Open main menu

Grand Forks County, North Dakota Genealogy

Guide to Grand Forks 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: Grand Forks
Organized: January 4, 1873
Parent County(s): Pembina [1]
Neighboring Counties
Nelson  • Steele  • Traill  • Walsh  • Marshall (MN)  • Polk (MN)
See County Maps
Location Map
North Dakota Grand Forks Map.png

County InformationEdit


The County was named for Robert W. "Bob" Rost. The County is located in the east-central area of the state.[2]

County CourthouseEdit

Grand Forks County Courthouse
151 S 4th Street
PO Box 1477
Grand Forks, ND 58201
Phone: 701.780.8238
Grand Forks County Website

Clerk District Court has birth records from 1903,
death records from 1908, divorce records from 1878,
burial and court reocrds, adoption records and change
 of name; County Judge has marriage records from 1887
and probate records from 1880; Register of Deeds has
land records[3]

Grand Forks County, North Dakota Record DatesEdit

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[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1903 1887 1908 1873 1873 1880 1836
*State Dept. of Vital Records started births and deaths in 1923.
Full compliance by 1924.[5]

Record LossEdit

1997 Many courthouse records were destroyed during the 1997 Red River Flood and subsequent Grand Forks downtown fire.

Boundary ChangesEdit

Populated PlacesEdit

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:[7]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places
  • Gilby
  • Grace
  • Grand Forks
  • Hegton
  • Inkster
  • Johnstown
  • Lakeville
  • Larimore
  • Levant
  • Lind
  • Logan Center
  • Loretta
  • Mekinock
  • Michiga
  • Moraine
  • Niagara
  • Northwood
  • Oakville
  • Pleasant View
  • Plymouth
  • Rye
  • Strabane
  • Turtle River
  • Union
  • Walle
  • Washington
  • Wheatfield


Bible RecordsEdit


Business, Commerce, and OccupationsEdit


Cemeteries of Grand Forks 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 RecordsEdit

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1880 6,248
1890 18,357 193.8%
1900 24,459 33.2%
1910 27,888 14.0%
1920 28,795 3.3%
1930 31,956 11.0%
1940 34,518 8.0%
1950 39,448 14.3%
1960 48,677 23.4%
1970 61,102 25.5%
1980 66,100 8.2%
1990 70,683 6.9%
2000 66,109 −6.5%
2010 66,861 1.1%
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.[8] See links listed below.

Territory and State Census RecordsEdit

Federal Census RecordsEdit

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 RecordsEdit

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
Lutheran Church

Court RecordsEdit


Emigration and ImmigrationEdit

Ethnic, Political, and Religious GroupsEdit

Funeral HomesEdit



Land and Property RecordsEdit

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

For more information see North Dakota Land and Property

Local HistoriesEdit

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

Maps and GazetteersEdit

Walsh CountyNelson CountySteele CountyTraill CountyPolk County, MinnesotaNorman County, MinnesotaMarshall County, MinnesotaND GRAND FORKS.JPG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military RecordsEdit

Online CollectionsEdit

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 CitizenshipEdit

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records


For more information, see North Dakota Newspapers.

North Dakota Newspapers Online

North Dakota Newspaper Catalogs


Other RecordsEdit


Probate RecordsEdit

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

Online Probate Records

School RecordsEdit

Tax RecordsEdit

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 RecordsEdit

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 FacilitiesEdit


North Dakota State University Archives
West Building 3551 7th Avenue
NFargo, 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 CentersEdit

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.




Grand Forks County Historical Society
2405 Belmont Rd
Grand Forks 58201-7505

Larimore Community Museum and Historical Society
1865 39th Street NE
Larimore, ND 58251
Telephone: 701-343-2238

Manvel Historical Society
2890 15th St NE
Manvel, ND 58256-9754

Minnkota Genealogical Society
PO Box 12744
Grand Forks, ND 58208-2744
Facebook Home

Niagara Community Historical Society
PO Box 26
Niagara, ND 58266
Telephone: 701-397-5830

Northwood Pioneer Museum and Historical Association
PO Box 111
Northwood, ND 58267

Reynolds Historical Society
RR 1 Box 1G
Reynolds, ND 58275


Research GuidesEdit


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Grand Forks, North Dakota," in,_North_Dakota accessed 8/27/2018
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Grand Forks County, North Dakota. Page 524 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Grand Forks County, North Dakota. Page 524 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), 517.
  5. 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.
  6. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Grand Forks County, North Dakota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia.
  8. 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.