MORE BIRTH CERTIFICATES NOW AVAILABLE
The years 1930-1934 are now available in the online Minnesota Birth Certificates Index. This completes the indexing and digitization project of the "regular" birth certificates.
Still to be completed will be delayed birth certificates, supplemental certificates, American Indian birth certificates, and a small series of pre-1900 certificates. There currently is no anticipated date for the completion of those.
NEWSPAPER CLASS CANCELED
The May 22 class on "Minnesota Newspapers" has been canceled. Look for it again next fall.
MEMORIAL DAY MEMORIES
Memorial Day memories often turn to visits to family plots in the hometown cemetery or observing the local VFW ceremony at veterans' gravesides. A common research subject at the MHS Library is discovering where family members are buried and/or determining where the cemeteries themselves are located. Death certificates and obituaries are helpful in discovering where an individual has been buried. Below are other records in the Minnesota Historical Society collections that can help with a cemetery search.
Cemetery transcriptions have been created for many Minnesota cemeteries by volunteers who "walk" the cemeteries copying down the information on the gravestones and then publishing the information. At least some inscriptions from most counties have been copied and published. Search the online catalog using a county name and the truncated term "cemet?" so that all forms of the word cemetery are searched (e.g. Sibley County cemet?).
Additional cemetery transcriptions have been published in periodicals--such as local genealogical society newsletters. Those articles are not listed separately in the online catalog. Minnesota Cemeteries in Print is a bibliography of cemetery transcriptions published to 1985.
Municipal and Township Records
The MHS Library holds records for dozens of the state's municipalities and townships. Records can include cemetery records, burial registers, lot owner records, or corpse removal forms. Search the online catalog under the name of the locality.
State Institutions Records
Many of Minnesota's state institution collections include burial records, obituary records, and cemetery plats for their on-site cemeteries. Notable institutions include Faribault State School and Hospital, Willmar State Hospital, Hastings State Hospital, Cambridge State Hospital, St. Peter State Hospital, and the Owatonna State Public School.
Veterans Graves Registration
The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs compiled records on deceased Minnesota veterans from 1930 to 1975. A grave registration form often includes the following information: branch of service, unit, cause of death, place of burial, and other biographical information. An online Index to the records is available.
In the late 1930s the Historical Records Survey of the Works Project Administration (WPA) conducted a survey that has information about many Minnesota cemeteries. These records are not listed in the online catalog. The collection call number is BC 8.1 W956. Boxes 306-310 are alphabetically by county name and list the locations of cemeteries within each county. There are no listings for Mille Lacs, Nobles, Rock, Stevens, or Watonwan counties. Box 310 also lists persons buried in private cemeteries. Box 319 includes more private burials and persons buried in abandoned cemeteries. Box 320 includes Indian burials.
The Minnesota Genealogical Journal published some of this WPA cemetery survey information in volumes 8-16 (1991-1996). This information include lists of persons and remarks made by the WPA workers as they recorded the information.
FINDING THE FALLEN: SOURCES OF INFORMATION ON AMERICAN CASUALTIES AND GRAVE LOCATIONS
There are two major online resources for finding veterans’ graves, one listing U.S. cemeteries and the other Americans buried overseas.
The United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs administers veterans’ cemeteries across the United States, including Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Their web site contains a National Gravesite Locator, a database that allows you to search all the cemeteries to find an individual burial location. The database also searches information available from private cemetery burials where a government grave marker was provided. Veterans from all the nation's wars are included, although most of the listings are from 20th-century conflicts.
Beginning with World War I, many American service men and women were buried overseas. Information on these cemeteries is found through the American Battle Monuments Commission web site. This useful and flexible database is searchable by cemetery, name, and state. It also includes a database of Korean War casualties, the Korean War Honor Roll, listing the names of 39,000 American dead or missing from that conflict.
In addition, lists of World War II dead are available online through the National Archives, which has scanned versions of the original U. S. military publications that list the names of the dead for each state.