Douglas County, Minnesota Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Alexandria
Organized: July 31, 1866[1]
Parent County(s): Cass, Pembina (Extinct)[2]
Neighboring Counties
Grant  • Otter Tail  • Pope  • Stearns  • Stevens  • Todd
See County Maps
Minnesota, Douglas County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Minnesota Douglas County Map.svg.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Stephen Douglas, of Illinois. The County is located in the west-central area of the state.[3]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Douglas County Courthouse
305 Eighth Ave W
Alexandria, MN 56308
Phone: 320-762-3022
Douglas County Website

County Recorder has birth, marriage, and death records from 1890, land records from late 1800s and military records.
Clerk of Courts has divorce, probate and court records.[4]

Douglas 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
1890 1890 1890 1867 1862 1868 1836
*Statewide registration started for births in 1900 and deaths in 1908. General compliance by 1915.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1862 Records from pre-1862 were lost, except the first census of 1860.

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

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:[9]

Unincorporated communities
  • Leaf Valley
  • Rose City

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • Larson, Constant. History of Douglas and Grant Counties, Minnesota: their people, industries, and institutions; (Indianapolis, IN: B.F. Bowen & Company, Inc, 1916); Vol 2 (biographical) online at FamilySearch Digital Library, Internet Archive; Vol 1 and 2 online at Ancestry ($).

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

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Douglas 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.
1870 4,239
1880 9,130 115.4%
1890 14,606 60.0%
1900 17,964 23.0%
1910 17,669 −1.6%
1920 19,039 7.8%
1930 18,813 −1.2%
1940 20,369 8.3%
1950 21,304 4.6%
1960 21,313 0.0%
1970 22,892 7.4%
1980 27,839 21.6%
1990 28,839 3.6%
2000 32,821 13.8%
2010 36,009 9.7%
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.


  • 1800-1988 Evangelical Lutheran Church of America at Minnesota Historical Society ($)
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($) has the following information:
    • First English Lutheran Church, Alexandria
    • East Moe Lutheran Church, Garfield
    • Farwell Lutheran Church
    • Our Savior's Lutheran Congregation, Evansville
    • Trysil Lutheran Church, Farwell
    • West Moe Lutheran Church, Garfield

Churches founded in Douglas County between 1860 - 1910

Danish Churches

  • Osakis Township: Danish Lutheran Church (founded 1871)

Finnish Churches

  • Urness Township: Finnish Apostolic Church (founded 1877)
  • Moe Township: St. Paul's Lutheran Church (founded 1902)

German Churches

  • Alexandria Township: St. Mary's Catholic Church (founded 1879); Zion Lutheran Church (founded 1880)
  • Carlos Township: Immanuel Lutheran Church (founded 1874)
  • Belle River Township: St. Nicholas Catholic Church (founded 1870)
  • Ida Township: St. John's Lutheran Church (founded 1910)
  • Brandon Township: St. Ann's Catholic Church (founded 1902)
  • Leaf Valley Township: Ebenezer Lutheran Church (founded 1875)
  • Miltona Township: St. Paul's Lutheran Church (founded 1890)
  • Millerville Township: Trinity Lutheran Church (founded 1892); Church of Seven Dolors Catholic Church (founded 1867)

Norwegian Churches

  • Alexandria Township: First Lutheran Church (founded 1872); Bethesda Lutheran Church (founded 1907)
  • Brandon Township: Chippewa Lutheran Church (founded 1871); Grace Lutheran Church (founded 1881)
  • Evansville Township: Our Savior's Lutheran Church (founded 1869)
  • Moe Township: West Moe Lutheran Church (founded 1867); East Moe Lutheran Church (founded 1886)
  • Urness Township: St. Petri Lutheran Church (founded 1887)
  • Osakis Township: Our Savior's Lutheran Church (founded 1871)
  • Holmes City Township: Trysil Lutheran Church (founded 1870)
  • Solem Township: Solem Lutheran Church (founded 1876)

Swedish Churches

  • Alexandria Township: First Baptist Church (founded 1881); Svea (Calvary) Lutheran Church (founded 1877)
  • Osakis Township: Fahlun Lutheran Church (founded 1871)
  • Holmes City Township: Trinity Lutheran Church (founded 1875); Oscar Lake Lutheran Church (founded 1866); Swedish Baptist Church (founded 1904)
  • Urness Township: Fryksende Lutheran Church (founded 1877)
  • Lund Township: Christian Lake Lutheran Church (founded 1871)
  • Millerville Township (founded ca. 1880)
  • Ida Township: St. Luke's Lutheran Church (founded 1869); Ida Mission Covenant Church (founded 1889)
  • Solem Township: Wennersborg Lutheran Church (founded ca. 1879); Kensington Covenant Church (founded 1875)
  • Evansville Township: Immanuel Lutheran Church (founded 1883); Zionsborg Lutheran Church (founded 1884); Calvary Mission Covenant Church (founded 1887)
  • Spruce Hill Township: Free Mission Covenant Church (founded 1886); Rose City Swedish Baptist Church (founded ca. 1890); Spruce Hill Methodist Church (founded 1890s); Spruce Hill Lutheran Church (founded 1876)

Yankee and British Churches

  • Alexandria Township: First Methodist Church (founded 1879); Emmanuel Episcopal Church (founded 1868); United Methodist Church (founded 1867); Congregational Church (founded 1867)
  • Ida Township: First Presbyterian Church of Garfield (founded ca. 1900)
  • Carlos Township: Carlos Presbyterian Church (founded ca. 1900)
  • Hudson Township: Free Methodist Church (founded ca. 1891); Forada Presbyterian Church (founded ca.1898)

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 Douglas 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]

Otter Tail CountyTodd CountyStearns CountyPope CountyStevens CountyGrant CountyMN DOUGLAS.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]

Naturalization and Citizenship

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 Douglas 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 Douglas County. For state-wide library facilities, see Minnesota Archives and Libraries.

Douglas County Library
720 Filmore St
Alexandria, MN 56308
Phone: 320-762-3014

Museums[edit | edit source]

Runestone Museum Foundation
206 Broadway St
Alexandria, MN 56308
Phone: 320-763-3160

Legacy of the Lakes Museum
P.O. Box 1216
205 3rd Ave W
Alexandria, MN 56308
Phone: 320-759-1114

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Douglas County Historical Society and Research Library
1219 Nokomis St
Alexandria, MN 56308-3712
Phone: 320-762-0382

Douglas County Genealogical Guild
1219 Nokomis St
Alexandria, MN 56308-3712
Phone: 320-762-0382

Evansville Historical Foundation
PO Box 337
304 S Gran St
Evansville, MN 56326
Phone: 218-948-2010

Osakis Area Heritage Center
PO Box 8
11 E Main St
Osakis, MN 56360
Phone: 320-859-3777

West Central Minnesota Historical Research Center
University of Minnesota–Morris
600 E 4th Street
Morris, MN 5626
Phone: 888-866-3382 or 320-589-6035

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
  2. Minnesota Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Douglas County, Minnesota" in,_Minnesota accessed 12 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
  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. Minnesota Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library
  9. Wikipedia contributors, "Douglas County, Minnesota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Minnesota, accessed 25 January 2020.