Minnesotans typically leave records of births and deaths, marriages, education, employment, religious and political affiliations, military service, property ownership, and relationships to government and the law, ranging from paying taxes and registering a business, to living in a sanatorium or other state institution. The Minnesota Historical Society Library has many of these records, as well as additional valuable items.

In 2004 the MHS Press published A Guide to A Guide to Family History Resources at the Minnesota Historical Society book coverFamily History Resources at the Minnesota Historical Society, an essential tool for all genealogists who are researching Minnesota family, local, and state history. The guide is arranged by the large subject areas you see to the left.

In the published guide, the entry for each resource describes its content and may note special restrictions, indexes, or means of access.

This online Family History Resources guide provides hot links into the MnPALS catalog or elsewhere on the MHS website, and occasionally to other websites. Many entries in the printed guide say to use the MnPALS catalog and gives words to search by. This guide doesn't need to do that; it can take you directly to often hard-to-find entries in the online catalog.


A Guide to Family History Resources at the Minnesota Historical Society — purchase your own copy

Family History Research

  • Family History Research in 8 Easy Steps
  • Helpful Addresses
  • Researching Family History on the Web (a written guide)
  • Links to Other Family History Websites

Trace Your Family History — Using the Avaloz and Rangel families as examples, this exhibit demonstrates how information in one record leads to data in another record.