Minnesota Death Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Minnesota, Death Records, 1866-1916 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Minnesota, United States
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Flag of Minnesota
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Location of Minnesota
Record Description
Record Type Death Records
Collection years 1866-1916
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites



What is in the Collection?

This collection includes deaths from 1866 to 1916, for the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The records are usually handwritten on a pre-printed form.

Minnesota vital records registration began in 1870, and was the responsibility of each county for the next thirty-seven years. The cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis began keeping death records four years earlier in 1866. In 1907, the state of Minnesota took over the responsibility of keeping birth and death records.

Deaths were recorded to better serve public health needs. They were also used in connection with the probate of wills and the administration of estates. The information recorded about the death is usually reliable, including the cause of death, the name of the attending physician or medical professional, the name and address of the funeral home, and the date and place of burial. The accuracy of other information depends on the reliability of the informant, often a family member.

Collection Content

Sample Images

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The index usually includes the following information:

  • Full name of deceased
  • Calculated date of birth
  • Death date and place
  • Burial date and place
  • Name of father
  • Name of mother
  • Name of spouse
  • Birth date and place
  • Race

The death records may include the following information:

  • Full name of deceased
  • Maiden name (if deceased is a married woman)
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Birthplace
  • Race
  • Death date
  • Death place
  • Cause of death
  • Occupation
  • Nationality of parents
  • Citizenship
  • Name of father
  • Birthplace of father
  • Name of mother
  • Birthplace of mother
  • Single, married, widowed, or divorced
  • Age at the time of marriage
  • Number of children
  • Name and address of informant or person certifying the death

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor.
  • The approximate date of death.
  • The place where the death occurred.
  • The names of family members and their relationships.


Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare information about more than one person to find your ancestor. 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.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s death record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find or verify their birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents (if the deceased is a child) to locate church and land records.
  • Use the parent’s birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.

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 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.


Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"Minnesota, Death Records, 1866-1916." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Department of Health. Public Health Center, St. Paul.


Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record will be available with each record once the collection is published.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.