Polk County, Minnesota Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png Minnesota Gotoarrow.png Polk County

Guide to Polk County, Minnesota ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.


Polk County, Minnesota
Map of Minnesota highlighting Polk County
Location in the state of Minnesota
Map of the U.S. highlighting Minnesota
Location of Minnesota in the U.S.
Founded July 20, 1858
County Seat Crookston
Address Polk County Courthouse
612 N Broadway
Crookston, MN 56716
Phone: 218.281.3464
Polk County Website

County Information

Polk County, Minnesota Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1873 1873 1873 1850 1873 1877

County Courthouse

County Administrator has birth, death, probate and court records from 1875.
County Recorder has land records. [2]


Parent County

1858--Polk County was created 20 July 1858 from Pembina (Old) County. County seat: Crookston [3]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

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


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties




State Census


Most church records are held by individual churches. For contact information, check a phone directory, such as SearchBug or Dex Knows. Some denominations are gathering their records into a central repository. For more information about these major repositories, see Minnesota Church Records.


Elk Valley Lutheran Church, Grand Forks

  • Records of the Elk Valley Lutheran Church, Grand Forks, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).[4]


  • Records of the American Lutheran Church, Fisher, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

Fron Lutheran Church, Starbuck

  • Records of the Fron Lutheran Church, Starbuck, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).[4]

Hafslo Evangelical Lutheran Church, Crookston

  • Records of Hafslo Evangelical Lutheran Church, Crookston, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).[4]



The county register of deeds keeps land records once the land was transferred to private ownership. Abstracts and indexes for these records are generally available at the county courthouse.

Land records for Minnesota are listed in the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:


Local Histories

Local histories are available for Polk County, Minnesota Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Minnesota Local Histories.

  • McCall, T. M. Centennial History of Polk County. Crookston, MN: McGarry Printing Co., 1961. Print.





Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Polk County, Minnesota Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:



Probate records may include, wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distributions. They may include the decedent’s date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, etc. See Minnesota Probate Records for additional information.

Online Probate Records


Minnesota tax records complement land records and can be used in place of censuses before 1820 or to supplement the years between censuses. Because only persons who owned taxable property were listed, many residents were not included in tax lists. There may also be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties. For more information, see the wiki page Minnesota Taxation.

Vital Records

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents.

A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Minnesota State Registrar of Vital Records, the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred], order electronically online ($) or download an application for Minnesota Birth Certificate and Death Certificates Applications to mail.

See also Minnesota Vital Records or How to order Minnesota Vital Records. For information about restrictions and costs for certificates, see the CDC Where to Write for Vital Records site.


Societies and Libraries

Polk County Historical Society
PO Box 214
Crookston 56716-0214

Polk County Historical Society
719 E Robert St
Crookston, MN 56716
Telephone: 218-281-1038

Minnkota Genealogical Society
PO Box 12744
Grand Forks, ND 58208-274

Red River Valley Genealogical Society
PO Box 9284
112 N University Drive Suite L116
Fargo, ND 58106

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. See Family History Center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

Web Sites


  1. Alice Eichholz, Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, Revised ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992), 385-403. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 1992
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Polk County, Minnesota page 367, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "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, http://www.mnhs.org/library/findaids/01009.xml, accessed 10 June 2013.