Minnesota Historical Society M-Flame Logo

FAMILY HISTORY RESEARCH

Step 3: Determine The Type of Record You Need

Determine the kind of record you need and the authority that created it.

The Minnesota Historical Society collections contain many types of documents and publications that can help in your search. These include records from various levels of government (town, township, county, territory and state) within the state, such as civil case files, tax and poll lists, school lists, etc.

Many of the state's newspapers, all Minnesota's censuses (both state and federal), local and church histories from throughout the state are available on microfilm.

While the focus is on Minnesota and the midwest, the early founders of the Minnesota Historical Society came from New England and other eastern states, and left their papers and books to the Society. The collection is also strong for eastern states and the original 13 colonies.

Other historical societies have different collection policies and practices. You will probably need to use several libraries and other sources to find the needed records.

If you need look for
birth data birth or death records, christening records, cemetery transcriptions and records, parents' church records, family bibles, letters, censuses, obituaries
death data death certificates, burial records, cemetery transcriptions and records, church records, family bibles, letters, census mortality schedules, Social Security Death Index
marriage data county records, family bibles, letters, church records
naturalization data naturalization records from courts (local, county, state, and federal) in the area where they lived (some censuses tell if the person is naturalized)
locations historical maps, gazetteers, post office lists, other relative's biographies, published indexes, genealogical periodicals, surname files, compendiums, censuses
other relatives historical maps, gazetteers, post office lists, other relative's biographies, published indexes, genealogical periodicals, surname files, compendiums, censuses