Polk County, Minnesota Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Crookston
Organized: February 27, 1879[1]
Parent County(s): Cass, Pembina (now Kittson)[2]
Neighboring Counties
Clearwater  • Grand Forks (ND)  • Mahnomen  • Marshall  • Norman  • Pennington  • Red Lake  • Traill (ND)  • Walsh (ND)
See County Maps
Courthouse
Minnesota, Polk County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Minnesota Polk County Map.svg.png
Adoption

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for the country's 11th president, James K. Polk, who on March 3, 1849, signed the Congressional act organizing the Minnesota Territory. The County is located in the northwest area of the state.[3]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Polk County Courthouse
612 N Broadway
Crookston, MN 56716
Phone: 218-281-2332
Polk County Website

County Administrator has birth, death, probate, and court records from 1875.
County Recorder has land records.[4]

Polk 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
1875 1875 1875 1875 1873 1875 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]

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]

Cities
Unincorporated communities
  • Olga
  • Sherack
  • Tabor
Townships


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 Polk 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 11,433
1890 30,192 164.1%
1900 35,429 17.3%
1910 36,001 1.6%
1920 37,090 3.0%
1930 36,019 −2.9%
1940 37,734 4.8%
1950 35,900 −4.9%
1960 36,182 0.8%
1970 34,435 −4.8%
1980 34,844 1.2%
1990 32,498 −6.7%
2000 31,369 −3.5%
2010 31,600 0.7%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

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.

Lutheran

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 Polk 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.

  • Saga of the Thirteen Towns; (McIntosh, Minnesota: Jun 1958) Online at FamilySearch Digital Library
  • McCall, T. M.; Centennial History of Polk County; (Crookston, MN: McGarry Printing Co., 1961) Online at HathiTrust.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Marshall CountyPennington CountyClearwater CountyMahnomen CountyNorman CountyRed Lake CountyTraill CountyGrand Forks CountyWalsh CountyMN POLK.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 Polk 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 Polk County. For state-wide library facilities, see Minnesota Archives and Libraries.

Crookston Public Library
110 N Ash
Crookston, MN 56716
218-281-4522
E-mail: crookston@larl.org
Website

Fertile Public Library
101 S Mill St
Fertile, MN 56540-0418
218-945-6137
E-mail: fertile@larl.org
Website

Fosston Public Library
403 Foss Ave N
Fosston, MN 56542
218-435-1320
E-mail: fosston@larl.org
Website

Museums[edit | edit source]

Polk County Museum
719 E Robert St
Box 214
Crookston, MN 56716-0214
218-281-1038
E-mail: polkhistorical@gmail.com
Facebook

East Polk Heritage Center / EPHC History Museum
910 Hilligoss Blvd SE
PO Box 4
Fosston, MN 56542
218-435-6136
E-mail: comeastpolkheritagecenter@gmail.com
Website

East Grand Forks Heritage Village
PO Box 281
Highway 220 N and 20th Street NE
East Grand Forks, MN 56721
218-773-3952
E-mail: Heritage.VillageEGF@gmail.com
Website

Sand Hill Settlement Historical Society
Box 166
415 Riverside Ave
Climax, MN 56523
E-mail: phil@gerla.us
Website

Red River Valley Sugarbeet Museum
1345 Fairfax Ave
Crookston, MN 56716
218-281-2550
Email: adragseth@rrv.net
Website

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Polk County Historical Society
719 E Robert St
Crookston, MN 56716
218-281-1038
Facebook

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 12 February 2021.
  2. Minnesota Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed 12 February 2021.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Polk County, Minnesota" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polk_County,_Minnesota accessed 12 February 2021
  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 12 February 2021.
  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; accessed 12 February 2021.
  9. Wikipedia contributors, "Polk County, Minnesota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polk_County%2C_Minnesota, accessed 12 February 2021.