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Genealogy

The State Archives, a division of the State Historical Society of North Dakota, has many collections which are helpful to genealogical researchers seeking information associated with North Dakota's past. These collections are available to researchers in the Orin G. Libby Memorial Reading Room of the North Dakota Heritage Center during regular business hours.

The reference staff will attempt to answer specific requests by email, phone, or mail if you are unable to visit the North Dakota Heritage Center. Due to the small number of staff and the large number of requests, search time cannot exceed twenty minutes per letter. Therefore, please do not include more than three requests per letter and provide as much information as possible, including names, precise locations and dates. No general or surname searches will be attempted. A list of genealogical researchers can be provided if desired.

Although materials generally do not circulate, most newspapers, North Dakota state censuses, and early atlases are on microfilm and are available through interlibrary loan. We encourage researchers to use this service and therefore will not do extensive searching of these materials.


Census Schedules

Census research request forms are available upon request and must be filled out as completely as possible and returned with the necessary fee. Precise locations must be provided for non-indexed censuses.

•1850 Minnesota census includes Pembina County •1850 and 1857 Pembina County, printed index •1860, 1870, 1880 Dakota Territory (indexed) •1885 Northern Dakota Territory, North half only (indexed) •1890 North Dakota, Civil War Veterans and Widows (indexed) •1900 North Dakota (Soundex) •1910 North Dakota (no index) •1915 North Dakota state census (no index) •1920 North Dakota (Soundex) •1925 North Dakota state census (no index) •1930 North Dakota (indexed) •Fort Totten Reservation Indian census: 1885-1905, 1910-1939 •Fort Berthold Reservation Indian census: 1889-1893, 1895-1939 •Standing Rock Reservation Indian census: 1885-1913, 1915-1939 •Turtle Mountain Reservation Indian census: 1885-1905 (with Fort Totten Reservation), and 1910-1939 •Digger Indians census: 1899-1904, 1915-1920

Cost: $5.00 per household, per location, per census. A request form is available in PDF format.


Normanden (Norwegian language newspaper)

This newspaper bagan in 1887 although some of the earlier issues are missing. It is available on microfilm and thus, also available through interlibrary loan. It later merged with "Viserguten" to form "Normanden og Viserguten".


Pioneer Biographies

Interviews and information gathered in the 1930s through personal interviews, these are organized by county and by individual name. Microfilm copies may be requested by interlibrary loan. Specify county and name.


Public Death Index

Public Death Index is now available through the North Dakota Department of Health website. The Public Death Index will allow you to search the index and order certified copies, if you wish.


Online Catalog

The ODIN link from this site defaults to State Historical Society of North Dakota Archives and Library holdings, although you can search any of the other member libraries or all of the libraries. The State Archives holdings found in the ODIN catalog include books, state and federal documents, newspapers, periodicals, maps, state and local government records, and photograph and manuscript collections. Inventories to a number of manuscript collections and series are available online and are linked from the catalog record in ODIN.


Statewide Searchable Databases

North Dakota Biographical Index

Indexes more than 152,000 entries found in some 544 publications. Many of these publications are available at the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

North Dakota Naturalization Records Index

The database contains over 212,000 names, giving the county where the declaration of intention (1st papers) was filed and the naturalization occurred (2nd papers), the date of both events, and from what country the person emigrated.

Dakota Territory 1885 Census Index

The database contains over 151,500 names for the counties that today form North Dakota. Each entry includes: name, age, nativity, occupation, county of residence, and exact location of the entry in the census schedule.

Fargo Forum Obituary Index

The time period completed includes from October 1892 to 1909 and from November 1982 to 1995 from the Fargo Forum Newspaper. In addition partial indexing has been done for other years. The database currently contains over 70,000 names. Additional obituaries continue to be added on a regular basis.


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  • This page was last modified on 21 August 2010, at 13:33.
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