Minnesota, County Births (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Minnesota, County Births Records, 1863-1983 .
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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 Birth Records
Collection years 1863-1983
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites



What is in the Collection?

This collection covers the years 1863 to 1983. However, most of the county’s records end before 1950. The collection consists of digital images of birth records from various county courthouses.

Notes about this collection:

  • The year range will vary by county
  • Confidential information (illegitimate births and adoptions) has been masked from this collection
  • Some of the records in this collection may be duplicated in the collection “Minnesota City and Township Birth Records 1871-1947.”

Some counties and towns began recording births as soon they were incorporated with some as early as 1864. However because there was no law requiring births to be recorded, compliance was not good in the early years.

In 1901, Congress passed a resolution asking states to gather information about the births and deaths that occur within their borders. Many states responded, but because Congress did not fund the request, it took several years until all the states were keeping these records consistently. Birth records were usually filled out by a witness, midwife, or a medical professional. The certificate was then sent to the county, and the county sent a copy to the state.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Minnesota, County Births Records, 1863-1983.

Collection Content

Sample Images

Birth entries usually include the following information:

  • Date and place of birth
  • Full name and gender of child
  • Legitimacy
  • Father's name
  • Mother's maiden name
  • Parents' residence, age and race
  • Parents' birth place
  • Parents' occupation
  • Number of births for mother
  • Number of children living
  • Name of person attending birth such as midwife or doctor

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • Child's name
  • Other identifying information such as birth date and place or parent's names

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select Browse through images on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "County" category
⇒Select the appropriate "Record Type, Date Range and Volume" category which takes you to the images.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination. 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.

I Found What I was Looking for, What Now?

When you have located your ancestor’s birth record, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. For example:

  • Use the birth date along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
  • The father’s occupation can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • The parents' birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • It is often helpful to extract the information on all children with the same parents. If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile birth entries for every person of the same surname and sort them into families based on the names of the parents. Continue to search the birth records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who were born in the same county or nearby.
  • The information in birth records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from record to record.

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

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.

For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records).

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, County Birth Records, 1863-1983." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. County courthouses, Minnesota.

Image Citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Minnesota, County Births Records, 1863-1983.


How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

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