Minnesota County Births (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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

Contents

Record Description

This collection covers the years 1863 to 1983. However, most of the county’s records end before 1950. The collection consists of digital images of birth records from various county courthouses.

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 City and Township Birth Records 1871-1947.”

Some counties and towns 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, and the county sent a copy to the state. 

For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.

Record Content

Birth entries usually include the following information:

  • Date and place of birth
  • Full name and gender of child
  • Legitimacy
  • Father's name
  • Mother's maiden name
  • Parents' residence, age and race
  • Parents' birth place
  • Parents' occupation
  • Number of births for mother
  • Number of children living
  • Name of person attending birth such as midwife or doctor

How to Use the Record

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

  • Child's name
  • Other identifying information such as birth date and place or parent's names

Search the Collection

To search the collection,
⇒Select Browse through images on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "County" category
⇒Select the appropriate "Record Type, Date Range and Volume" category which takes you to the images.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

Using the Information

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 or military records.
  • The parents' birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • 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.
  • 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.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.

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

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

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.

Citations for This Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection Citation:

"Minnesota, County Birth Records, 1863-1983." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing County courthouses, Minnesota.

Image citation:

The citation for an image is available on each image in this collection by clicking Show Citation at the bottom left of the image screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Minnesota, County Births Records, 1863-1983.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 2 December 2014, at 21:45.
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