Minnesota, County Births (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Minnesota County Births 1863-1983 .
- 1 Collection Time Period
- 2 Record Description
- 3 How to Use the Record
- 4 Record History
- 5 Related Websites
- 6 Related Wiki Articles
- 7 Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
- 8 Sources of Information for This Collection
Collection Time Period
This collection covers the years 1863 to 1983. However, most of the county’s records end before 1950.
The collection consists of digital images of birth records from various county courthouses.
Notes about this collection:
- The year range will vary by county
- Confidential information (illegitimate births and adoptions) has been masked from this collection
- Some of the records in this collection may be duplicated in the collection “Minnesota City and Township Birth Records 1871-1947.”
Birth entries usually include the following genealogical information:
- Date of birth
- City, county, and state of birth
- State or country and sometimes town and county of birth for the parents (usually included)
- Parents’ names (usually includes the mother’s maiden name)
- Residence or address of parents
- Name of person attending the birth such as a midwife or doctor.
How to Use the Record
To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:
- Name of the child
- Approximate birth date
- Parents names
- Birth place
Compare the information in the birth record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination. Be aware that, as with any index, transcription errors may occur.
When you have located your ancestor’s birth record, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors.
- Use the birth date along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
- Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
- The father’s occupation can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
- The parents' birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
It is often helpful to extract the information on all children with the same parents. If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile birth entries for every person of the same surname and sort them into families based on the names of the parents. Continue to search the birth records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who were born in the same county or nearby.
Keep in mind:
- The information in birth records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
- There is also some variation in the information given from record to record.
For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records).
Some counties and town began recording births as soon they were incorporated with some as early as 1864. However because there was no law requiring births to be recorded, compliance was not good in the early years.
In 1901, Congress passed a resolution asking states to gather information about the births and deaths that occur within their borders. Many states responded, but because Congress did not fund the request, it took several years until all the states were keeping these records consistently. Birth records were usually filled out by a witness, midwife, or a medical professional. The certificate was then sent to the county, and the county sent a copy to the state.
Why the Record Was Created
Births were recorded to better serve public health needs.
The information recorded about the birth is usually reliable.
- Minnesota Vital Records Indexes People Finding Aids
- Minnesota Department of Health
- Minnesota Birth Records
Related Wiki Articles
- Minnesota City and Township Birth Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Minnesota Births and Christenings (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Minnesota Vital Records
Contributions to This Article
| We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records. |
Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.
Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection
"Minnesota, County Birth Records, 1863-1983" images, FamilySearch (https://www.famiysearch.org: accessed 9 September 2011). entry for Sarah Mates, born, April 8, 1884; citing birth records, Freeborn, Carlston, Births, Deaths. vol, A, image 20; County Courthouse, Freeborn County. Albert Lea, Minnesota, United States.
Sources of Information for This Collection
Minnesota. County Births 1863-1983. Various county offices throughout Minnesota.