Wadena County, Minnesota Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Wadena
Organized: February 17, 1881[1]
Parent County(s): Cass, Todd[2]
Neighboring Counties
Becker  • Cass  • Hubbard  • Otter Tail  • Todd
See County Maps
Courthouse
Minnesota, Wadena County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Minnesota Wadena County Map.svg.png
Adoption

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for an old trading post and common Ojibwe name. The County is located in the central area of the state.[3]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Wadena County Courthouse
415 Jefferson Street South
Wadena, MN 56482
Phone: 218-631-7650
Wadena County Website

Clerk of the District Court has birth, death, probate, and court records from 1870, marriage records and divorce records from 1858.[4]

Wadena 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
1873 1873 1873 1881 1873 1889 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
Townships
Ghost towns


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 Wadena 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.
1870 6
1880 2,080 34566.7%
1890 4,058 95.1%
1900 7,921 95.2%
1910 8,652 9.2%
1920 10,699 23.7%
1930 10,990 2.7%
1940 12,772 16.2%
1950 12,806 0.3%
1960 12,199 −4.7%
1970 12,412 1.7%
1980 14,192 14.3%
1990 13,154 −7.3%
2000 13,713 4.2%
2010 13,843 0.9%
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
1781-1969 U.S., Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Church Records, 1781-1969 at Ancestry ($)

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 Wadena 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.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Hubbard CountyCass CountyTodd CountyBecker CountyOtter Tail CountyMN WADENA.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 Wadena County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Minnesota Archives and Libraries.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

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 Wadena County. For state-wide library facilities, see Minnesota Archives and Libraries.

Wadena City Library
304 First St SW
Wadena, MN 56482
218-631-2476
Email: wadena@krls.org

Great River Regional Library
Staples Branch
122 6th Street NE
Staples MN 56479
218-894-1401
Websites

Museums[edit | edit source]

Wadena County Historical Society Museum
603 N Jefferson
Wadena, MN 56482
218-631-9079
E-mail: 603wchs@arvig.net
Website

Menahga Area Historical Society and Museum
PO Box 364
320 Helsinki Blvd NE
Menahga, MN 56464
218-564-5063
Email: menahgamuseum@wcta.net
Facebook

Sebeka Finnish Historical Society Park
62529 County Highway 8
Sebeka, MN 56477
218-837-5322
Website

Verndale Historical Society Museum
202 N Farwell Street
Verndale, MN 56481
Email: verndalehistory@gmail.com
Facebook

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Wadena County Historical Society
603 N Jefferson
Wadena, MN 56482
218-631-9079
E-mail: 603wchs@arvig.net
Website

Menahga Area Historical Society
PO Box 364
320 Helsinki Blvd NE
Menahga, MN 56464
218-564-5063
Email: menahgamuseum@wcta.net
Facebook

Sebeka Finnish Historical Society
62529 County Highway 8
Sebeka, MN 56477
218-837-5322
Website

Verndale Historical Society
202 N Farwell St
Verndale, MN 56481
Email: verndalehistory@gmail.com
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 13 March 2021.
  2. Minnesota Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed 13 March 2021.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Wadena County, Minnesota" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wadena_County,_Minnesota accessed 13 March 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 13 March 2021.
  7. Minnesota Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed 13 March 2021.
  8. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Minnesota.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  9. Wikipedia contributors, "Wadena County, Minnesota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wadena_County,_Minnesota, accessed 13 March 2021.