Berman Upper Midwest Jewish Archives located in the Elmer L. Andersen Library.

John R. Borchert Map Library (University of Minnesota) - https://www.lib.umn.edu/borchert

One of the premier map libraries in the US. Collections include maps, books and atlases, gazetteers and place name guides, aerial photography and maps, and periodicals.

Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN, houses an archive of Lutheran church documents from the upper Midwest. The genealogical sources available are the microfilmed historical church records (up to approximately 1930) of the Minnesota Conference and the Red River Valley Conference of the former Lutheran Augustana Synod (also available through Ancestry). These records are from congregations located in Minnesota, western Wisconsin, North and South Dakota. Also available is biographical information related to clergy and other church leaders.

Maps of Minnesota (Map Geeks) - https://mapgeeks.org/minnesota/

Various historical and modern maps.

Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Galleryhttps://www.maahmg.org/

The Museum preserves, documents and highlights the achievements, contributions, and experiences of African Americans in Minnesota.

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) - https://www.health.state.mn.us/people/vitalrecords/index.html

Source for purchasing copies of Minnesota birth, marriage, divorce, and death records.

Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT) - http://www.dot.state.mn.us/mapsales/

Downloadable regional and state maps, and print maps available for purchase.

Minnesota Digital Libraryhttps://mndigital.org/

Begun in 2003, the Minnesota Digital Library includes digital content from almost 200 participating organizations from across the state. Together  they have digitized more than 55,000 photographs, postcards, maps, documents, letters, and oral histories,  which are available online in a free searchable database.

Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hubhttps://www.mnhs.org/newspapers/hub

A searchable website from the Minnesota Historical Society, the Hub makes millions of pages of Minnesota newspapers  published between 1849 and today available online. Due to potential copyright restrictions, most issues published less than 95 years ago can only be accessed from the Gale Family Library at the Minnesota History Center.

Minnesota Discovery Center / Museum of the Iron Range https://www.mndiscoverycenter.com/

The Center in Chisholm highlights the story of the predominantly European immigrants who migrated to this region at the turn of the 20th century to find work in the burgeoning iron ore industry. Its archives contain more than 4,000 collections, including: records from local and regional units of government, personal and family papers, organizational and corporate records, topographic and mining maps, photographs, and regional oral histories.

Minnesota Genealogy Trailshttp://genealogytrails.com/minn/index.html

Genealogy Trails is a volunteer-based project dedicated to transcribing historical and genealogical data and placing it online for the free use of all researchers. Its eclectic topics include Minnesota in the Civil War, train wrecks, Native Americans, patents and inventions, and recipes.

Minnesota Military Museum & Library -  https://www.mnmilitarymuseum.org/

The museum is the largest and most comprehensive repository in Minnesota for military artifacts and records.

Minnesota Official Marriage System (MOMS®) - https://moms.mn.gov/

Marriage records from all counties except Scott and Washington. Years covered vary.

Minnesota People Records (Minnesota Historical Society) - https://www.mnhs.org/search/people

Use this combined database to search Minnesota birth, death, and census records, as well as Veterans Graves Registrations and World War I Gold Star Rolls.

Minnesota Rusin Associationhttp://mnrusinassociation.homestead.com/

The Association is devoted to the promotion of the cultural heritage of the Rusin/Carpatho-Rusin/Rusnak people from Northeast Slovakia, Western Ukraine, and Southeast Poland.

Minnesota Society of Mayflower Descendantshttp://www.minnesotamayflower.org/

The Society is a non-profit, hereditary state group dedicated to preserving and recording their Mayflower ancestors through historical research, genealogy, and education. its members have documented direct descent from one or more passengers who sailed from Holland and England to Plymouth, Massachusetts, aboard the ship Mayflower.

Minnesota Society, Sons of the American Revolution - https://minnesotasar.org/ 

MNSAR is an historical, educational, and patriotic organization for descendants of Revolutionary War patriots.

Minnesota State Society, Daughters of the American Revolutionhttp://www.minnesotadar.net/

The 21 DAR chapters in Minnesota are part of a network of over 185,000 women around the world who can prove lineal descent from a Revolutionary War patriot ancestor.

Missabe Railroad Historical Societyhttps://www.missabe.com/home

The MRHS is a group of railfans, modelers, and rail historians who have a shared interest in the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railway and its predecessors, the Duluth & Iron Range and the Duluth, Missabe & Northern.

Established in 1996 by volunteers, this site specializes in genealogy in Minnesota with an emphasis on the county level. Each volunteer county coordinator manages their own pages, so content may be uneven within the site.

MNopediahttps://www.mnopedia.org/

MNopedia  is an online encyclopedia about Minnesota developed by the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) and its partners. It is a free, curated, and authoritative resource about our state. All of the articles are prepared by historians, consulting experts, professional writers, and others who have been vetted by MNHS.

Museum of Danish America - https://www.danishmuseum.org/explore/genealogy/resources

Located in Elk Horn, Iowa, the Genealogy Center is the research library of the Museum of Danish America and has one of the largest collections of materials on Danish immigrants in the United States.

Norwegian-American Historical Association -  https://naha.stolaf.edu/

North America's largest Norwegian-American archive is located on the campus of St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. NAHA's  collection includes letters, ledgers, books, periodicals, photographs, diaries, and audio and video recordings related to the Norwegian diaspora in North America.

Locator for historical maps from a variety of sources.

St. David's Society of Minnesota - https://stdavidsofmn.org/

The Society  was formed to celebrate the heritage and culture of the Welsh immigrants to Minnesota, including  literature, history, music, dance, art, and ideas.

Scottish American Centerhttp://www.scottishamericancentermn.org/

The Center's goals are to help visitors learn, connect, preserve, and celebrate Scottish and Scottish-American culture. Events and services focus on  history, tradition, geography, travel, general Scottish and highland genealogy, and more.

Sons of Norway - https://www.sofn.com/

Organized as a fraternal benefit society by 18 Norwegian immigrants in Minneapolis in 1895,  Sons of Norway has expanded  its mission to include the preservation of Norwegian heritage and culture  and it is now the largest Norwegian organization outside Norway.

Swedish American Newspapers Project - https://www.mnhs.org/newspapers/swedishamerican

Created through a partnership of the Minnesota Historical Society, Kungliga biblioteket (National Library of Sweden), the American Swedish Institute, and the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois. Offers more than 300,000 digital pages from 32 publications.

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