Clearwater County, Minnesota Genealogy

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United States
Clearwater County

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


Clearwater County, Minnesota
Map of Minnesota highlighting Clearwater County
Location in the state of Minnesota
Map of the U.S. highlighting Minnesota
Location of Minnesota in the U.S.
Founded December 20, 1902
County Seat Bagley
Address Clearwater County Courthouse
213 Main Avenue North
Bagley, MN 56621
Phone: 218-694-6520
Phone: 218-694-6129
Clearwater County Website

County Information

Clearwater County, Minnesota Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1898 1903 1903 1850 1903 1903

County Courthouse

County Recorder has birth, marriage, death and land records
and military records from 1903.
Court Administrator has divorce probate, court and naturalization records. [2]


Parent County

  • 1902--Clearwater County was created 20 December 1902 from Beltrami County.  County seat: Bagley [3]
  • For a brief history of how Clearwater County was named, click here, then select Clearwater County.

Boundary Changes

For animated maps illustrating Minnesota County boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Minnesota County Boundary Maps" (1849-1960) may be viewed for free at the website.

Record Loss

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


Populated Places


Bagley | Clearbrook | Gonvick | Leonard | Shevlin


Bear Creek Township | Clover Township | Copley Township | Dudley Township | Eddy Township | Falk Township | Greenwood Township | Hangaard Township | Holst Township | Itasca Township | La Prairie Township | Leon Township | Minerva Township | Moose Creek Township | Nora Township | Pine Lake Township | Popple Township | Rice Township | Shevlin Township | Sinclair Township | Winsor Township


Elbow Lake | Rice Lake


North Clearwater | South Clearwater

Ghost Town


Neighboring Counties



Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
USGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
MNGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
Billion Graves
See Minnesota Cemeteries for more information.


State Census


Most church records are held by individual churches. For contact information, check a phone directory, such as SearchBug or Dex Knows. Some denominations are gathering their records into a central repository. For more information about these major repositories, see Minnesota Church Records.


Emigration and Immigration


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.

Land records for Minnesota are listed in the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:


Local Histories

Local histories are available for Clearwater County, Minnesota Genealogy. 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.





Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Clearwater County, Minnesota Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:



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 Records

Vital Records

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 State Registrar of Vital Records, the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred], order electronically online ($) or download an application for Minnesota Birth Certificate and Death Certificates Applications to mail.

See also Minnesota Vital Records or How to order Minnesota Vital Records. For information about restrictions and costs for certificates, see the CDC Where to Write for Vital Records site.


Societies and Libraries

Clearwater County Historical Society
PO Box 241
Bagley, MN 56621
Telephone: 218-785-2000

North Central Minnesota Historical Center
The A. C. Clark Library
Bemidji State University
Bemidji, MN 56601

See also a List of Minnesota Archives, Libraries, Publications, Historical & Genealogical Societies

Family History Centers

Family history centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.



  1. Alice Eichholz, Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, Revised ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992), 385-403. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 1992
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Clearwater County, Minnesota page 363, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).