How to Find Minnesota Birth RecordsEdit This Page

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How to Find United States Births Gotoarrow.png Minnesota Gotoarrow.png Minnesota Births

In 1858, the state of Minnesota was created from Minnesota Territory. Statewide registration of births began in 1908 in Minnesota and generally complied by 1915. Pre-1900 records are available only in the county of birth.

Next Step: When did the birth occur?

Birth Records
Choose a time period:

Learn more about U.S. Birth Records

Births before 1858

Minnesota did not exist as a state at this time and was known as the Minnesota Territory . Before 1858, no births were recorded by the county or state. A very few birth records exist from 1840 - see the next section on Births from 1858-1908. Otherwise, you must search substitute records to locate your ancestor’s birth date and place.

  Records that give birth information:
Death Records
Cemetery Records
Newspapers
Church Records
Census
Military Records
Return to top: Choose another birth year


Births from 1858 thru 1908

  • 1858 - Minnesota law required counties to record births. A very few records exist from 1840.
  • The state of Minnesota was created from the Minnesota Territory in 1858.
  • 1870 Legislation ordered recording of county vital records.
  • 1908 - Minnesota Statewide birth registration began.

STEP ONE: Find Birth Information


If you cannot locate your ancestor in the databases below, try searching for birth information in other records.

  Minnesota Births Databases 


1840-1980 - At FamilySearch.org Free; Includes Index and Digital Images, most counties go to 1980;

list of database county coverage


1863-1983 - At FamilySearch.org Free; digitized images only, NOT INDEXED, not all counties are complete to 1950: collection also contains delayed birth records;

1900-1934 - Birth Certificate Index at MN State Historical Society  Free index; certificates may be ordered $. Most counties go to 1934, collection also contains delayed birth records.
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No birth record for your ancestor? Other records with birth information

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate

PART A: You know the exact date of birth

With an exact date (from your records or the index above), you can order a copy of the birth record for a fee from the following locations:

To Order Birth Certificates
From County of Birth From MN Dept. of Health State office
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state County websites can be more difficult to use Offers a search of the state index for an additional fee May be more expensive than ordering from the county

See list of restrictions for ordering birth records

If you do not want to order the birth record, you can search other records with birth information.

PART B: You don't know the exact date of birth

If you do not know the exact date or place of birth:
For a fee, the Minnesota Department of Health will do a 3 year search.

See list of restrictions for ordering birth records

If you do not want to order the birth record, you can search other records with birth information.

Return to top: Choose another birth year


Births from 1908 to the Present

STEP ONE: Find Birth Information

Minnesota Historical Society Database: Includes Index Only


1900-1934 - use Minnesota Birth Certificates Index Minnesota Historical Society 

Minnesota Historical Society


Ancestry database: Includes Index Only


1935-2002 - use Ancestry Institution at FamilySearch Centers/Libraries
Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center

1935-2002 - use your own Ancestry subscription


$, To obtain a subscription to Ancestry; Ancestry is often available for free through your local public library

1900-Present MN Local Issuance Offices Certificates available from Local Issuance Offices in Minnesota
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No birth record for your ancestor? Other records with birth information

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate

PART A: You know the exact date of birth

With an exact date (from your records or the index above), you can order a copy of the birth record for a fee from the following locations:

To Order Birth Certificates
From County of Birth From MN Dept. of Health State office
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state County websites can be more difficult to use Offers a search of the state index for an additional fee May be more expensive than ordering from the county

See list of restrictions for ordering birth records

If you do not want to order the birth record, you can search other records with birth information.

PART B: You don't know the exact date of birth

If you do not know the exact date or place of birth:
For a fee, the Minnesota Department of Health will do a 3 year search.

See list of restrictions for ordering birth records

If you do not want to order the birth record, you can search other records with birth information.

Return to top: Choose another birth year



Restrictions for Obtaining Birth Records

Restrictions for persons born within the last 100 years:
To obtain a copy of the birth certificate for those born within the last 100 years from the government agency, you must be:

  • The person on the certificate
  • The parents and grandparents of person on the certificate
  • The wife or husband of the person on the certificate
  • The children and grandchildren of the person on the certificate
  • The brothers or sisters of the person on the certificate
  • Anyone who has legal interest in the certificate
NOTE: A copy of the birth record cannot be obtained by anyone except those listed above until 100 years have passed from the date of the birth.

If you do not want to order the birth record, you can search other records with birth information.

Return to top: Choose another birth year


References

Guide to Public Vital Statistics Records in Minnesota. Prepared by the Minnesota Historical Records Survey Project. Division of Community Service Programs Work Projects Administration. C 1941 St. Paul, MN The Minnesota Historical Records Survey Project. FHL film 1036716; book:977.6 V23h; fiche 6051362

American Indian Vital Records

1845-1953 Consolidated Chippewa Records. Bureau of Indian Affairs FHL film 1294364 (first of 13)


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  • This page was last modified on 17 July 2014, at 20:10.
  • This page has been accessed 2,628 times.