Wadena County, Minnesota Genealogy

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United States
Wadena County


Wadena County, Minnesota
Map of Minnesota highlighting Wadena County
Location in the state of Minnesota
Map of the U.S. highlighting Minnesota
Location of Minnesota in the U.S.
Founded June 11, 1858
County Seat Wadena
Wadena County Website

County Information


The County was named for An old trading post and common Ojibwe name. The County is located in the central area of the state. [1]

Wadena County, Minnesota Record Dates

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1873 1873 1873 1881 1873 1889 1836
Statewide registration started for births in 1900 and deaths in 1908. General compliance by 1915.

County Courthouse


Parent County

  • 1858--Wadena County was created 11 June 1858 from Cass and Todd Counties. County seat: Wadena [3]
  • For a brief history of how Wadena County was named, click here, then select Wadena County.

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

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


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties



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


State Census



First Lutheran Church, Staples

  • Records of First Lutheran Church, Staples, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).[4]

Immanuel Lutheran Church, Wadena

  • Records of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Wadena, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).[4]

Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church, Wadena

  • Records of Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church, Wadena, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).[4]

St. Pauli Lutheran Church, Verndale

  • Records of St. Pauli Lutheran Church, Verndale, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).[4]


Emigration and Immigration


Local Histories


Hubbard CountyCass CountyTodd CountyBecker CountyOtter Tail CountyMN WADENA.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources



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



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

Wadena County Historical Society
603 North Jefferson
Wadena 56482
Telephone: 218-631-9079

Menahga Area Historical Society
320 Helsinki Boulevard NE
Menahga MN 56464
Telephone: 218-564-4574

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. Wikipedia contributors, "Wadena County, Minnesota" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wadena_County,_Minnesota accessed 15 Nov 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Wadena County, Minnesota. Page 362-370 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), 362-365.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: An Inventory of Selected Congregational Records of the American Lutheran Church in Minnesota at the Minnesota Historical Society," Collection Finding Aids, Minnesota Historical Society, http://www.mnhs.org/library/findaids/01009.xml, accessed 10 June 2013.