Benson County, North Dakota Genealogy

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United States
North Dakota
Benson County

Guide to Benson County, North Dakota ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.


County Facts
County seat: Minnewaukan
Organized: March 9, 1883
Parent County(s): DeSmet and Ramsey [1]
Neighboring Counties
Eddy  • Nelson  • Pierce  • Ramsey  • Towner  • Wells
See County Maps
Location Map
North Dakota Benson Map.png
This page is available for adoption

County Information


The county was named for B.W. Benson, a member of the Dakota Territory legislature. The county government was first organized on June 4, 1884. The county seat is Minnewauka.[2]

County Courthouse

Benson County Courthouse
311 B Ave Street
Minnewaukan, ND 58351
Phone: 701.473.5345
Benson County Courthouse Website

Clerk District Court has birth records from late 1890’s, marriage
records from late 1800’s, divorce, probate and court records from 1895
and burial records from Register of Deeds has land records
Clerk District Court Website

Benson County, North Dakota Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1903 1885 1903 1883 1883 1883 1890

Record Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes

Populated Places

The following are locations in the county[4]

Unincorporated communites
Census-designated places

See also

Indian Reservations
Spirit Lake Reservation is located primarily in Benson County, with a portion in Eddy County. Historically it was also known as Devils Lake Reservation, and sometimes incorrectly referred to as Fort Totten Reservation.


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Benson County, North Dakota online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See North Dakota Cemeteries for more information

Census Records

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1890 2,460
1900 8,320 238.2%
1910 12,681 52.4%
1920 13,095 3.3%
1930 13,327 1.8%
1940 12,629 −5.2%
1950 10,675 −15.5%
1960 9,435 −11.6%
1970 8,245 −12.6%
1980 7,944 −3.7%
1990 7,198 −9.4%
2000 6,964 −3.3%
2010 6,660 −4.4%
Source: "".

State Census Records

Federal Census Records

Federal Censuses were taken for North Dakota starting in 1910. For links to Federal census indexes, see North Dakota Census.

Church Records

Church records can be found online, kept onsite at the church, or housed in a church archive or library. See North Dakota Church Records for more information on how to locate the records.


  • Records of Flora Lutheran Church in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes



Land and Property Records

When the United States acquired North Dakota, most of the land became available for homesteading or purchase from the federal government. After land was transferred from the government to private owners, the registrar of deeds in each county recorded the land transactions in the form of deeds and mortgages. For more information, see North Dakota Land and Property.

Online Land Records

For more information see North Dakota Land and Property

Local Histories

Local histories, including those of the county, are available for Benson County. These histories can include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information.

Maps and Gazetteers


Military Records

Online Collections

These collections are unique to North Dakota. You will find nationwide databases for military records on U.S. Military Online Genealogy Records and North Dakota Military Records.
Civil War

World War I

World War II

Korean War

Vietnam War

For further information see North Dakota Military Records.

Naturalization and Citizenship

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records


For more information see North Dakota Newspapers.

North Dakota Newspapers Online

North Dakota Newspaper Catalogs


Other Records


Probate Records

Probate records, including wills and estates, are at the county clerk's office. See also North Dakota Probate Records.

Online Probate Records

School Records

Tax Records

County tax records are at the county treasurer's, auditor's or clerk's office in the county courthouse. Some tax records may have been moved to the North Dakota State Archives.

Vital Records

Birth, marriage, death, and divorce records may be recorded on registers, certificates, or other documents at the county clerk's office. Many records are also being digitized and put online. See North Dakota Vital Records for more information about availability and how to access them.





Research Facilities


North Dakota State University Archives
West Building 3551 7th Avenue
NFargo, ND 58102
Mailing Address:
NDSU Archives
Libraries NDSU Dept #2080
PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Phone: 701-231-8914
Fax: 701-231-5632

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.



Fort Totten State Historic Site
PO Box 224
Fort Totten, ND 58335

Lake Region Pioneer Daughters Museum
at Fort Totten State Historic Site
c/o Bonnie McNaughton
817 7th St. NE
Devils Lake, ND 58301-2634
Phone: 701-662-7345


Brenorsome Historical Society
c/o Louis Garcia
PO Box 232
Tokio, ND 58379
Telephone: 701-294-3351

Minnewaukan Historical Society
c/o Richard Peterson
PO Box 183
Minnewaukan, ND 58351-0183
Telephone: 701-473-5436


Research Guides


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Benson County, North Dakota Genealogy and History (Genealogy Trails)
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Benson County, North Dakota. Page 522 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Benson County, North Dakota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia