Clearwater County, Minnesota Genealogy

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Guide to Clearwater County, Minnesota ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Bagley
Organized: November 4, 1902[1]
Parent County(s): Beltrami[2]
Neighboring Counties
Becker  • Beltrami  • Hubbard  • Mahnomen  • Pennington  • Polk
See County Maps
Minnesota, Clearwater County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Minnesota Clearwater County Map.svg.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Clearwater Lake and Clearwater River. The County is located in the north-central area of the state.[3]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Clearwater County Courthouse
213 Main Ave N
Bagley, MN 56621

Phone: 218-694-6177
Clearwater County Website

County Recorder has birth, marriage, death, land, and military records from 1903.
Court Administrator has divorce, probate, court and naturalization records. [4]

Clearwater County, Minnesota Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[5]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1903 1903 1903 1903 1903 1903 1836
*Statewide registration started for births in 1900 and deaths in 1908. General compliance by 1915.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

Populated Places
For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[8]

Unincorporated communities
  • Alida
  • Big Bear Landing
  • Bonga Landing
  • Bush Landing
  • Lake Itasca
  • Ponsford Landing
  • Vern
  • Weme
Census-designated places
Unorganized territories
Ghost towns

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Clearwater County, Minnesota online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Minnesota Cemeteries for more information.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

For links to Federal, State, and Territorial censuses, see Minnesota Census.

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1880 218
1890 248 13.8%
1900 271 9.3%
1910 311 14.8%
1920 331 6.4%
1930 212 −36.0%
1940 241 13.7%
1950 224 −7.1%
1960 274 22.3%
1970 282 2.9%
1980 379 34.4%
1990 597 57.5%
2000 858 43.7%
2010 1,735 102.2%
Source: "".

State Census

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Most church records are held by individual churches. Some denominations are gathering their records into a central repository. For more information, see Minnesota Church Records.

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

The county register of deeds keeps land records once the land was transferred to private ownership. Abstracts and indexes for these records are generally available at the county courthouse.

Online Land Indexes and Records

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Clearwater County. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Minnesota Local Histories.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Pennington CountyBeltrami CountyHubbard CountyBecker CountyMahnomen CountyPolk CountyMN CLEARWATER.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Multiple Wars

Civil War

Spanish-American War

World War I

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate records may include wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distributions. They may include the decedent’s date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, etc. See Minnesota Probate Records for additional information.

Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Since Minnesota tax records include only persons who owned taxable property, many residents were not included. Still they complement land records and can be used in place of missing censuses or the years between censuses. There may also be gaps. For more information, see the wiki page Minnesota Taxation.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents.

A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Vital Records, or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred. See also Minnesota Vital Records.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Clearwater County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Minnesota Archives and Libraries.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Clearwater County. For state-wide library facilities, see Minnesota Archives and Libraries.

Gale Family Library at the Minnesota Historical Society
345 W Kellogg Blvd
St. Paul, MN 55102

Great River Regional Library
740 Clearwater Center
Box 335
Clearwater, MN 55320
Phone: 320-558-6001

Museums[edit | edit source]

Clearwater County Historical Society and Museum
P.O. Box 241
Bagley, MN 56621
264 1st Street
Shevlin, MN 56676
Phone: 218-785-2000

Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers, Inc
Minnesota’s Itasca State Park
Minnesota Hwy #200
Lake Itasca, MN 56676
Phone: 218-358-0329

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Clearwater County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Minnesota Societies.

Clearwater County Historical Society
P.O. Box 241
Bagley, MN 56621
Phone: 218-785-2000

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Minnesota Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed 16 Dec 2020.
  2. Minnesota Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed 16 Dec 2020.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Clearwater County, Minnesota" in,_Minnesota accessed 8 Nov 2018
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Minnesota.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Minnesota.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Minnesota Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed 16 Dec 2020.
  7. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Minnesota.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Clearwater County, Minnesota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Minnesota, accessed 23 January 2020.