Watonwan County, Minnesota Genealogy
Guide to Watonwan County, Minnesota ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
|Watonwan County, Minnesota|
Location in the state of Minnesota
Location of Minnesota in the U.S.
|Founded||November 6, 1860|
|County Seat||St. James|
|Address|| Watonwan County Courthouse|
710 2nd Ave S
PO Box 518
St. James, MN 56081-0518
Watonwan County Website
- 1 County Information
- 2 County Courthouse
- 3 History
- 4 Places/Localities
- 5 Resources
- 6 Societies and Libraries
- 7 Websites
- 8 References
The County was named for Dakota word "watanwan," meaning "fish bait," or "plenty of fish.". The County is located in the south central area of the state. 
Watonwan County, Minnesota Record Dates
Clerk District Court has birth, marriage and divorce records from 1863,
divorce and court records from 1865. Probate Judge has probate records.
Register of Deeds has land records. 
- 1860--Watonwan County was created 6 November 1860 from Brown County. County seat: St. James 
- For a brief history of how Watonwan County was named, click here. Then select Watonwan County.
1895 The county courthouse, along with some county records, burned sometime prior to 1895.
For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:
- Burned Counties. By Michael John Neill. Online at: Family History Circle.
|Tombstone Transcriptions Online||Tombstone Transcriptions in Print||List of Cemeteries in the county|
|Findagrave.com||Family History Library||Findagrave.com|
|MNGenWeb Archives||WorldCat||Billion Graves|
|See Minnesota Cemeteries for more information.|
- 1865 - Minnesota State Census, 1865 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1885 - Minnesota State Census, 1885 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1905 - Minnesota State Census, 1905 at FamilySearch — index and images
Most church records are held by individual churches. For contact information, check a phone directory, such as SearchBug or Dex Knows. Some denominations are gathering their records into a central repository. For more information about these major repositories, see Minnesota Church Records.
Long Lake Lutheran Church, St. James
- Records of the Long Lake Lutheran Church, St. James, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).
- Records of Lutheran Church, Madelia, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).
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:
MINNESOTA, Watonwan – LAND AND PROPERTY
Local histories are available for Watonwan 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 Watonwan 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.
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.
Societies and Libraries
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.
- Wikipedia contributors, "Watonwan County, Minnesota" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watonwan_County,_Minnesota accessed 15 Nov 2018
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Watonwan 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.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Stevens County, Minnesota page 369, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- "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.