Pierce County, North Dakota Genealogy

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United StatesGotoarrow.png North Dakota Gotoarrow.png Pierce County

Guide to Pierce 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: Rugby
Organized: March 11, 1887
Parent County(s): DeSmet (Old), Bottineau, McHenry, and Rolette [1]
Neighboring Counties
Benson  • Bottineau  • McHenry  • Rolette  • Sheridan  • Towner  • Wells
See County Maps
Pierce County Courthouse, Rugby, North Dakota.jpg
Location Map
North Dakota Pierce Map.png
This page is available for adoption

County Information


Founded April 6, 1889. Named for Gilbert Ashville Pierce, governor of Dakota Territory from 1884 to 1886 and a representative of North Dakota in the United States Senate from 1889 to 1891. Its county seat is Rugby. [2]

County Courthouse

Pierce County Courthouse
240 2nd Street
Rugby, ND 58368
Phone: 701.776.6161
Pierce County Website

District Court Clerk has birth, death and burial records from 1943, marriage records from 1888, divorce and court records from 1900, and probate records from 1898;
Register of Deeds has land records.[3]

Pierce County, North Dakota Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1893 1888 1893 1887 1887 1887 1890

Record Loss

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

Boundary Changes

1887--Pierce County was created 11 March 1887 from DeSmet (Old), Bottineau, McHenry, and Rolette Counties.

County seat: Rugby [1]

Populated Places

The following are locations in the county[4]

Census-designated places
  • Alexanter
  • Antelope Lake
  • Balta
  • Elling
  • Elverum
  • Hagel
  • Jefferson
  • Meyer map
  • Ness
  • Reno Valley
  • Rush Lake
  • Torgerson
  • Truman
  • Tuscarora
  • White


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

Cemetery transcriptions for cemeteries in Pierce County, providing name, date of birth, and date of death where available.

Census Records

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1890 905
1900 4,765 426.5%
1910 9,740 104.4%
1920 9,283 −4.7%
1930 9,074 −2.3%
1940 9,208 1.5%
1950 8,326 −9.6%
1960 7,394 −11.2%
1970 6,323 −14.5%
1980 6,166 −2.5%
1990 5,052 −18.1%
2000 4,675 −7.5%
2010 4,357 −6.8%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

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 Pierce 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.





Research Guides


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. http://genealogytrails.com/ndak/pierce/ accessed 09/29/2016
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Pierce County, North Dakota. Page 525 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Pierce County, North Dakota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierce_County,_North_Dakota, accessed 14 November 2016.