Douglas County, Minnesota Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Revision as of 21:07, 13 December 2012 by Dianeehaugen (talk | contribs) (Worked on breadcrumb)

Jump to: navigation, search

United States Gotoarrow.png Minnesota Gotoarrow.png Douglas County

County Courthouse

Douglas County Courthouse
305 Eighth Avenue West
Alexandria, MN 56308
Phone: 320-762-3033 (Court Administration)
Phone: 320-762-3877

County Recorder has birth, marriage, and death records from 1890, land records from late 1800’s and military records.
Clerk of Courts has divorce, probate and court records[1]


Parent County

  • 1858--Douglas County was created 8 March 1858 from Cass and Pembina (Old) Counties.  County seat: Alexandria [2]
  • For a brief history of how Douglas County was named, click here, then select Douglas County.

Boundary Changes

  • In 1858 the territory of Douglas County was attached to Stearns County for civil and judicial purposes.

Record Loss

  • At the time of the Indian uprising of 1862 all records which they had were lost.
  • However, the first census of 1860 survived which listed seventy-one men in the area of the county with thirty-five married and seventy-eight children. Most of the earliest settlers were in their twenties and thirties from New England.


Populated Places


Alexandria | Brandon | Carlos | Evansville | Forada | Garfield | Kensington | Millerville | Miltona | Nelson | Osakis


Alexandria Township | Belle River Township | Brandon Township | Carlos Township | Evansville Township | Holmes City Township | Hudson Township | Ida Township | La Grand Township | Lake Mary Township | Leaf Valley Township | Lund Township | Millerville Township | Miltona Township | Moe Township | Orange Township | Osakis Township | Solem Township | Spruce Hill Township | Urness Township

Neighboring Counties



There are seventy-one cemeteries and burial sites in the twenty townships located in Douglas County. This website has a detailed listing of these cemeteries and their locations in the various townships.


Forty-four churches were established between 1860 and 1910 by key ethnic groups in Douglas County. These ethnic groups included Norwegian (11 churches), German (10 churches), Swedish (20 churches), Finnish (2 churches), Danish (1 church), and American/British ethnicity (8 churches).

Churches founded in Douglas County between 1860 - 1910

Norwegian Churches:

  • Alexandria Township: First Lutheran Church (founded 1872); Bethesda Lutheran Church (founded 1907)
  • Brandon Township: Chippewa Lutheran Church (founded 1871); Grace Lutheran Church (founded 1881)
  • Evansville Township: Our Savior's Lutheran Church (founded 1869)
  • Moe Township: West Moe Lutheran Church (founded 1867); East Moe Lutheran Church (founded 1886)
  • Urness Township: St. Petri Lutheran Church (founded 1887)
  • Osakis Township: Our Savior's Lutheran Church (founded 1871)
  • Holmes City Township: Trysil Lutheran Church (founded 1870)
  • Solem Township: Solem Lutheran Church (founded 1876)

Danish Church

  • Osakis Township: Danish Lutheran Church (founded 1871)

Finnish Churches

  • Urness Township: Finnish Apostolic Church (founded 1877)
  • Moe Township: St. Paul's Lutheran Church (founded 1902)

Swedish Churches

  • Alexandria Township: First Baptist Church (founded 1881); Svea (Calvary) Lutheran Church (founded 1877)
  • Osakis Township: Fahlun Lutheran Church (founded 1871)
  • Holmes City Township: Trinity Lutheran Church (founded 1875); Oscar Lake Lutheran Church (founded 1866); Swedish Baptist Church (founded 1904)
  • Urness Township: Fryksende Lutheran Church (founded 1877)
  • Lund Township: Christian Lake Lutheran Church (founded 1871)
  • Millerville Township (founded ca. 1880)
  • Ida Township: St. Luke's Lutheran Church (founded 1869); Ida Mission Covenant Church (founded 1889)
  • Solem Township: Wennersborg Lutheran Church (founded ca. 1879); Kensington Covenant Church (founded 1875)
  • Evansville Township: Immanuel Lutheran Church (founded 1883); Zionsborg Lutheran Church (founded 1884); Calvary Mission Covenant Church (founded 1887)
  • Spruce Hill Township: Free Mission Covenant Church (founded 1886); Rose City Swedish Baptist Church (founded ca. 1890); Spruce Hill Methodist Church (founded 1890s); Spruce Hill Lutheran Church (founded 1876)

German Churches

  • Alexandria Township: St. Mary's Catholic Church (founded 1879); Zion Lutheran Church (founded 1880)
  • Carlos Township: Immanual Lutheran Church (founded 1874)
  • Belle River Township: St. Nicholas Catholic Church (founded 1870)
  • Ida Township: St. John's Lutheran Church (founded 1910)
  • Brandon Township: St. Ann's Catholic Church (founded 1902)
  • Leaf Valley Township: Ebenezer Lutheran Church (founded 1875)
  • Miltona Township: St. Paul's Lutheran Church (founded 1890)
  • Millerville Township: Trinity Lutheran Church (founded 1892); Church of Seven Dolors Catholic Church (founded 1867)

Yankee and British Churches

  • Alexandria Township: First Methodist Church (founded 1879); Emmanuel Episcopal Church (founded 1868); United Methodist Church (founded 1867); Congregational Church (founded 1867)
  • Ida Township: First Presbyterian Church of Garfield (founded ca. 1900)
  • Carlos Township: Carlos Prebyterian Church (founded ca. 1900)
  • Hudson Township: Free Methodist Church (founded ca. 1891); Forada Presbyterian Church (founded ca.1898)



  • County Recorder has land records from the late 1800s.
  • The government land office, headquarters for a large area of the northwest, was located in Alexandria beginning 1868.
  • The land office moved to Fergus Falls, Minnesota in 1876 because most of the land in Douglas County had either been bought or homesteaded.
  • The Recorder's Office at the Douglas County Courthouse, located in Alexandria, Minnesota has all the Indexes and the Land Abstracts digitized. These records extend back to the late 1860s. In order to access these records you need to tell them the address of the house or farm or else the Plat map description so that they can determine the Block and Lot numbers. Copies of the Index listings for that Block and Lot Land description as well as the matching Land Abstracts can be obtained for $.50 per page, as of 1 Nov 2011.
  • The original Land Transfer Books for Douglas County (previously kept at the Courthouse) are available at the Douglas County Historical Society in Alexandria. They begin about 1869 and extend to about 1970. Information is recorded under the Township numbers and then Block and Lot numbers. The name of the last Grantee (person’s signature) and the Date of Transfer are also recorded.

Local Histories

  • Douglas County Album of the Ages. (Douglas County Historical Society: Taylor Publishing Co., 1982)
  • Larson, Constant. History of Douglas and Grant Counties, Minnesota: their people, industries, and institutions. (Indianapolis, IN: B.F. Bowen & Company, Inc, 1916).



Naturalization Records


  • Douglas County newspapers which begin in 1871 are available on microfilm for searching at the Douglas County Historical Society. They can also be obtained through Interlibrary Loan from the Minnesota Historical Society. As of 10 Nov 2011 the charge by the Minnesota Historical Society is $3.00 per microfilm. The local library requesting the microfilm may also charge an additional fee, which is usually less than $10. For a list of the Alexandria area newspapers and the years they existed, see the website of the Douglas County Historical Society. (Click on the link on this page under Societies and Libraries.)



  • Personal property tax records that cover the period of about 1869 to about 1950 are available at the Douglas County Historical Society. They provide information on the property held by an individual at a specific time period and the dollar value of the property.

Vital Records

  • County Recorder has birth, marriage, and death records from 1890

Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers

Web Sites


  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Douglas County, Minnesota page 364, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).