Ward County, North Dakota Genealogy
Guide to Ward County, North Dakota ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
- 1 County Information
- 2 Resources
- 2.1 Bible Records
- 2.2 Biographies
- 2.3 Business, Commerce, and Occupations
- 2.4 Cemeteries
- 2.5 Census Records
- 2.6 Church Records
- 2.7 Court Records
- 2.8 Directories
- 2.9 Emigration and Immigration
- 2.10 Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups
- 2.11 Funeral Homes
- 2.12 Genealogies
- 2.13 Guardianship
- 2.14 Land and Property Records
- 2.15 Local Histories
- 2.16 Maps and Gazetteers
- 2.17 Migration
- 2.18 Military Records
- 2.19 Naturalization and Citizenship
- 2.20 Newspapers
- 2.21 Obituaries
- 2.22 Other Records
- 2.23 Periodicals
- 2.24 Probate Records
- 2.25 School Records
- 2.26 Tax Records
- 2.27 Vital Records
- 3 Research Facilities
- 4 Societies
- 5 Websites
- 6 Research Guides
- 7 References
Named for Mark Ward, chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Counties. The county government was first organized on November 23, 1885 with Minot as the county seat.
Ward County Courthouse
315 3rd St SE
Minot, ND 58701-6498
Ward County Website
District Court Clerk has birth, death, burial and divorce records from 1900;
County Judge has marriage and probate records;
Register of Deeds has land records.
Ward County, North Dakota Record Dates
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
|1885--Ward County was created 14 April 1885 from Stevens (Old), Wynn (Old), and Renville Counties.|
County seat: Minot 
The following are locations in the county
Business, Commerce, and Occupations
State Census Records
- 1885 Dakota Territory 1885 Census Index at NDSU Archives – index only
- 1885, 1915, 1925 North Dakota, Territorial and State Censuses, 1885, 1915, 1925 at Ancestry.com – ($), index and images
- 1915 North Dakota Census, 1915 at FamilySearch Historical Records — index and images
- 1925 North Dakota Census, 1925 at FamilySearch Historical Records — index and images
Federal Census Records
Federal Censuses were taken for North Dakota starting in 1910. For links to Federal census indexes, see North Dakota Census.
Church records can be found online, kept onsite at the church, or housed in a church archive or library. See North Dakota Church Records for more information on how to locate the records.
- Records of First Lutheran Church, Minot, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).
Emigration and Immigration
Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups
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
- Land Patent Search - index to federal patents and homesteads on the Bureau of Land Management website, some images available
- 1796 - 1907 - U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907 at Ancestry - index, info taken from Bureau of Land Management website
- 1861 - 1936 - U.S. Homestead Records 1861-1936 at Ancestry.com - ($), index and images
For more information see North Dakota Land and Property
Local histories, including those of the county, are available for Ward County. These histories can include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information.
- People, places & events, Minot-Ward County : bridging the century. 1986. By Janet Rosecrans. Minot, North Dakota : Centennial Book Committee (Minot, North Dakota). Online at:; At various libraries (WorldCat).
- Yesterdays of the Sawyer area. 1989. By Patty Francis Heldenbrand. PMinot, North Dakota : Mouse River Loop Genealogical Society. Online at: FamilySearch Books Online; At various libraries (WorldCat). see index.
Maps and Gazetteers
- Interactive Formation Boundary Map of North Dakota - shows boundary changes for North Dakota Counties
- North Dakota Maps at NDGenWeb -historical maps
- 1861 -1865 Dakota Territory Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch.
- 1890 United States Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Civil War, 1890 at FamilySearch.
World War I
- 1917 - 1918 North Dakota Military Men 1917-1918 at Ancestry ($)
- 1917 - 1918 Roster of the men and women who served in the army or naval service (including the Marine Corps) of the United States or its allies from the state of North Dakota in the World War, 1917-1918, Vols. 1-4 at Ancestry ($)
- For further information see North Dakota Military Records.
Naturalization and Citizenship
Online Naturalization Indexes and Records
- North Dakota Naturalization Records Index at NDSU Archives – index only, covers various dates and counties
For more information see North Dakota Newspapers.
North Dakota Newspapers Online
- GenealogyBank - ($), contains images of North Dakota newspapers
- Newspaper Archive - ($), contains images of North Dakota newspapers
- Chronicling America - contains images of some North Dakota newspapers; searching tips
- Elephind - Free; search engine that retrieves newspaper images from other free newspaper websites
North Dakota Newspaper Catalogs
- U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present on Chronicling America - contains a list of all known newspapers and the dates they cover; once you locate a newspaper name, contact the local library to see if they have copies of the newspaper
- State Historical Society of North Dakota - contains inventory and catalog of all known ND newspapers
Probate records, including wills and estates, are at the county clerk's office. See also North Dakota Probate Records.
Online Probate Records
- 1800 – 1985 North Dakota and South Dakota Wills and Probate Records 1800-1985 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
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.
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
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.
Ward County Historical Society
PO Box 994
Minot, ND 58702
Lake County Historical Society
PO Box 83
Kenmare, ND 58746
Ryder Historical Society
20510 184th St. S.W.
Ryder, ND 58779
Scandinavian Heritage Association
1020 S. Broadway
Minot, ND 58701
- [nttp://usgenweb.org USGenWeb project]. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
- FamilySearch Catalog The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection. Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records.
- Ward County, North Dakota Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- http://genealogytrails.com/ndak/ward/ accessed 09/29/2016
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Ward County, North Dakota. Page 527 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- Wikipedia contributors, "Ward County, North Dakota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward_County,_North_Dakota, accessed 16 November 2016.
- "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.