Researching Dakota Family History

Alphabetical Listing of Resources

550 Dakota Verbs, compiled and edited by Harlan LaFontaine.
St. Paul, Minn.: Minnesota Historical Society, 2004.
MHS call number: Reading Room PM 1022 .L34 2004

buy book

* 1889 Census of Mdewakanton Sioux Living in Minnesota
This is a transcribed copy of the original handwritten census compiled by Robert B. Henton ("Hinton") that is held by the National Archives. It was transcribed by Mary Hawker Bakeman and appears in her journal, Minnesota Genealogical Journal, no. 30 (Sept. 2003): pp. 2925-2928.
MHS call number: Reading Room CS 42 .M553 No. 30.

Digital images of the original can be viewed on the National Archives' Archival Research Catalog (ARC). Click on the yellow search button and then search by the term "Sioux census."

American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. Correspondence
(Manuscript Collection, BA10/.A512b)
Typewritten copies of correspondence, 1827-1878, with missionaries-including Riggs, Williamson, and others-at the Dakota and Ojibwe missions in Minnesota. It also includes biographies, diaries, and other records sent to the board. These are copies of originals in the Houghton Library at Harvard University. Indexed in Grace Lee Nute's Northwest Missions Manuscripts and Index, 1766-1926. MHS call number: M587.

Aiton, John Felix, and Family Papers
(Manuscript Collection, P1447)
Aiton was an early Presbyterian missionary teacher to the Dakota Indians at Red Wing (1848-1850) and Kaposia (1852-1855) villages. Of particular interest are a ledger book with early census data from Wakute's [Red Wing's] village, school attendance register listing pupils at Kaposia and Little Crow's Village, and a Dakota-English dictionary compiled by Aiton.

The censuses of the Red Wing band taken by Aiton in 1849 and 1850 have been transcribed by Mary Bakeman and published in the Minnesota Genealogical Journal no. 9 (Mar. 1993): pp. 853-858. MHS call number: Reading Room CS 42 .M553 no. 9.

Bluestone, Rose Whipple, Interview, 1976
A Dakota Indian born at Prairie Island and raised in Santee, Nebraska, recalls her childhood and her education at boarding schools for Indians. She discusses the Dakota War of 1862 and Christianity, particularly her Episcopal upbringing. 60 minutes; 18-page transcript.

Brown, Joseph R. and Samuel J., and Family Papers
(Microfilmed Manuscript Collection, M595)
The papers reflect Samuel J. Brown's lifelong interest in and involvement with the Dakota Indians (he was one-eighth Dakota and a member of the Sisseton tribe). Information on the Dakota Indians can be found in the "Correspondence and Other Papers" series. Much of it relates to the Dakota Conflict of 1862 and its aftermath, the imprisonment of the Dakota and their removal to Dakota Territory, the service of Sisseton and Wahpeton scouts with the United States Army, attempts to win government annuities for the scouts, and the opening of the Sisseton Reservation to white settlement. Some of the materials are in the Dakota language; several are accompanied by English translations. Of particular genealogical interest are the following census/lists:

  • 1864 census at Crow Creek Agency, or Fort Thompson (Reel 3)
  • 1867 census of Lake Traverse Indians (Reel 5)
  • 1869 (Jan.) list of Indians at Fort Wadsworth, Lake Traverse (Reel 5)

Cathedral of St. Paul Parish Record Books, 1840-1857
(Manuscript Collection, BA1.2/.S2C3)
Photostatic copies of the registers of baptisms, marriages, deaths, and confirmations conducted by Catholic priests at St. Paul and at St. Peter's Church in Mendota, giving the names of settlers, "half-breeds," fur traders and their families, and Indians. Many of the entries—which are in French, Latin, and English—were made by Father Lucien Galtier. (Originals are in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Archives.)

Chambers and Johnson Family Papers
(Manuscript Collection, P1240)
The collection includes a few papers related to Harvey Johnson's work (1855-1856) in taking a census of the Dakota "mixed-bloods" on the Lake Pepin reservation, including a list of Indians and "half-breeds" (Box 1).

County Birth Records
(Microfilm, each county has its own SAM number assigned, see catalog)
As of October 2005 the Minnesota Historical Society Library has county-wide birth records for only 11 counties: Anoka, Brown, Dodge, Faribault, Martin, Mower, Olmsted, Steele, Wadena, Waseca, and Washington.

County Death Records
(Microfilm, each county has its own SAM number assigned, see catalog)
As of October 2005 the MHS Library has county-wide birth records for only 12 counties: Anoka, Brown, Dodge, Faribault, Kandiyohi (1946-1980 only), Martin, Mower, Olmsted, Steele, Wadena, Waseca, and Washington.

County Marriage Records
(Microfilm, each county has its own SAM number assigned, see catalog)
The Library has as of October 2005 marriage records for only 15 counties: Anoka, Brown, Clay, Dodge, Faribault, Kandiyohi, Martin, Mower, Olmsted, Ramsey, Rice (1865-1866 only), Steele, Wadena, Waseca, and Washington.

Dakota Conflict of 1862 Manuscripts Collections
(Microfilm, M582. Electronic versions of the microfilm are also available: reel 1 (PDF), reel 2 (PDF), reel 3 (PDF), and reel 4 (PDF))

This compilation comprises a variety of small collections of letters, reminiscences, reports, diaries, and related materials dealing with Minnesota's Dakota Conflict and related activities of 1862-1865. They primarily detail the personal experiences of both white and Indian participants or witnesses, including raids and killings, construction of fortifications, hostages' experiences, the execution at Mankato of 38 Dakota Indians, and the subsequent Sibley and Sully punitive expeditions into western Minnesota and Dakota Territory. A few items offer insight into the background and causes of the conflict.

A Dakota English Dictionary, by Stephen Return Riggs; edited by James Owen Dorsey; with a new foreword by Carolynn I. Schommer.
St. Paul, Minn.: Minnesota Historical Society, 1992.
MHS call number: PM 1023 .R55 1992.

buy book

Dakota Friend (Dakota Tawaxitku)
(microfilmed Newspaper Collection, filed under St. Paul)
A newspaper in both Dakota and English for November 30, 1850-August 31, 1852.

Dakota Grammar: With Texts and Ethnography, by Stephen R. Riggs; edited with a preface by James Owen Dorsey; introduction by John D. Nichols.
St. Paul, Minn.: Minnesota Historical Society, 2004.
MHS call number: PM 1021 .R48 2004.

buy book

Dakota Identity in Minnesota, 1820-1995, by Carolyn Ruth Anderson
Thesis (Ph.D.), Indiana University, 1997.
MHS call number: E99 .D1 A47 1997.

Dakota, Mixed Blood Indian, and White Biographical Files Notebook
(no call number; ask staff for help)
Compiled by Alan Woolworth from the Minnesota Biographies Project, this notebook contains photocopies of biographical information on Dakota Indians, mixed blood Indians, and whites who married into Indian families. Most entries include date and place of birth and death, a brief narrative of their life, and citations to newspaper articles or other material. Arranged alphabetically.

The Dakota or Sioux in Minnesota as They Were in 1834, by Samuel W. Pond
St. Paul, Minn.: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1986.
First published in 1908 in the Minnesota Historical Collections, volume 12.
MHS call number: Reading Room E 99 .M435 P66 1986.

The Dakota War of 1862, by Kenneth Carley
St. Paul, Minn.: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2001.
MHS call number: Reading Room E 83.86 .C3 2001.

buy book

* Diocese of Minnesota [Episcopal]. Diocesan Records
(Manuscript Collection, Alpha)
The ministry of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the area of present-day Minnesota began with the appointment of a chaplain (Clement F. Jones) to Fort Snelling in 1828. The first Episcopal parish, Christ Church, was established in St. Paul in 1850. The Diocese of Minnesota was founded in 1857. In 1859 Henry B. Whipple was elected as the first Bishop of Minnesota. He established his residence in Faribault and during his years as bishop the church established parishes throughout the state. By 1895 the northern two-thirds of the state was separated and became the Missionary Diocese of Duluth and in 1907 it officially became the Diocese of Duluth. In 1943, however, the two dioceses were reunited under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Minnesota. The records of the Diocese of Minnesota are divided into two principal series, General Diocesan Files and Records of Bishops and Parishes. For Dakota Indian genealogy, the most useful records will be found in the second series, Records of Bishops and Parishes. An electronic inventory is available.

* The Records of Bishops and Parishes series is divided into several sub-series of use for Dakota family history: the Parish Record Books, 1856-1985, and the Bishop Henry B. Whipple Records. Although most parish registers have remained in the custody of the parishes, there are a number of registers that include baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and burials among the series of Parish Record Books. Parishes for which there are parish registers that might be of use for Dakota family history are:

An electronic inventory is available.

* The Bishop Henry B. Whipple Records, 1859-1899, contain a series of Registers of Baptisms, Marriages, Burials, etc., performed by Whipple during his travels around the diocese. The baptism registers cover 1859-1895, and the marriages and burials register covers 1859-1895. An electronic inventory is available.

An English-Dakota Dictionary, by John P. Williamson; new foreword by Carolynn I. Schommer.
St. Paul, Minn.: Minnesota Historical Society, 1992.
MHS call number: Reading Room PM 1023 .W62 1992.

buy book

Flandrau, Charles Eugene, and Family Papers
(Manuscript Collection, A/.F585 & A/+F585; and microfilm of U.S. Northern Superintendency of Indian Affairs records, A/m.F585)
Papers of Charles E. Flandrau, a lawyer and associate justice (1857-1864) of the Minnesota territorial and supreme courts, and his family, consisting largely of correspondence, invoices, receipts, deeds, and legal documents. Many date from the years 1856-1858, when Flandrau was Indian agent for the Mdewakanton and Wahpekute Dakota, and document his management of Sioux Agency affairs, annuity payments, and councils between the Dakota and government officials. A set of contracts (1897) reflects his representation of Dakota bands in supporting an 1897 Congressional bill to restore rights forfeited in 1863.

For tips on using the collection for Dakota family history research, see Mary Bakeman's The Flandrau Papers: Treasure Trove for Mixed Blood Dakota Indian Genealogy, published by Park Genealogical Books, 1997. MHS call number: E 99 .D1 F56 1997.

Grey Cloud Woman Notebook
(no call number; ask staff for help)
Notebooks compiled by the MnHS Education Department staff, containing photocopies of various articles and other material concerning Grey Cloud Woman. Notebook number II contains genealogical material, including family tree charts.

History of the Santee Sioux: United States Indian Policy on Trial, by Roy W. Meyer
Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press, 1993.
First edition published in 1967; reprinted in 1980 as a "Bison Book"; revised edition in 1993.
MHS call number: Reading Room E 99 .S22 M4 1993.

Iapi Oaye (The Word Carrier)
(Microfiche 417)
A Dakota language newspaper published monthly in Santee, Nebraska, from the 1870s to 1930s. An English version was published, but with much less information about Dakota people. The Dakota version is a good source for obituaries and articles about Dakota people from Minnesota, South Dakota, and Nebraska.

Illingworth, William H., Stereograph Collection
(Sound & Visual Collection, I.35)
Views by photographer William H. Illingworth from glass plate negatives in the collections of the Minneapolis Public Library, the Minnesota Historical Society, and the South Dakota State Historical Society. Included are views of Minneapolis, St. Paul, various Minnesota cities, steamboats, Dakota Indians, Custer's expedition, and South Dakota; dated 1860-ca. 1880.

* Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940
(Microfilm, M559)
U.S. Office of Indian Affairs microfilm, 88 reels of microfilm, selected from a much larger body, and contains only records of Minnesota Indians and Indian groups in Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota that had strong Minnesota connections. Census rolls were submitted each year by agents or superintendents in charge of reservations. They include both Dakota and Ojibwa Indians and are arranged by reservation (e.g. Birch Cooley, Devil's Lake, Pipestone, etc.), although there is not a census for every reservation or group of Indians for every year. Only persons who maintained a formal affiliation with a tribe under federal supervision are listed. Minnesota Dakota were under the jurisdiction of Pipestone for most of this period.

The data on the rolls varies but usually includes English and/or Indian name, roll number, age or birth date, sex, and relationship to head of family. Beginning in 1930 the rolls also show degree of Indian blood, marital status, ward status, place of residence, and sometimes other information. For certain years, including 1935, 1936, 1938, and 1939, only supplemental rolls of additions and deletions were compiled. There is not a census for every reservation or group of Indians for every year. Included in the censuses for Birch Cooley on Roll 2 are additions to and revisions of the 1889 Henton Roll, compiled between 1891 and 1897.

* Indians Imprisoned at Rock Island/Pardoned at Davenport, Iowa, January 20th, 1866
A list of 177 out of the 303 Dakota Indians imprisoned at Rock Island and later pardoned at Davenport, Iowa. The list gives the Indian name, a translation of the name by Samuel J. Brown, and the age of the person. One third of the 303 are estimated to have died in prison, and a several others either served their sentence or were pardoned earlier. The list appears in A Detailed Account of the Massacre by the Dakota Indians of Minnesota in 1862, by Marion P. Satterlee, 1923 edition, pp. 97-102; 1925 edition, pp. 121-128.
MHS call number: E 83.86 S38 1923 or E 83.86 S38 1925.

Korean War

  • Bonus Records (Microfilm, SAM 158)
    Applications for military service bonus payments to Minnesota veterans of the Korean War.
  • Bonus Record Index (Microfilm, SAM 158-I)
  • Bonus Beneficiary Records (Microfilm, SAM 159)
    Applications for military service bonus payments to beneficiaries (members of the immediate family) of deceased Minnesota veterans of the Korean War.

LaCroix, Mary Myrick Hinman, Interview, 1980
(Oral History, OH 19)
Mary Myrick Hinman LaCroix was the daughter of Mary Myrick—who was part Dakota Indian—and the Rev. Samuel Dutton Hinman, an Episcopal missionary to the Santee Sioux from 1860 to 1890, and founder of the Bishop Whipple Mission at the Lower Sioux Community near Redwood Falls, Minnesota. Mrs. LaCroix discusses Rev. Hinman's experiences with the Dakota Indian Community at Lower Sioux Agency during the outbreak of Dakota-white hostilities in 1862; at the Fort Snelling winter encampment afterward; at the Crow Creek Reservation, 1863-1866; at the Santee Reservation, 1866-1886; and again at Lower Sioux, 1886-1890. The transcript also relates her recollections of various Dakota personages. 4 60-minute cassettes, plus a 54-page transcript.

Lawrence, Elizabeth, Interview, 1965
(Oral History)
Mrs. Harry Lawrence, whose Dakota Indian name is Morning Star, was the niece of Chief Little Crow. She sings six songs in her native language: a love song; three Christian hymns; "God's Creation," learned from her father, White Spider; and the song of the morning star sung by her father at her birth. 25 minutes. Open for research only.

Lawrence, Elizabeth Wakeman, Papers
(Manuscript Collection, P939—Biography File)
Transcript of a 1965 interview with Mrs. Lawrence, a descendant of Little Crow. Also a 1952 Indian genealogy affidavit.

Lawrence, Harry, Narration, ca. 1958
(Oral History)
A Dakota Indian gives information about the history of the Dakota in Minnesota, particularly their settlements on the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers. He recalls the Dakota War of 1862 and Chief Little Crow's part in it. His wife, Elizabeth, also comments. 60 minutes. Open for research only.

List of Recipients of Federal Funds, 1885 December
(Manuscript Collection, P902)
Positive photographic copies of a statement signed by John Wakeman, Big Thunder, Phillip Chaska, and Charles Lawrence, reporting on the use of their money and listing the 30 Mdewakantons, probably heads of families, who received federal funds. (Originals are in the National Archives, Record Group 75).

* List of Sioux Indians and Half-Breeds in Camp at Fort Snelling, December 1862
A "census of Indian camp, &c." listing heads of families, total number in the family, and number of horses, oxen, wagons, and chains of Dakota Indians and "half-breeds" in camp at Fort Snelling under the surveillance of the U.S. military authorities during the winter following the 1862 Dakota Conflict. The list appears in the Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the Year 1863, Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1864, pp. 313-316.
MHS call number: Reading Room E 93 .U71 1863.

* List of Sioux Scouts & Soldiers
(Microfilm, M201)
A list of members of the Sisseton, Wahpeton, Mdewakanton, and Wahpekute bands of Dakota Indians who served as scouts or soldiers of the U.S. Army during the 1862 Dakota Conflict and the Civil War, and of their heirs. It was compiled by special agent Samuel H. Elrod to determine their eligibility for annuity payments authorized by an 1891 act of Congress. (Originals in the National Archives.)

Little Crow: Spokesman for the Sioux, by Gary Clayton Anderson.
St. Paul, Minn.: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1986.
MHS call number: Reading Room E 99 .D1 L732 1986.

buy book

Lower Sioux Community: Past & Present History
Morton, Minn.: The Community, 1993.
MHS call number: E 99 .D1 L785 1993.

* McLaughlin, James, Papers
(Microfilm, M230)
Microfilm of the Major James McLaughlin Papers at the Assumption Abbey Archives in Richardton, North Dakota, contains letters, applications for land patents, publications, financial records, notebooks, letter books, and other papers relating to McLaughlin's work as Dakota Indian agent at the Devils Lake and Standing Rock reservations in North Dakota (1876-1895) and as agency inspector and treaty negotiator for the U.S. Office of Indian Affairs (1895-1923). They concern his inspections and negotiations at agencies throughout the U.S. and his work in determining the competency of Indians for citizenship and land patents.

  • Rolls 5-13 contain voluminous material on allotments and citizenship work, including thousands of carbon copies of individual Indians' applications for citizenship. These contain good genealogical information.
  • Roll 21 contains a 300-page census book listing Standing Rock Indians, giving the Indian and English names, the ages, and family relationship. Much of the list is blurred and hard to read.
  • Roll 38 contains the index created by the Abbey Archives on 15,675 cross-reference cards, that give the exact frame numbers to pinpoint information on individual persons and Indian agencies.

Mdewakanton Dakota Women: Active Participants in Mdewakantonwan Cultural Transformations, 1860-1900, by Barbara Yvonne Feezor
Thesis (Ph.D.), University of California, Los Angeles, 1994.
MHS call number: E 99 .M435 F44 1994.

Military Service Record Cards
(Microfilm, SAM 1)
Service record cards for persons who entered federal military service via the Minnesota National Guard and its predecessor, the Minnesota State Militia. They include army, navy, marines, foreign service, naval militia, surgeons and nurses, home and state guards, and cemetery burials. They cover the period from the Civil War through World War II.

The Mystic Lake Sioux: Sociology of the Mdewakantonwan Santee, by Ruth Landes
Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1968.
MHS call number: Reading Room E 99 .M435 L3.

* Native American Death Certificates
(Microfilm, SAM 401)
Unofficial death certificates for 1900 and 1918-1947 for Native Americans who either 1) died in Minnesota but were enrolled or otherwise connected with any Indian tribal group or band, or 2) died outside of Minnesota but were enrolled or otherwise connected with a tribal group or band located in Minnesota. Arranged by state and within a state by Indian agency.

Native American Genealogical Sourcebook, edited by Paula K. Byers.
Covers basic genealogical research methods and how they apply to Native Americans, as well as records specific to Native Americans.
New York: Gale Research Inc., 1995.
MHS call number: Reading Room E 98 G44 N37 1995.

Non-Indian Census

  • Federal Census for Minnesota, 1850-1930
    (Microfilm, no call number assigned, ask staff)
    The federal census occurred in the years ending in "0" beginning with 1850. There was an additional territorial census taken by the federal government in 1857. Although Indian people were not supposed to be listed before 1875, some are listed in the 1850 census.

    The Library also has some census microfilm for other states that is worth checking. For example, many Dakota from Prairie Island are listed on the 1880 federal census for Maiden Rock, Pierce County, Wisconsin.
  • Minnesota State Census, 1849-1905
    (Microfilm, no call number assigned, ask staff)
    The Minnesota state censuses were taken in 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895, and 1905. The territorial government also took a census in 1849, 1853, 1855, and 1857. Despite governmental instructions to the contrary, some Indian people were listed in 1849.

Old Manuscripts Card Catalog
Check the old Manuscripts card catalog in the Weyerhaeuser Reading Room to see if there is an entry for the family member you are looking for. There are files relating to Dakota chiefs and some other individuals.

Papers Relating to Prairie Island Indian Community, compiled by Evelyn Wendler-Nelson
(Manuscript Collection, P2314)
Typescripts and photographs containing biographical and historical information on the Prairie Island Indian Community and, especially, on members of the Rouillard and Wells families who settled there beginning in the 1880s. Also included is a 1-page list of Indian names from the mid-1860s and mid-1870s. An electronic inventory is available.

Pond Family Papers
(Manuscript Collection, P437, M187, M21)
Papers documenting the history of a Minnesota pioneer family, particularly the ministry of two brothers-Samuel and Gideon Pond-who were early missionaries among the Dakota Indians. The papers include photocopies and original correspondence, some with typed transcripts (1833-1935), diaries (1836-1858, 1885-1914), sermons (1857-1879, 1948), addresses (1905-1954), poems, lexicons, a Dakota grammar, a Dakota-Hebrew vocabulary, genealogies, an autograph album, reminiscences (undated and 1874, 1881, 1891), account book (1873-1889), photocopied (1890-1969) and microfilmed (1833-1967) scrapbooks, and newspaper clippings (undated and 1891-1958). Topics include Samuel and Gideon Pond's missionary activities, their interest in the Dakota language, and the churches the brothers helped found.

"Prairie du Chien and Galena Church Records, 1827-1829," transcribed and translated by James L. Hansen.
Published in the Minnesota Genealogical Journal, no. 5 (May 1986): pp. 421-442.
MHS call number: Reading Room CS 42 .M553 no. 5
Transcribed and translated from a copy of the original French records made by Father Francois Vincent Badin, including baptisms, marriages, and burials. (Originals are in the Archives of St. Mary's College in Montreal; a copy is in the Wisconsin Historical Society.)

"Prairie du Chien's Earliest Church Records, 1817," transcribed and translated by James L. Hansen.
Published in the Minnesota Genealogical Journal, no. 4 (Nov. 1985): pp. 329-342.
MHS call number: Reading Room CS 42 .M553 no. 4.
Translated from a photostatic copy of the original French records made by Father Joseph Marie Dunand and kept by St. Gabriel's Catholic Church in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.

Register of Baptisms, Deaths, and Marriages Kept by Father Ravoux, 1841-1844, 1847
(Manuscript Collection, P370)
A photocopy (33 leaves) of a register in French of baptisms, deaths, and marriages kept by Father Ravoux among the Dakota Indians from 1841-1844, and on a trip up the Missouri in 1847. Accompanied by a typed transcript (28 leaves) in French of the register. (Original is in the Archives of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.)

A transcribed and translated version is available as: "The Labors of Augustin Ravoux Among the Sioux," transcribed and translated by Mary Bakeman. In the Minnesota Genealogical Journal, no. 14 (Sept. 1995): pp. 1317-1326. MHS call number: Reading Room CS 42 .M553 no. 14.

Register of Sioux Half-Breed Scrip Entries
(see the State Archives Notebooks under U.S. General Land Office, Red Wing Land District)
The Treaty of Prairie du Chien (1831) set aside 320,819 acres of land near present-day Wabasha as a reserve for "Sioux half-breeds." As the surrounding area opened for settlement, pressure arose to open the half-breed tract to white settlers. Half-breed title was extinguished by dividing the reserve land among the enrolled half-breeds and issuing scrip to each individual in proportion to his or her share of the reserve. By law the scrip could not be alienated, but this restriction was often evaded and much of the scrip was entered by someone other than the person to whom it was issued.

A transcribed version is available as: "Original Land Entries: Mixed Blood/Indian Scrip," transcribed by Christopher Bakeman and published in the Minnesota Genealogical Journal:

  • no. 17 (Mar. 1997): pp. 1619-1634 - Red Wing Land District, 1857-1861, part I
  • no. 18 (Sept. 1997): pp. 1711-1722 - Red Wing Land District, 1857-1861, part II

MHS call number: Reading Room CS 42 .M553 nos. 17-18.

Riggs, Stephen R., and Family Papers
(Manuscript Collection, P727)
Letters and miscellaneous materials of this Presbyterian missionary and other family members, focusing on the Riggs' missionary service at Lake Harriet (now Minneapolis) and Lac Qui Parle, Minnesota (1837-1862), his work as an interpreter during the 1862 Dakota Conflict, and his subsequent activities as an author of Dakota-language teaching materials. Of particular interest are lists of prisoners at Davenport in the 1860s, and a list of men who died in prison. There also are a great many letters written by Indians, some of them in English, but most of them written in the Dakota language.

Saint Clair, Henry Whipple, Papers
(Manuscript Collection, P894)
Henry St. Clair was a Dakota clergyman in the Protestant Episcopal Church at Birch Coulee [Cooley/Coolie] (Lower Sioux) and elsewhere.

Saint Leo's Catholic Church (Pipestone, Minn.) Baptism Records, 1878-1896
("Pipestone County Catholic Baptisms," transcribed by Sheri Flandrick Cox)
Transcribed from the original record book held by Saint Leo's Catholic Church. The book contains entries from several congregations, including Woodstock, Avoca, Edgerton, Jasper, and Pipestone.

Published in the Minnesota Genealogical Journal:

  • no. 28 (Sept. 2002): pp. 2779-2782 - 1878-1887
  • no. 29 (Mar. 2003): pp. 2883-2886 - 1887-1890
  • no. 30 (Sept. 2003): pp. 2975-2978 - 1890-1892
  • no. 31 (Mar. 2004): pp. 3073-3076 - 1892-1894
  • no. 32 (Sept. 2004): pp. 3181-3184 - 1895-1896

MHS call number: CS 42 .M553 no. 28, 29, 30, 31, 32.

Saint Raphael Cathedral (Dubuque, Iowa) Registers of Baptisms, 1839-1858
(Manuscript Collection, P1098)
A typed transcription of entries in the register of baptisms kept by a number of Roman Catholic priests, including Bishop Mathias Loras. At that time the Diocese of Dubuque included part of the present state of Minnesota. (Original is in the Archdiocese of Dubuque Archives; a transcript is in the Archives of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.)

Satterlee, Marion P. and William W., Papers
(Manuscript Collection, P1634)
Primarily Marion P. Satterlee's research files as an historian of the 1862 Dakota Conflict. Marion's research files include two boxes of card files with data on both Indian and white participants in the Dakota Conflict, including Dakota who were killed; reminiscent letters from white survivors; and correspondence with descendants of Little Crow. An electronic inventory is available.

* Selected Sioux (Dakota) Annuity and Census Rolls, 1849-1935
(Microfilm, M405)
U.S. Office of Indian Affairs annuity and census rolls are for Dakota Indian bands whose members were paid annuities by the federal government under various treaties negotiated between 1849 and 1935. They are arranged by band (e.g. Mdewakanton, Flandreau, Santee, etc.) and then chronologically. The annuity rolls list only the head of the family; the census rolls list everyone in the family.

The "McLeod Roll"—listed in the inventory as the 1885 enrollment, but now known as the 1886 enrollment—is particularly important as a place to start for Dakota in Minnesota. The 1886 McLeod roll is on reel 1 of M405.

The 1886 enrollment was revised in 1889—the "Henton" or "Hinton" Roll—but that census is not included on the microfilm. You may view digital images of the 1889 census on the National Archives' website, then entering through the "Research Room," search the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) by "Sioux census."

After Agent Robert Henton's death in early 1899, US Indian Inspector James McLaughlin was sent to Minnesota to do a revised "Census of Medawakanton Sioux of Minnesota," completed in March of that year. It lists entire families and gives their locations. This census is found on reel 1 of M405.

In 1923 James McLaughlin helped prepare a comprehensive Santee Sioux Roll of individuals living in Minnesota and elsewhere, to be used in fulfilling a Court of Claims judgment. This roll is also found on reel 1 of M405.

Sibley, Henry H., Papers
(Microfilmed Manuscript Collection, M164)
More than a third of the papers concern the fur trade with the Dakota Indians of the Upper Mississippi Valley from 1815 to 1855, documenting Sibley's business association with the American Fur Company and its successor, Pierre Chouteau, Jr., and Company, as well as his interest in the treaties, wars, and welfare of the Dakota. They provide information on individual traders and Dakota bands in the Minnesota area; on prices for furs, trade goods, and supplies; on the company's system of agreements and credits for traders and Indians; on missionaries, explorers, and others who visited pre-territorial Minnesota; and on all of the treaties concluded in the Minnesota area with the Dakota, Ojibwe, and Winnebago Indians during 1834-1851. There is considerable data on the 1862 Dakota Conflict, on the 1863 punitive expedition led by Sibley, and on his subsequent service with several Indian affairs commissions and boards. Roll 12, frame 89, contains a list of men who were scouts for Sibley in 1863.

Simmon Scrapbook, compiled by Selma Simmon, 1892.
(Photograph Album 200)
Illustrations and cuts from various publications from the late 1880s, including some portraits of Indians.

State Department of Health Birth Records
Statewide. Unofficial birth cards, 1900-1907; official (but non-certified) birth certificates, 1908-[eventually 1934]. As of October 2005, you may order copies online for $8; copies made in the Weyerhaeuser Reading Room are $2.

In the Library you may also access the State Department of Health's electronic index of birth records for 1935-2002 using

State Department of Health Death Records
(Microfilm, no call number assigned; ask staff)
Statewide. Unofficial death register, 1899; unofficial death cards, 1900-1907; official (but non-certified) death certificates, 1908-1996 [eventually 2001]. As of October 2005, you may order copies online for $8; copies made in the Hubbs Microfilm Room are 35.

Taliaferro, Lawrence, Papers
(Microfilmed Manuscript Collection, M35 and M35-A)
Correspondence, journals, order books, financial records, an autobiography, and miscellany, the bulk of which document Taliaferro's career as U.S. Indian agent to the Ojibwe and Dakota at the St. Peters Agency near Fort Snelling in present-day Minnesota, 1820-1839, and contain much information about early contact with the Dakota. Taliaferro's journals make reference to most of the prominent Ojibwe and Dakota Indians, Indian traders, explorers, military officers, and missionaries active in Minnesota during that time, as well as many settlers, voyageurs, and Red River colony migrants. There are details on Indian bands, annuity payments, missionary work, and relations between whites and Indians. Taliaferro's handwriting is difficult to read.

Through Dakota Eyes: Narrative Accounts of the Minnesota Indian War of 1862, edited by Gary Clayton Anderson and Alan R. Woolworth.
St. Paul, Minn.: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1988.
MHS call number: Reading Room E 83.86 .T48 1988.

buy book

Township Birth Records
(Local Government Archives, mostly hardcopy, see catalog)
The number of township birth records at the Library varies widely from county to county. Check the Library Catalog by typing in the name of the county and the word "birth." All of the township birth records available for that county will come up in the search results.

Township Death Records
(Local Government Archives, mostly hardcopy, see catalog)
The number of township death records at the Library varies widely from county to county. Check the Library Catalog by typing in the name of the county and the word "death." All of the township death records available for that county will come up in the search results.

Two Early Lists of Mixed-Blood Sioux, transcribed by James L. Hansen.
Published in Minnesota Genealogical Journal, no. 6 (Nov. 1986): pp. 523-530. MHS call number: CS 42 .M553 No. 6.
The first list, pertaining to payments due under a Sept. 29, 1837 treaty "between the U.S. and the Sioux Indians of the Mississippi," was transcribed from the Special Files of the U.S. Office of Indian Affairs, no. 200. (Originals are in the National Archives, Record Group 75, NARA microfilm M574, roll 59.) The second list, based on an 1841 treaty between Wisconsin territorial governor James Duane Doty and "various bands of the Sioux in the Minnesota area," was transcribed from the Letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs. (Originals in the National Archives, Record Group 75, NARA microfilm M234, roll 759.)

United States. Adjutant-General's Office. Letters Received by the Office of the Adjutant General (Main Series), 1861-1870
(Microfilmed Manuscript Collection, M166)
Letters, briefs, memoranda, and notes sent to or originating in the office of the Adjutant General, the majority of which were received for filing in the period 1861-1870. Of particular Minnesota interest is File 5I-1866 (frames 501-735), which pertains to the Dakota Conflict of 1862 and its aftermath. This file encompasses the years 1862-1916, and comprises a "consolidated file" assembled some years after the constituent letters were initially filed. Among the items are several letters relating to the escape to Canada of Indians involved in the conflict; several letters appealing for the pardon of the Indians held in captivity at Camp Kearney; and a "List of Indian Prisoners Confined at Camp Kearney, Davenport, Iowa, January 20, 1866" (frames 692-697).

Whipple, Bishop Henry B., Indian Photograph Collection
(Sound & Visual Collection, III.40)
The collection consists primarily of views of Native American Indians from the mid-western United States. Many are identified portraits. Minnesota views include people and buildings at Morton and Birch Coulee and on the White Earth Indian Reservation. Many of the views document the Episcopal ministry at these locations, including many views of the Rev. Henry W. St. Clair and family. Also includes views of Henry B. Whipple, his home, and Shattuck and St. Mary's Schools in Faribault.

* Whipple, Henry B., Papers
(Manuscript Collection, P823)
Whipple's correspondence, diaries, sermons, reminiscences, and other materials as the first Protestant Episcopal bishop of Minnesota (1859-1901) and as a reformer of the United States Indian service. They provide information particularly on ecclesiastical policy, Diocese of Minnesota matters, Indian missions, government relations with the Indians, and the Indian rights movement of the latter 19th century. Whipple corresponded with his clergy, many of whom founded the first churches in their areas; with missionaries to the Dakota and Ojibwe Indians, notably Enmegahbowh, Joseph A. Gilfillan, and Samuel Hinman; and with Indians and mixed-bloods, among others. He was particularly concerned about treatment of the Dakota and Ojibwe in Minnesota and about a humane response to the 1862 Dakota Conflict. He served on several commissions appointed to negotiate treaties or oversee the Indians' welfare, including distribution of supplies to the Sisseton and Wahpeton in Dakota Territory (1868-1870), the Sioux Commission (1876), the Northwest Indian Commission (1886), several Ojibwe annuity commissions (1860s), and the U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners (1895-1901). Of particular interest for genealogical purposes is material relating primarily to Dakota who remained at Faribault after 1862, and the Lower Sioux community at Morton.

Williamson, Thomas S., Papers
(Manuscript Collection, P726)
Correspondence, articles, and accounts of this physician who was also (1835-1862) a missionary to the Dakota Indians at Lac Qui Parle and Kaposia, Minnesota. Most of the correspondence (1861-1879) is between Thomas S. and his son John P., a missionary to the Dakota Indians in Dakota Territory; it gives information on the Indians' removal from Minnesota following the 1862 Dakota Conflict, life in the Indian agencies, and family matters. Especially important for Dakota family history are documents relating to T.S. Williamson's work with the prisoners at Davenport and John P. Williamson's letters relating to the removal of the Dakota to Crow Creek Agency.

World War I

  • Bonus Files (see the State Archives Notebooks)
    Applications for military service bonus payments to Minnesota veterans of World War I. Unfolding and re-housing of these files is in progress. A box list is available that reflects those files that are available for public use
  • Bonus Files Index (Microfilm, SAM 3)
    A name index to the separately cataloged World War I Bonus Files (1919- ) of the Adjutant General's Office. The warrant number is the key piece of data from this index, since the Bonus Files are arranged by warrant number.

World War II:

  • Bonus Records (Microfilm, SAM 232)
    Applications for military service bonus payments to Minnesota veterans of World War II.
  • Bonus Records Index (Microfilm, SAM 232-I)