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Williams County, North Dakota Genealogy

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United StatesGotoarrow.png North Dakota Gotoarrow.png Williams County

Guide to Williams County, North Dakota ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Williams County Courthouse
Box 2047
Williston, ND 58802
Phone: 701.572.1729
Williams County Website
District Court Clerk has birth, marriage, death, burial, probate, court and naturalization records;
County Treasurer Recorder has land records;
Veterans Service Office has military records.[1]

Williams County, North Dakota Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Beginning Dates for Major County Records
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1903 1892 1903 1890 1890 1890 1880

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

30 November 1892: Williams County was created from Buford (Old) and Flannery (Old) Counties.
County seat: Williston [2]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

  • Alamo
  • Appam
  • Corinth
  • Grenora
  • Williston

County Facts
County seat: Williston
Organized: November 30, 1892
Parent County(s): Buford (Old) and Flannery (Old) [2]
Neighboring Counties
Burke  • Divide  • McKenzie  • Mountrail  • Richland (MT)  • Roosevelt (MT)  • Sheridan (MT)
See County Maps
Williams County Courthouse, Williston, North Dakota.jpg
Location Map
North Dakota Williams Map.png

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 Williams 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 Records[edit | edit 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.[3] See links listed below.

State Census Records[edit | edit source]

Federal Census Records[edit | edit source]

Federal Censuses were taken for North Dakota starting in 1910. For links to Federal census indexes, see North Dakota Census.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

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.


  • Records of Bethesda Lutheran Church, Williams County, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).

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]

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.

Template:ND Land

Online Land Records

For more information see North Dakota Land and Property

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

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

Template:ND County History

  • Alamo - Appam - Corinth, North Dakota, golden jubilee, 1916 - 1966. 1966. S.l. : s.n. Online at:; At various libraries (WorldCat). comments.
  • Fort Union and the upper Missouri fur trade. 2001. By Barton H. Barbour. Norman, Oklahoma : University of Oklahoma Press. Online at:; At various libraries (WorldCat).
  • Grenora, North Dakota, golden jubilee, 1916-1966. 1966?. By Jubilee Book Committee of the Grenora Commercial Club. S.l. : s.n. Online at:; At various libraries (WorldCat).
  • Trail of the pioneers, 1900-1967 : Barr Butte, Good Luck, Orthell and Scorio townships, Gladys, Hanks, Howard and Zahl, North Dakota. P1967. By Project Committee. [S.l.] : [Project Committee]. Online at: {{FSbook|6458119}; At various libraries (WorldCat).
  • The Wonder of Williams; a history of Williams County [North Dakota]. 1975. By Marlene Eide. North Dakota : Williams County Historical Society (North Dakota). Online at:; At various libraries (WorldCat). Index in volume 2.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

For more information, see North Dakota Newspapers.

North Dakota Newspapers Online

North Dakota Newspaper Catalogs

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

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

Online Probate Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

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 Records[edit | edit source]

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.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Online Death Indexes and Records

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

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.

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Museums[edit | edit source]

Fort Buford State Historic Site
15349 39th Lane NW
Williston, ND 58801
Telephone Number: 701-572-9034 or 701-328-2666

Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site
15550 Hwy. 1804
Williston, ND 58801
Telephone Number: 701-572-9083

Frontier Museum
423 1st Ave. West
Williston, ND 58801
Telephone Number: 701-572-2258

Societies[edit | edit source]

Williams County Historical Society
519 11th Avenue W
Williston, ND 58801-4727

Pioneer Trails Historical Society, Hanks
2310 University Ave.
Williston, ND 58801
Telephone: 701-572-4759

Ray Opera House Museum Society
420 4th Avenue East
Ray, ND 58849
Telephone: 701-568-3437

Tioga Historical Society, Inc / Norseman Museum
P. O. Box 697
Tioga, ND 58852-0697
Telephone: 701-664-2702

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Williams County, North Dakota. Page 527 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. 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.