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Posted on: May 26, 2020

Minnesota State Archives continues to collect historic vital records

Spring bird in tree.

Records moved to Minnesota State Archives

Minnesota State Archives logoIn collaboration with the Office of Vital Records, the State Archives of the Minnesota Historical Society continues to collect original “historic” paper vital records from Minnesota local governments. During the past year, the State Archives received, in transfer from Minnesota local governments, a number of valuable birth and death records, many dating from 1870. These vital records complement other records preserved by the State Archives and are extremely useful for family and local history research. In accordance with Minnesota state law, access to non-marital birth records and adoptions are restricted for 100 years; now most of the records are available in the Library at the Minnesota History Center:

Here is a brief summary of the records transferred to the State Archives.

Hennepin County, City of Edina - The city transferred birth and death records dated 1890 and 1903-1953. Included in the transfer were birth and death records (dated 1922-1953) of the now defunct Village of Morningside. Morningside was a distinct neighborhood in the Village (now City) of Edina. The community voted to secede from Edina and form their own village in 1920. In 1966, Morningside citizens voted to rejoin Edina.

Hubbard County - The county recorder transferred birth and death records (dated 1870-1953) for many of the cities and townships in the county. The records have not yet been processed and cataloged.

Washington County - Birth (dated 1911-1928) and death (dated 1911-1945) books, and township and city death returns* (dated 1870-1883) of the county. Included in the transfer were birth and death records (dated 1893-1940) of May Township. (*Returns are handwritten lists of births/deaths that occurred in the jurisdiction during each month. Information on the returns was used to record birth and death information in the county’s set of birth and death records.)

Winona County - Delayed birth certificates dated 1870-1908; the date span of the delayed birth certificates is based on the date of birth. Also, a separate set of delayed birth affidavits dated 1886-1902, and delayed birth registrations dated circa 1864-1946. The delayed birth affidavits and delayed registrations are distinct from the set of delayed certificates. The reason for creating and maintaining two separate sets of documents is unknown. The State Archives also received delayed death certificates dated 1904-1953.

Wright County, City of Delano - Birth and death records dated 1908-1953. The State Archives received these records in transfer with cooperation from the Delano Franklin Area Township Historical Society in Wright County.

For more information about vital records preserved by the State Archives, and how to use the records, see the Minnesota Historical Society Library vital records (birth, death, marriage) research guide at:

The State Archives continues to collect vital records from Minnesota local governments. For information about transferring custody of historical vital records, contact 651-259-3260 or and visit the State Archives website at

Thanks to Charles L. Rodgers, Government Records Archivist at the Minnesota Historical Society, State Archives, for contributing this article.

Image courtesy of Laura Slaughter.

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