Minnesota City and Township Birth Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

From FamilySearch Wiki

FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.


Collection Time Period

This collection covers the years 1871 to 1947.

Record Description

The collection consists of digital images of city and township birth records from various county courthouses. This collection includes townships in the following counties:

  • Anoka
  • Blue Earth
  • Cottonwood
  • Freeborn
  • Hennepin
  • Lyon
  • Ramsey
  • Renville
  • Washington
  • Yellow Medicine

Notes about this collection:

  • The year range will vary by county.
  • Confidential information (illegitimate births and adoptions) has been masked from this collection.
  • Some of the records in this collection may be duplicated in the collection “Minnesota County Births 1863-1983.”

Record Content

Birth records usually include the following genealogical information:

  • Date of birth
  • City, county, and state of birth
  • State or country and sometimes town and county of birth for the parents (usually included)
  • Parents’ names (usually includes the mother’s maiden name)
  • Gender
  • Residence or address of parents
  • Name of person attending the birth such as a midwife or doctor.

How to Use the Record

To begin your search, it is helpful to know the following:

  • Name of the child
  • Approximate birth date
  • Parents' names
  • Birth place

Compare the information in the birth record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination. Be aware that as with any index, transcription errors may occur.

When you have located your ancestor’s birth record, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. For example:

  • Use the birth date along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
  • The father’s occupation can lead you to other types of records such as employment records or military records.
  • The parents’ birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.

It is often helpful to extract the information on all children with the same parents. If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile birth entries for every person of the same surname and sort them into families based on the names of the parents. Continue to search the birth records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who were born in the same county or nearby.

Keep in mind:

  • The information in birth records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from record to record.

For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records).

Record History

Some counties and town began recording births as soon they were incorporated, with some as early as 1864. However, because there was no law requiring births to be recorded, compliance was not good in the early years.

In 1901, Congress passed a resolution asking states to gather information about the births and deaths that occur within their borders. Many states responded, but because Congress did not fund the request it took several years until all the states were keeping these records consistently. Birth records were usually filled out by a witness, midwife, or a medical professional. The certificate was then sent to the county, then the county sent a copy to the state.

Why this Record Was Created

Births were recorded to better serve public health needs.

Record Reliability

The information recorded about the birth is usually reliable.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection

  • United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71
  • Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023

Sources of Information for This Collection

Minnesota. City and Township Birth Records, 1871-1947. Various town and county offices throughout Minnesota.


Need additional research help? Contact our research help specialists.

Need wiki, indexing, or website help? Contact our product teams.

Did you find this article helpful?

You're invited to explain your rating on the discussion page (you must be signed in).

  • This page was last modified on 21 August 2014, at 23:29.
  • This page has been accessed 1,180 times.