Richland County, North Dakota Genealogy

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United States
North Dakota
Richland County

Guide to Richland County, North Dakota ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.


County Facts
County seat: Wahpeton
Organized: January 4, 1873
Parent County(s): Pembina [1]
Neighboring Counties
Cass  • Ransom  • Sargent  • Clay (MN)  • Traverse (MN)  • Wilkin (MN)  • Marshall (SD)  • Roberts (SD)
See County Maps
Location Map
North Dakota Richland Map.png

County Information


The county was named for Morgan T. Rich of Wahpeton. County government was organized on November 25, 1873. Its county seat is Wahpeton.[2] The County is located in southeast area of the state.[3]

County Courthouse

Richland County Courthouse
418 2nd Ave N
PO Box 966;
Wahpeton, ND 58075
Phone: 701.642.7818
Richland County Website

Clerk District Court has birth and death records from 1900, divorce and court records from 1833 and some burial records. County Judge has marriage records from 1890 and probate records from 1876. Register of Deeds has land records[4]

Richland County, North Dakota Record Dates

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 Records[5]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1900 1890 1900 1883 1873 1876 1836
*State Dept. of Vital Records started births and deaths in 1923.
Full compliance by 1924.[6]

Record Loss

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

Boundary Changes

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
  • Dwight
  • Eagle
  • Elma
  • Fairmount
  • Freeman
  • Garborg
  • Grant
  • Greendale
  • Helendale
  • Homestead
  • Ibsen
  • LaMars
  • Liberty Grove
  • Lidgerwood
  • Mooreton
  • Moran
  • Nansen
  • Sheyenne
  • Summit
  • Viking
  • Walcott
  • Waldo
  • West End
  • Wyndmere

Indian Reservations
A portion of the Traverse Indian Reservation is in Richland County. The remainder of the reservation is in Marshall, Roberts, Day, and Codington Counties in South Dakota and in Sargent County in North Dakota.


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Richland County, North Dakota online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See North Dakota Cemeteries for more information

Census Records

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1880 3,597
1890 10,751 198.9%
1900 17,387 61.7%
1910 19,659 13.1%
1920 20,887 6.2%
1930 21,008 0.6%
1940 20,519 −2.3%
1950 19,865 −3.2%
1960 18,824 −5.2%
1970 18,089 −3.9%
1980 19,207 6.2%
1990 18,148 −5.5%
2000 17,998 −0.8%
2010 16,321 −9.3%
Source: "".

Before North Dakota was a state in 1889, parts of North Dakota were included in the 1836 Iowa Territory census (also known as Wisconsin Territory), 1840 Iowa Territory census, 1850 Minnesota Territory census, and the 1860-1880 Dakota Territory censuses.[9] See links listed below.

Territory and State Census Records

Federal Census Records

Federal Censuses were taken for the state of North Dakota starting in 1890, although no records survived. The 1900 Census is the next Federal Census available. For links to Federal census indexes, see North Dakota Census.

Church Records

Church records can be found online, kept onsite at the church, or housed in a church archive or library. See North Dakota Church Records for more information on how to locate the records.

Online Church Records
Richland County Church Histories

Lutheran Church

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes



Land and Property Records

When the United States acquired North Dakota, most of the land became available for homesteading or purchase from the federal government. After land was transferred from the government to private owners, the registrar of deeds in each county recorded the land transactions in the form of deeds and mortgages. For more information, see North Dakota Land and Property.

Online Land Records (Index to Richland County BLM Land Records (USGenWeb Archives)

For more information see North Dakota Land and Property

Local Histories

Local histories, including those of the county, are available for Richland County. These histories can include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information.

Maps and Gazetteers


Military Records

Online Collections

These collections are unique to North Dakota. You will find nationwide databases for military records on U.S. Military Online Genealogy Records and North Dakota Military Records.

Civil War

World War I

World War II

Korean War

Vietnam War

For further information see North Dakota Military Records.

Naturalization and Citizenship

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records


For more information, see North Dakota Newspapers.

North Dakota Newspapers Online

North Dakota Newspaper Catalogs


Other Records


Probate Records

Probate records, including wills and estates, are at the county clerk's office. See also North Dakota Probate Records.

Online Probate Records

School Records

Tax Records

County tax records are at the county treasurer's, auditor's or clerk's office in the county courthouse. Some tax records may have been moved to the North Dakota State Archives.

Vital Records

Birth, marriage, death, and divorce records may be recorded on registers, certificates, or other documents at the county clerk's office. Many records are also being digitized and put online. See North Dakota Vital Records for more information about availability and how to access them.




Online Death Indexes and Records


Research Facilities


North Dakota State University Archives
West Building 3551 7th Avenue
N Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing Address:
NDSU Archives
Libraries NDSU Dept #2080
PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Phone: 701-231-8914
Fax: 701-231-5632

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.


Wilkin-Richland Counties Genealogy Guild
2018 320th Street
Breckenridge, MN 56520
Telephone Number:218-643-2532



Richland County Historical Society
11 - 7th Avenue North
Wahpeton 58075-3931

Richland County Historical Society
525 1st St
S, Wahpeton, ND 58075
Telephone: 701-642-4813


Research Guides


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Richland County, North Dakota, Genealogy and History (Genealogy Trails)
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Richland, North Dakota," in,_North_Dakota accessed 8/28/2018
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Richland County, North Dakota. Page 526 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Richland County, North Dakota. Page 526 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 518.
  6. Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Rev. ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 1992), 562; Alice M. Hetzel, U.S. Vital Statistics System: Major Activities and Developments, 1950-95 (Hyattsville, Md.: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, [1997]), 58.
  7. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Richland County, North Dakota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia.
  9. Alice Eichholz, ‘’Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources,’’ 3rd ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 2004), 511. Free online version; FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004; WorldCat entry.