McLean County, North Dakota Genealogy
Guide to McLean County, North Dakota ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
- 1 County Information
- 2 Resources
- 2.1 Bible Records
- 2.2 Biographies
- 2.3 Business, Commerce, and Occupations
- 2.4 Cemeteries
- 2.5 Census Records
- 2.6 Church Records
- 2.7 Court Records
- 2.8 Directories
- 2.9 Emigration and Immigration
- 2.10 Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups
- 2.11 Funeral Homes
- 2.12 Genealogies
- 2.13 Guardianship
- 2.14 Land and Property Records
- 2.15 Local Histories
- 2.16 Maps and Gazetteers
- 2.17 Migration
- 2.18 Military Records
- 2.19 Naturalization and Citizenship
- 2.20 Newspapers
- 2.21 Obituaries
- 2.22 Other Records
- 2.23 Periodicals
- 2.24 Probate Records
- 2.25 School Records
- 2.26 Tax Records
- 2.27 Vital Records
- 3 Research Facilities
- 4 Societies
- 5 Websites
- 6 Research Guides
- 7 References
The county was organized on November 1, 1883. It was named for John A. McLean, a prominent citizen and the first mayor of Bismarck, North Dakota. Washburn is the county seat.
McLean County Courthouse
712 5th Avenue
Washburn, ND 58577
McLean County Website
Clerk District Court has marriage records from 1887,
burial records from 1920, divorce and court records
from 1891 and probate records from 1900; Register
of Deeds has land records
McLean County, North Dakota Record Dates
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
|1883--McLean County was created 8 March 1883 from Stevens (Old), Burleigh, and Sheridan Counties.|
County seat: Washburn 
The following are locations in the county
(Communities flooded by Garrison Dam)
- Fort Berthold (Caros Ventres, Mandan and Arickara tribes)
- Devils Lake Agency (Sioux tribe)
- McLean County, North Dakota Biographies (Genealogy Trails)
- Index to McLean County, North Dakota Biographies (USGenWeb Archives)
- North Dakota State University Biography Index
Business, Commerce, and Occupations
State Census Records
- 1885 - Dakota Territory 1885 Census Index at NDSU Archives – index only
- 1885, 1915, 1925 - North Dakota, Territorial and State Censuses, 1885, 1915, 1925 at Ancestry.com – ($), index and images
- 1915 - North Dakota Census, 1915 at FamilySearch Historical Records — index and images
- 1925 North Dakota Census, 1925 at FamilySearch Historical Records — index and images
Federal Census Records
Federal Censuses were taken for North Dakota starting in 1910. For links to Federal census indexes, see North Dakota Census.
- 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 - Index to Federal Census Records, McLean County, North Dakota (images). Scroll down to "Federal Census Records." USGenWeb Archives
Church records can be found online, kept onsite at the church, or housed in a church archive or library. See North Dakota Church Records for more information on how to locate the records.
- 1964 - McLean County, 1964 Farm Directory. USGenWeb Archives
Emigration and Immigration
Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups
Land and Property Records
When the United States acquired North Dakota, most of the land became available for homesteading or purchase from the federal government. After land was transferred from the government to private owners, the registrar of deeds in each county recorded the land transactions in the form of deeds and mortgages. For more information, see North Dakota Land and Property.
Online Land Records
- Index to McLean County BLM Land Records (USGenWeb Archives)
- Land Patent Search - index to federal patents and homesteads on the Bureau of Land Management website, some images available
- 1796-1907 - U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907 at Ancestry - index, info taken from Bureau of Land Management website
- 1861-1908 - U.S. Homestead Records 1861-1908 at Ancestry - ($), index and images
For more information see North Dakota Land and Property
Local histories, including those of the county, are available for McLean County. These histories can include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information.
- McLean County heritage : McLean County, North Dakota. 1978. Washburn, North Dakota : McLean County Historical Society (North Dakota). Online at: ; At various libraries (WorldCat).
Maps and Gazetteers
- Interactive Formation Boundary Map of North Dakota - shows boundary changes for North Dakota Counties
- North Dakota Maps at NDGenWeb -historical maps
- 1868-1883 - McLean County Settlers: Early Settlers from 1868-1883 (McLean County, NDGenWeb project)
- 1883-Present - McLean County Settlers: Early Settlers from 1883 to Present (McLean County, NDGenWeb project)
- 1861-1865 - Dakota Territory Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch.
- 1890 - United States Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Civil War, 1890 at FamilySearch.
World War I
- 1917-1918 - North Dakota Military Men 1917-1918 at Ancestry ($)
- 1917-1918 - Roster of the men and women who served in the army or naval service (including the Marine Corps) of the United States or its allies from the state of North Dakota in the World War, 1917-1918, Vols. 1-4 at Ancestry ($)
- World War I Casualties, McLean County, North Dakota (Genealogy Trails)
World War II
- World War II Army Casualties, McLean County, North Dakota (Genealogy Trails)
- World War II Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Casualties, McLean County, North Dakota (Genealogy Trails)
- Korean War Casualties, McLean County, North Dakota (Genealogy Trails)
- Vietnam War Casualties, McLean County, North Dakota (Genealogy Trails)
For further information see North Dakota Military Records.
Naturalization and Citizenship
Online Naturalization Indexes and Records
- North Dakota Naturalization Records Index at NDSU Archives] – index only, covers various dates and counties
For more information see North Dakota Newspapers.
North Dakota Newspapers Online
- GenealogyBank - ($), contains images of North Dakota newspapers GenealogyBank] - ($), contains images of North Dakota newspapers
- Newspaper Archive - ($), contains images of North Dakota newspapers
- Chronicling America - contains images of some North Dakota newspapers; searching tips
- Elephind - Free; search engine that retrieves newspaper images from other free newspaper websites
North Dakota Newspaper Catalogs
- U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present on Chronicling America - contains a list of all known newspapers and the dates they cover; once you locate a newspaper name, contact the local library to see if they have copies of the newspaper
- State Historical Society of North Dakota - contains inventory and catalog of all known ND newspapers
- McLean County Obituaries (Genealogy Trails)
- Index to some McLean County Obituaries (USGenWeb Archives)
- McLean County Obituary Index (McLean County, USGenWeb)
Probate records, including wills and estates, are at the county clerk's office. See also North Dakota Probate Records.
Online Probate Records
- 1800 – 1985 North Dakota and South Dakota, Wills and Probate Records, 1878-1928 at Ancestry — index and images $
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.
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.
- 1906 - 1906 weddings in Underwood, McLean County (USGenWeb project)
- McLean County Marriage Announcements (Genealogy Trails)
'Online Death Indexes and Records
- 1892-present - NDDH Public Death Index, 1892-present at North Dakota Dept. of Health – index only
- McLean County Obituaries and Death Notices (Genealogy Trails)
- McLean County Obituary Index (McLean County, USGenWeb)
North Dakota State University Archives
West Building 3551 7th Avenue
N Fargo, ND 58102
Libraries NDSU Dept #2080
PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
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.
McLean County Genealogical Society
PO Box 99
Garrison, ND 58540-0099
- McLean County, USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county.
- McLean County, USGenWeb Archives
- FamilySearch Catalog The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection. Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records.
- McLean County, North Dakota Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- McLean County Genealogy (LDS Genealogy)
- McLean County, North Dakota Genealogy and History (Genealogy Trails)
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- McLean County, North Dakota (Genealogy Trails)
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), McLean County, North Dakota. Page 525 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- Wikipedia contributors, "McLean County, North Dakota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia.