Cook County, Minnesota Genealogy

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United States
Cook County

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


Cook County, Minnesota
Map of Minnesota highlighting Cook County
Location in the state of Minnesota
Map of the U.S. highlighting Minnesota
Location of Minnesota in the U.S.
Founded November 3, 1874
County Seat Grand Marais
Address Cook County Courthouse
411 West 2nd Street
Grand Marais, MN 55604
Phone: 218-387-3610 (Administration)
Phone: 218-387-3000
Cook County Website

County Information

Cook County, Minnesota Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1897 1897 1897 1850

County Courthouse

County Recorder has birth and death records from 1900,
marriage records from 1901, land records from 1886
and military records from 1919
Court Administrator has divorce, court and probate records. [2]


Parent County

  • 1874--Cook County was created 3 November 1874 from Lake County. County seat: Grand Marais [3]
  • For a brief history of how Cook County was named, click here, then select Cook 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


Grand Marais


Lutsen Township | Schroeder Township | Tofte Township

Unincorporated Communities



East Cook | Grand Portage | West Cook

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



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 Cook 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 Cook 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


Minnesota tax records complement land records and can be used in place of censuses before 1820 or to supplement the years between censuses. Because only persons who owned taxable property were listed, many residents were not included in tax lists. There may also be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties. For more information, see the wiki page Minnesota Taxation.

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

Cook County Historical Society
PO Box 1293
Grand Marais 55604-1293
Telephone: 218 387-2883

Johnson Heritage Post
PO Box 35
Grand Marais MN 55604-0035
Telephone: 218 387-2314 or 218 388-0575

North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum & Tofte Historical Society
PO Box 2312
Tofte MN 55615-2312
Telephone: 218 663-7804

Schroeder Area Historical Society
PO Box 337
7932 West Highway 61
Schroeder MN
Telephone: 218 663-770

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), Cook 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).