North Dakota Genealogy
Guide to Ancestry and Family Tree Records

Sieur de la Verendrye led a group of French Canadians, who explored the area now known as North Dakota between 1738 and 1740. The French ceded most of what is now North Dakota to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase, in 1803. Then, from 1804 to 1806, Lewis and Clark explored the area. In 1812, settlers came and settled at Pembina. Those settlers were mainly Irish and Scottish and came to the area, despite the fact that Great Britain and the United States were still in disputes over the land.

A treaty between the two countries was signed in 1812, giving the northeast section of North Dakota to the United states. In 1823 Pembina came under United States ownership. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until the 1870s and 1880s, when the railroad came through the area, that large amounts of people began to settle in the region.

The fur trading industry was the first industry practiced by North Dakota’s early European settlers. However, the farming industry took over after multiple Native American wars and skirmishes and after the railroad came to the area. Although, it is important to note that North Dakota prairie farming has not always been an economically sound industry. In fact, North Dakota farmers have repeatedly expressed their resentment of the fact that wheat prices, transportation, and storage of grain have all been greatly controlled by outsiders and the charges for those services have been too high, at least in the opinions of the farmers.

Although most of the eastern seaboard is caught up in various forms of industry, most parts of North Dakota are not industrial or densely settled. Much of its economy is based on industrial activities, but it also has a lot of farmland as well. The state is also well known as a great place to vacation at almost any time of year. People who live in urban parts of Canada and the United States often travel to North Dakota to get a taste of rural life.

North Dakota Counties – The North Dakota Republic was existed from March 2, 1861 until November 2, 1889. The State of North Dakota entered the union as the 39th state on November 2, 1889. North Dakota borders Minnesota, Montana, South Dakota and Canada. It has 53 Counties. The capital is Bismarck and the official state website is

Select a North Dakota county to view information & records pertaining to each County

North Dakota Genealogy Record Guides