Olmsted County, Minnesota Genealogy

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Guide to Olmsted County, Minnesota ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

Olmsted County, Minnesota
Map of Minnesota highlighting Olmsted County
Location in the state of Minnesota, United States Genealogy
Map of the U.S. highlighting Minnesota
Location of Minnesota in the U.S.
Founded February 20, 1855
County Seat Rochester
Minnesota, Olmsted Govt Center.png
Address Olmsted County Courthouse
151 SE 4th Street
Rochester, MN 55904
Phone: 507.287.1444
Olmsted County Website

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for David Olmsted. The County is located in the southeast area of the state.[1]

Olmsted County, Minnesota Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1871 1855 1871 1858 1855 1864 1836
Statewide registration started for births in 1900 and deaths in 1908. General compliance by 1915.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Clerk District Court incomplete birth and death records from 1871,
marriage records from 1855, divorce records
from 1860 and court records form 1858.
County Court has probate records. Coroner and
Department of Health have burial records[3]

History[edit | edit source]

This county, established February 20, 1855, was named in honor of David Olmsted, first mayor of St. Paul, in 1854, who in 1855 removed to Winona, in the county of that name, adjoining Olmsted county.

Parent County[edit | edit source]

County seat: Rochester [4]

  • For a brief history of how Olmsted County was named, click here.  Then select Olmsted County.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

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:[5]

Unincorporated communities

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
MNGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
MNGenWeb Archives FamilySearch Places
Tombstone Project
Billion Graves
Oakwood Cemetery Records, 1863-1998
See Minnesota Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 9,524
1870 19,793 107.8%
1880 21,543 8.8%
1890 19,806 −8.1%
1900 23,119 16.7%
1910 22,497 −2.7%
1920 28,014 24.5%
1930 35,426 26.5%
1940 42,658 20.4%
1950 48,228 13.1%
1960 65,532 35.9%
1970 84,104 28.3%
1980 92,006 9.4%
1990 106,470 15.7%
2000 124,277 16.7%
2010 144,248 16.1%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

Federal Census 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 and 1900 US Federal Censuses for Olmsted, Minnesota can be found at FamilySearch Record Search]. Free searchable name indexes and images are available for most census years. 

State Census

Church[edit | edit source]

Most church records are held by individual churches. Some denominations are gathering their records into a central repository. For more information, see Minnesota Church Records.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints[edit | edit source]

Church Ward and Branch Records

  • Rochester
Lutheran[edit | edit source]


  • Records of the American Lutheran Church, Byron, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

East (Byron) and West St. Olaf Congregations

  • Records of East and West St. Olaf Lutheran Congregations, Olmsted and Dodge Counties, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).[6]


  • Records of the American Lutheran Church, Rochester, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

Zumbro Lutheran Church, Rochester

  • Records of the Zumbro Lutheran Church, Rochester, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).[6]

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Land[edit | edit source]

The county register of deeds keeps land records once the land was transferred to private ownership. Abstracts and indexes for these records are generally available at the county courthouse.

Land records for Minnesota are listed in the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:


Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Olmsted County, Minnesota Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Minnesota Local Histories.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Goodhue CountyWabasha CountyWinona CountyFillmore CountyMower CountyDodge CountyWisconsinMN OLMSTED.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Civil War service men from Olmsted County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are many companies or regiments that were formed from men of Olmsted County.

- 1st Regiment, Minnesota Cavalry (Mounted Rangers), Company I.
- 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery, Company H.
- 2nd Regiment, Minnesota Infantry, Companies A and B.
- 2nd Regiment, Minnesota Cavalry, Company L.
- 3rd Regiment, Minnesota Infantry, Companies C and K.
- 5th Regiment, Minnesota Infantry, Company I.
- 6th Regiment, Minnesota Infantry, Company H.
- 8th Regiment, Minnesota Infantry, Company D.
- 9th Regiment, Minnesota Infantry, Company F
- 11th Regiment, Minnesota Infantry, Company H.
- Brackett's Battalion, Minnesota Cavalry, Companies C and D.
World War II[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Olmsted County, Minnesota Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Probate[edit | edit source]

Probate records may include wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distributions. They may include the decedent’s date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, etc. See Minnesota Probate Records for additional information. Online Probate Indexes and Records

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Since Minnesota tax records include only persons who owned taxable property, many residents were not included. Still they complement land records and can be used in place of missing censuses or the years between censuses. There may also be gaps. For more information, see the wiki page Minnesota Taxation.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents.

A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Vital Records, or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred. See also Minnesota Vital Records.

Birth[edit | edit source]
Marriage[edit | edit source]
Death[edit | edit source]

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Olmsted County Genealogical Society
PO Box 6411
Rochester 55903

Olmsted County Historical Society
1195 County Road 22 S.W.
Rochester 55902
Telephone: 507-282-9447

Red River History Museum
211 3rd St
PO Box 123
Shelly MN 56581-0123
Telephone: 218-886-8895

Red River Valley Genealogical Society
PO Box 9284
112 N University Drive Suite L116
Fargo, ND 58106

Northwest Minnesota Historical Center
Livingston Lord Library
Moorhead State University
Moorhead, MN 56560

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries[edit | edit source]

Rochester Public Library
101 Second St SE
Rochester, MN 55904

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Olmsted County, Minnesota" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olmsted_County,_Minnesota accessed 14 Nov 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Olmsted County, Minnesota. Page 362-370 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), 362-365.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Olmsted County, Minnesota page 367, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Olmsted County, Minnesota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olmsted_County%2C_Minnesota, accessed 14 February 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: An Inventory of Selected Congregational Records of the American Lutheran Church in Minnesota at the Minnesota Historical Society," Collection Finding Aids, Minnesota Historical Society, http://www.mnhs.org/library/findaids/01009.xml, accessed 10 June 2013.