Pembina County, North Dakota Genealogy

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United StatesGotoarrow.png North Dakota Gotoarrow.png Pembina County

Guide to Pembina 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: Cavalier
Organized: January 9, 1867
Parent County(s): unorganized territory[1]
Neighboring Counties
Cavalier  • Walsh  • Kittson (MN)  • Marshall (MN)  • Manitoba, Canada
See County Maps
Pembina County Courthouse, Cavalier, North Dakota.jpg
Location Map
North Dakota Pembina Map.png
This page is available for adoption

County Information


Pembina County was formed on August 12, 1867. The county seat is Cavalier. The name "Pembina" is derived from the Chippewa Indian term for high bush cranberry which grew in abundance along the Pembina River.[2]

County Courthouse

Pembina County Courthouse
301 Dakota St W #6
Cavalier, ND 58220
Phone: 701.265.4275
Pembina County Website

District Court Clerk has birth and death records from 1893, marriage records from 1882, divorce, court, and probate records from 1883, military records from 1945, and burial records from 1943;
Register of Deeds has land records.[3]

Pembina County, North Dakota Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1893 1872 1893 1867 1867 1867 1870

Record Loss

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

Boundary Changes

1867--Pembina County was created 9 January 1867 from unorganized territory.

County seat: Cavalier [1]

Populated Places

The following are locations in the county[4]

Unincorporated communites
  • Advance
  • Akra
  • Bathgate
  • Beaulieu
  • Carlisle
  • Cavalier
  • Crystal
  • Drayton
  • Elora
  • Felson
  • Gardar
  • Hamilton
  • Joliette
  • La Moure
  • Lincoln
  • Lodema
  • Midland
  • Neche
  • Park
  • Pembina
  • St. Joseph
  • St. Thomas
  • Thingvalla
  • Walhalla

American Indian reservations


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Adams 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.  %±
1870 1,213
1880 4,862 300.8%
1890 14,334 194.8%
1900 17,869 24.7%
1910 14,749 −17.5%
1920 15,177 2.9%
1930 14,757 −2.8%
1940 15,671 6.2%
1950 13,990 −10.7%
1960 12,946 −7.5%
1970 10,728 −17.1%
1980 10,399 −3.1%
1990 9,238 −11.2%
2000 8,585 −7.1%
2010 7,413 −13.7%
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.

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.

For more information see North Dakota Land and Property

Local Histories

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

Maps and Gazetteers


Military Records

Civil War

World War I

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.




Online Death Indexes and Records


Research Facilities


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.




Pembina County Historical Society
13571 Hwy. 5
Cavalier, ND 58220
Telephone: 701-265-8196 or 701-265-4941

Fort Pembina Historical Society
163 Chippewa Street West
Pembina, ND 5827

Ox Cart Trails Historical Society Inc.
709 Dakota Court
Pembina, ND 58271-0456
Telephone: 701-454-6103


Research Guides


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. accessed 09/29/2016
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Pembina County, North Dakota. Page 525 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Pembina County, North Dakota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_North_Dakota, accessed 14 November 2016.
  5. "Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: An Inventory of Selected Congregational Records of the American Lutheran Church in Minnesota at the Minnesota Historical Society," Collection Finding Aids, Minnesota Historical Society,, accessed 10 June 2013.