Minnesota Historical Society Publishes Online Index to War Records in Preparation for 1940s Census Release

For immediate release

Release dated: 
March 29, 2012
Media contacts: 

Jessica Kohen, Marketing and Communications, 651-259-3148, jessica.kohen@mnhs.org

Tracey Baker, Minnesota Historical Society Library, 651-259-3317, tracey.baker@mnhs.org

Minnesota Historical Society Publishes Online Index to War Records in Preparation for 1940s Census Release

World War I records can be used together with Census information to help track down family history.

In anticipation of the release of the 1940s census on April 2, the Minnesota Historical Society has made available for the first time online an index to World War I bonus records.

The records are of ancestors who served in World War I and who received a bonus payment from the State of Minnesota between the years 1919 and 1943. These bonus records include information for more than 110,000 Minnesota soldiers, sailors, marines, nurses, student nurses, dieticians and officers, plus a surviving widow, child or parent.

Bonus records can be found by typing in the veterans name or any number of other identifiers into the search bar at www.mnhs.org/searchcollections. Once the file is located, researchers can view it in the Library's Weyerhaeuser Reference room, or they can order a copy online. The records have been housed at the Society for a number of years, but have just recently been indexed. Material is being digitized and added to the Society’s Collections Online in an ongoing basis.

This online index will join the first ever online release of the federal census on April 2. Working from home, family history researchers can gather critical information before visiting the Library to locate additional resources, like birth and death records, passenger ship lists, naturalization records, newspapers, city directories, and much more. The Library also offers customized help.

Minnesota Historical Society Library Family History Resources

For those getting started online, Family Tree Magazine has named the Society's family history website at www.mnhs.org/familyhistory one of the "Best State Websites for Genealogy."

People looking for a classroom introduction to the federal census and to the Society’s other resources can sign up for “Family History: Federal and State Census Records,” offered on Saturday, April 21 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cost is $32 or $28 for MHS members. Reservations are required and can be made online or by calling 651-259-3300.

Family History Help Desks are also available to researchers who visit the Weyerhaeuser Reference and Hubbs Microfilm rooms. The desks are staffed by trained family history volunteers who are available at various times during the week. Call 651-259-3300 to check on the current schedule.

About the Minnesota Historical Society

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.