Polk County, Minnesota Genealogy

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

Polk County, Minnesota
Map of Minnesota highlighting Polk 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 July 20, 1858
County Seat Crookston
Minnesota, Polk County Courthouse.png
Address Polk County Courthouse
612 N Broadway
Crookston, MN 56716
Phone: 218.281.3464
Polk County Website

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for the country's 11th president, James K. Polk, who on March 3, 1849, signed the Congressional act organizing the Minnesota Territory. The County is located in the northwest area of the state.[1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1875 1875 1875 1875 1873 1875 1836
Statewide registration started for births in 1900 and deaths in 1908. General compliance by 1915.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

County Administrator has birth, death, probate and court records from 1875.
County Recorder has land records. [3]

History[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1858--Polk County was created 20 July 1858 from Pembina (Old) County. County seat: Crookston [4]

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
  • Olga
  • Sherack
  • Tabor

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
See Minnesota Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1880 11,433
1890 30,192 164.1%
1900 35,429 17.3%
1910 36,001 1.6%
1920 37,090 3.0%
1930 36,019 −2.9%
1940 37,734 4.8%
1950 35,900 −4.9%
1960 36,182 0.8%
1970 34,435 −4.8%
1980 34,844 1.2%
1990 32,498 −6.7%
2000 31,369 −3.5%
2010 31,600 0.7%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

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.

Lutheran[edit | edit source]

Elk Valley Lutheran Church, Grand Forks

  • Records of the Elk Valley Lutheran Church, Grand Forks, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).[6]


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

Fron Lutheran Church, Starbuck

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

Hafslo Evangelical Lutheran Church, Crookston

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

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court[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 Polk 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.

  • McCall, T. M. Centennial History of Polk County. Crookston, MN: McGarry Printing Co., 1961. Print.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Marshall CountyPennington CountyClearwater CountyMahnomen CountyNorman CountyRed Lake CountyTraill CountyGrand Forks CountyWalsh CountyMN POLK.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

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 Polk 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]

Polk County Historical Society
PO Box 214
Crookston 56716-0214

Polk County Historical Society
719 E Robert St
Crookston, MN 56716
Telephone: 218-281-1038

Minnkota Genealogical Society
PO Box 12744
Grand Forks, ND 58208-274

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

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

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Polk County, Minnesota" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polk_County,_Minnesota accessed 14 Nov 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Polk 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), Polk 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, "Polk County, Minnesota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polk_County%2C_Minnesota, accessed 17 February 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "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.