Steele County, North Dakota Genealogy

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United StatesGotoarrow.png North Dakota Gotoarrow.png Steele County

Guide to Steele County, North Dakota ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Information


The county seat of Steele County is Finley. Steele County was founded in 1883 from portions of the adjoining Traill and Griggs Counties. The county was named for Edward Steele of the Red River Land Company. The city of Steele, North Dakota, is in Kidder County.[1]

County Courthouse

Steele County Courthouse
201 Washington Ave W
PO Box 296
Finley, ND 58230
Phone: 701.524.2152
Steele County Website
Clerk District Court has birth and death records 1894-1896 and 1900-1901, divorce and court records from 1886;
County Judge has marriage records from 1883 and probate records from 1886;
Register of Deeds has land records[2]

Steele County, North Dakota Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1894 1884 1894 1884 1884 1884 1890

Record Loss

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

Boundary Changes

1883--Steele County was createed 2 June 1883 from Griggs, and Traill Counties.
County seat: Finley [3]

Populated Places

  • Finley
  • Hope

County Facts
Organized: June 2, 1883
County seat: Finley
Parent County(s): Griggs, and Traill [3]
Variant Spellings:
Neighboring Counties
Barnes  • Cass  • Grand Forks  • Griggs  • Nelson  • Traill
See County Maps
Location Map
North Dakota Steele Map.png

This page is available for adoption

History Timeline


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Steele 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.  %±
1890 3,777
1900 5,888 55.9%
1910 7,616 29.3%
1920 7,401 −2.8%
1930 6,972 −5.8%
1940 6,193 −11.2%
1950 5,145 −16.9%
1960 4,719 −8.3%
1970 3,749 −20.6%
1980 3,106 −17.2%
1990 2,420 −22.1%
2000 2,258 −6.7%
2010 1,975 −12.5%
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.

Online Land Records

For more information see North Dakota Land and Property

Local Histories

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

  • History of Riverside Township, Steele County. n.d. By Myrtle Bemis. n.p.: n.p. Online at:.

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.




Steele County Historical Society
301 Steele Ave
PO Box 144
Hope, North Dakota 58046
Telephone: 701-945-2394


Research Guides


  1. accessed 09/29/2016
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Steele County, North Dakota. Page 526 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).