Minnesota Government records cover a broad range of genealogy subject areas that can help you as part of your research, such as land ownership, courts, taxes, and naturalization’s. Given that Minnesota court records cover such a wide selection of topics, they could aid you in many different ways. As an example, they could aid you in finding ancestors’ residences, identify occupations, locate financial information, determine citizenship status, or shed light on relationships between individuals. The whole thing relies upon on the type of court records that the ancestors” names show up in. For Definitions of all court terms see the Genealogy Encyclopedia.
Minnesota Courthouse records change extensively from county to county in both level of quality and volume. You will find different kinds of court records that are most likely to possess information related for your genealogical research below.
Minnesota Court Records
The county courthouse’s district court office may have some naturalization records on file. Most of the records, however, are now at the Research Center at the Minnesota Historical Society. The county courthouse may also have records on file regarding coroner’s reports, bonds, professional registrations and criminal case indexes. Some of the things included in civil case records are: Name Changes, Divorces, Adoptions, Monetary Suits, Garnishments
For instance, the Wright County district court records that are at the Research Center at the Minnesota Historical Society feature 1858 to 1929 criminal case files, 1858 to 1928 dockets, various court minutes, 1857 to 1866 judgment dockets and, of course, 1879 to 1899 civil action registrations. The repository’s records carry quite a bit depending on the county and the type of record involved. Some counties are not even represented at the repository. Their information is still held at the county seat district court office.
On June 1, 1847, the first district court term was convened in Minnesota. That took place in Stillwater on the second floor of a store belonging to John McKusick. See Also Research In Court Records.
Minnesota Land Records
There are a total of 12 General Land Office districts in Minnesota, which is what is called a public-domain state. The first of those opened up in Wisconsin in a place called Falls Saint Croix River, back in 1848. Long before that ever occurred, though, pioneers were making claims in that area. Once tribal treaties were created, which was in 1838, the area was settled by several European settlers. They started the logging industry in the area and illegally took over the land. It took a long time for the federal government to actually do land surveys in the area, which finally took place in 1847, after investors and settlers complained. As of 1841, when the Pre-Emption Act was created, settlers could pay $1.25 per acre to purchase some of the160 acres of public domain land that was opened up for settlement.
The Minnesota Historical Society holds a lot of the state’s land records. For example it has sales and accounting records, state land records from the state auditor and the land department and even U.S. General Land Office files. Those files contain homestead records, accounting records and various types of correspondence. Those records go back to 1848 for the Stillwater District, although most districts don’t go back quite that far. There are copies of the records for the U.S. Surveyor General’s Office are on file at the Research Center at the Minnesota Historical Society. They also have files that include the 1901 White Earth Reservation land allotments.
The county recorder holds the county record for Minnesota. The county recorder’s office will have village and township plat records, power of attorney records, leases, contracts, mortgage records, deed records grantor-grantee indexes. See Also Guide to U.S. Land Records Research