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Vital Records: Marriage, Birth, & Death: Overview



The Minnesota Historical Society has a vast collection of state and local government records including Minnesota marriage, birth and death records. Marriage records began in the 1850s and birth/death records in 1870 for counties formed by then. The Library's collections of vital records vary by county and years covered. 

If the Library does not have vital records for the time period or area needed other resources may be searched. Religious records (for baptism, marriage and death information), obituaries (birth information is sometimes included), and census records may provide some or all of this information.   

The Library does not provide certified copies of vital records. Certified records may be requested from the Vital Statistics Registrar at a local county office or from the Minnesota Department of Health

The purpose of this guide is to introduce the death, birth, and marriage records in our collections and how to access these records.  

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Guide Author

Jackie Beckey
Reference Librarian 

MNHS Reference Staff

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Gale Family Library
Minnesota Historical Society Library

Located on the Second Floor of the Minnesota History Center
345 West Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102

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Sunday to Wednesday: Closed

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Gale Family Library • Minnesota Historical Society • 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102-1906 • 651-259-3300
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