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Welcome to the Minnesota family history research page. Here you'll find record collection links, history, and genealogy resources to help you trace your Minnesota ancestors.
What is the first step in the quest for Minnesota genealogy materials? It is the same thing you would do when seeking out any sort of data – you head to the computer. In the modern digital age it is not unusual to find archives with all kinds of online databases, and to locate an array of public records online. Your computer is a good tool to use as you begin gathering essential information for Minnesota genealogy work. You may even find that it is possible to get copies of documents in addition to some useful facts. The real trick is to spend a bit of time understanding which resources for Minnesota genealogy are going to be strictly available online, and which may ask you to make an actual visit in order for you to get materials for Minnesota genealogy projects.
In 1679, after the region was visited by Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, Jacques Marquette Louis Joliet, and other French explorers, Daniel Greysolon, Sieur Duluth claimed the area for Louis XIV. When the Revolutionary War came to an end, the USA gained possession of what is now eastern Minnesota from Great Britain. Two decades later, in 1803, the USA received what is now western Minnesota from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Britain ceded the northern strip of Minnesota to the USA in 1818, but the area was thoroughly explored by Zebulon M. Pike, a U.S. Army lieutenant, prior to that. See also Minnesota History Page for more Details
Minnesota was organized as territory on March 3, 1849 and entered the union as the 32nd state on May 11, 1858. It has 87 Counties. The capital is St. Paul and the official state website is state.mn.us.
Minnesota is bordered by Iowa (south), Michigan (across Lake Superior), North Dakota (northwest), South Dakota (southwest), Wisconsin (east), Canada (north). It has a land area of 86,943 square miles making it the 12th largest state and the largest cities (2010) are Minneapolis, 382,578; St. Paul (Capital), 285,068; Rochester, 106,769; Duluth, 86,265; Bloomington, 82,893; Brooklyn Park, 75,781; Plymouth, 70,576; St. Cloud, 65,842; Eagan, 64,206; Woodbury, 61,961. Its overall population in 2010 was 5,303,925.
Minnesota's name comes from a Sioux term that can be translated as "cloudy water" and that term referred to the Minnesota River and its cloudiness. Minnesota has over 15,000 lakes, which is why it is known as "Land of 10,000 Lakes." About 75% of those lakes take up 10 acres or more each. Another nickname for Minnesota is "the Gopher State." Some people claim that that stems from the fact that southern Minnesota is home to a lot of gophers. Others insist that the name comes from a 19th century political cartoon that was poking fun at railroad union organizers and depicting them as gophers. The "North Star State" is another nickname for the state and comes from the translation of the state seal, L'Etoile du Norde. St. Paul and Minneapolis, which are the state capital and the largest city in the state, respectively, are known as the Twin Cities and they are the most well-known cities in the state.
New Tactics for Minnesota Genealogy Research - Minnesota is one of the largest states, and often one that is overlooked when we speak of the American Midwest. This is perhaps due to its northern location, but it is unfortunate because it is a state with a vibrant history. It has connections with Native Americans, immigrants, and people making the westward trek to the Pacific coast. This is the reason it is home to such a diversity of materials for Minnesota genealogy research. This article is going to briefly touch on the essential tools and tactics to use in your search for Minnesota genealogy data.
The Essential Records for Minnesota Genealogy Research - Most state research work begins with public records, and these tend to fall under three categories. You should learn the differences as you begin searching for Minnesota genealogy:
Most research begins in public records, since these are the most readily available of the online resources for Minnesota genealogy.
Specific Tools for Minnesota genealogy Research - The records described above are normally the primary resources for those seeking for Minnesota genealogy, but the items below give very targeted answers and data:
Additional state and local records can be found at the:
Also, consider using the Minnesota Genealogical Society for Minnesota genealogy data at: http://mngs.org/.
Also, these three websites give researchers a tremendous amount of state-specific details for those in search for Minnesota genealogy data.