The State Archives and Historical Research Library, a division of the
State Historical Society of North Dakota, has many collections which
are helpful to genealogical researchers seeking information associated
with North Dakota's past. These collections are available to researchers
in the Orin G. Libby Memorial Reading Room of the North Dakota Heritage
Center during regular business hours. The reference staff will attempt
to answer specific requests by mail if you are unable to visit the North
Dakota Heritage Center. Due to the small number of staff and the large
number of requests, search time cannot exceed twenty minutes per letter.
Therefore, please do not include more than three requests per letter
and provide us with as much information as possible, including names,
precise locations and dates. No general or surname searches will be
attempted. A list of genealogical researchers can be provided if desired.
Interlibrary loan (See Charges for Reference Services): Although SHSND
materials generally do not circulate, most newspapers, North Dakota
state censuses, and early atlases are on microfilm and are available
through interlibrary loan. We encourage researchers to use this service
and therefore will not do extensive searching of these materials. While
Federal censuses are not loaned by SHSND, they are available for a fee
National Archives Census Microfilm Rental Program
Post Office Box 30
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701-0030.
SOURCES AVAILABLE FOR RESEARCH
New! The Public Death Index is now available
through the North Dakota Department of Health website. The Public Death Index will allow you to search the index and order certified copies if you wish.
Census schedules: Census research request forms are available upon
request and must be filled out as completely as possible and returned
with the necessary fee. Precise locations must be provided for non-indexed
Pioneer Biographies or Historical Data Project (WPA) Biography files,
gathered in the 1930s through personal interviews, are organized by
county and by individual name. Microfilm copy may be requested by interlibrary
loan (Specify county and name).
North Dakota Biographical Index
created by the Institute for Regional Studies at North Dakota State University, indexes more than 152,000 entries found in some
544 publications. Many of these publications are available at the State Historical Society of North Dakota.
Oral History Project Collection consists of taped interviews conducted
from 1974 through 1977. Copies can be provided for a fee. Indexed by
Naturalization Records, formerly held by the clerks of state district
courts, cover the period up to 1955. Consult the on-line searchable index. Please provide the name of the
head-of-household and the county location where the records were filed.
Note: Records prior to 1906 do not contain family background information.
All naturalization records are available on microfilm.
Land Office Tract Books list first entries for public land. Not indexed.
Township and range must be provided to attempt a search. We do not have
the homestead files. For these, write to:
Bureau of Land Management
Post Office Box 36800
Billings, Montana 59107
Vital Records are restricted by law. For marriage, divorce, birth and
death certificates write to:
Vital Records Office
600 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505.
Index to deaths in North Dakota. Through the cooperative efforts of
the Vital Records Office of the Health Department and the Bismarck-Mandan
Historical and Genealogical Society, an index to deaths in the state
is available for use in the reading room. It supplies the individual's
full name, date of birth (if known), date of death, county of residence
and county of death.
Newspapers are sources for information of local interest. Marriage
and birth announcements, obituaries or other items from the newspapers
can be searched only if the month, day, year and location of the event
can be provided. Most newspapers held by SHSND have been microfilmed.
Microfilm copies may be requested by interlibrary loan (Specify county).
County Plat Books and Atlases dating from 1884 show land ownership
by township. Microfilmed atlases are available through interlibrary
loan. Searches can be attempted only if the county, township and range
can be provided.
The Pioneer Mothers Project created by the North Dakota Federation
of Women's Clubs in the 1930s contains family histories, biographical
materials, obituaries and a few lineage charts. Indexed by individual
Family Genealogies may be requested by individual name. Due to limited
funds available for purchases, the State Historical Society is not able
to buy copies of family genealogies, but does accept gifts of genealogies
containing information concerning North Dakotans.
Local History Books and some of the standard histories of the state,
as well as North Dakota History, contain biographical information. Not
all books contain indexes and only limited searches can be attempted
in these books.
Business Directories and gazetteers dating from 1884. Microfilm copies
City Directories from the larger cities of the state. The earliest
directory dates from 1879.
Passenger and Immigration List Indexes only. We do not have the ship
lists in our collection.
Cemetery Lists for several counties compiled by local historical societies.
Norwegians in America (2 Vols.) by Martin Ulvestad lists many of the
people who immigrated from Norway and indicates where they settled in
America. Written in Norwegian.
There are numerous on-line sources of family history information, including the USGenWeb North Dakota
site. These sites are not affiliated with the State Historical Society of North Dakota and we cannot compile or maintain a listing of such sites in the very dynamic web environment.
Copyright ©2002-2005 State Historical Society of North Dakota. You are free to use information from these pages for any non-commercial
purpose. Any use of this information should credit the State Historical
Society of North Dakota. Photographs shown on the State Historical Society
of North Dakota's web site are taken from the collections of the State
Historical Society of North Dakota and may not be included in any publication,
printed or online, without the written permission of the Society.
(Information last revised 11-07-05)