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Guide to Pennington County, Minnesota ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

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Online Records

Pennington County, Minnesota
Map of Minnesota highlighting Pennington County
Location in the state of Minnesota
Map of the U.S. highlighting Minnesota
Location of Minnesota in the U.S.
Founded November 23, 1910
County Seat Thief River Falls
Address Pennington County Courthouse

101 Main Ave
PO Box 616
Thief River Falls, MN 56701
Phone: 218.681.2522
Pennington County Website


County Information

Pennington County, Minnesota Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1910 1910 1910 1850 1880 1910

County Courthouse

County Recorder has birth, marriage,
death and burial, land and military records from 1910.
Court Administrator has divorce,
probate and court records. [2]


Parent County

  • 1910--Pennington County was created 23 November 1910 from Red Lake County.  County seat: Thief River Falls [3]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties



  • Institute of Museum and Library Services cemetery and obituary search for Pennington County.  Click here.


Most church records are held by individual churches. For contact information, check a phone directory, such as SearchBug or Dex Knows. Some denominations are gathering their records into a central repository. For more information about these major repositories, see Minnesota Church Records.



The county register of deeds keeps land records once the land was transferred to private ownership. Abstracts and indexes for these records are generally available at the county courthouse.

Land records for Minnesota are listed in the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:


Local Histories

Local histories are available for Pennington County, Minnesota Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Minnesota Local Histories.





Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Pennington County, Minnesota Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:


Probate records may include, wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distributions. They may include the decedent’s date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, etc. See Minnesota Probate Records for additional information.

Online Probate Records


Minnesota tax records complement land records and can be used in place of censuses before 1820 or to supplement the years between censuses. Because only persons who owned taxable property were listed, many residents were not included in tax lists. There may also be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties. For more information, see the wiki page Minnesota Taxation.

Vital Records

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents.

A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Minnesota State Registrar of Vital Records, the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred], order electronically online ($) or download an application for Minnesota Birth Certificate and Death Certificates Applications to mail.

See also Minnesota Vital Records or How to order Minnesota Vital Records. For information about restrictions and costs for certificates, see the CDC Where to Write for Vital Records site.

Societies and Libraries

Pennington County Historical Society
P.O. Box 127
Peder Engelstad Pioneer Village
825 Oakland Park Road
Thief River Falls 56701-0127
Phone: 218 681-5767

Northwest Minnesota Historical Center
Livingston Lord Library
Moorhead State University
Moorhead, MN 56560

Family History Centers

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See Family History Center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

Web Sites


  1. Alice Eichholz, Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, Revised ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992), 385-403. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 1992
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Pennington County, Minnesota page 367, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).


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  • This page was last modified on 19 November 2015, at 21:09.
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