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Minnesota Census

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United States  >  U.S. Census  >  Minnesota  >  Census

Existing and lost censuses[edit | edit source]

For a list of available and missing Minnesota censuses, click here.

1850 United States Census—A free Internet index and images to the 1850 United States Census can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search – Pilot Site. This index includes every name listed on the census and is linked to an image including information about each person’s residence and age in 1850, birthplace, occupation, other family members, and neighbors.

1860 United States Census—A free Internet index and images to the 1860 United States Census can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search – Pilot Site. This index includes every name listed on the census and is linked to an image including information about each person’s residence and age in 1860, birthplace, occupation, other family members, whether married or single, and neighbors.

1860-1930-- Census Records are available for with the following exceptions:

1870--The National Archives copy of the 1870 census was destroyed, another version was reconstructed from duplicates preserved by the state.  The Family History Library has copies from both the Minnesota Historical Society (Archives and Manuscripts Collections) and the National Archives.

 1870 United States Census---A free internet index and images can be viewed on FamilySearch Record Pilot site. This index includes the full name, age, sex, race, birthplace, occupation, month if born in census year, month if married in census year, birth place of father and mother, if born in a foreign country.

1880 United States Census– A Free Internet Index and Images to the US Census can be viewed on the Family Search Record Pilot – Pilot Site. This index includes an every name index to population schedules listing inhabitants. It includes the full name, race, sex, age, birth month (if born during the previous year), relationship to head of household, whether married, single or divorced, whether married during the previous year, country or state of birth of each person and his parent’s, occupation and street address and house number.

1890-- Census lost for all counties except Rockford Township, Wright County

1890--Union Veteran Schedule. The Minnesota Histoirical Society has produced two microfiche of 1890 census information. It covers several families in Rockville Township, Wright County.

1900 Federal Census - A free Internet index and images to the 1900 United States Census can be viewed on the  FamilySearch Record Search – Pilot Site. Important additions to this census are month and year of birth of each household member, number of years married for each married person, number of children born to each mother and the number of those still living, year of immigration, and number of years in the United States.

PLEASE NOTE:  Not all areas of the US have been indexed for 1900, but they can be searched in a section called Browse unindexed images.

1900-- The schedule for White Earth Indian Reservation follows Yellow Medicine County Census

For a statewide Census database search see theDalby Database.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

1686-1762--The French established a chain of forts and small settlements in the area of Minnesota.

1783--Great Britain grants eastern portions of Minnesota to the United States.

1787-1800--Minnesota is part of the Northwest Territory.

1800-1809--Minnesota is part of Indiana Territory.

1809-1818--Minnesota is part of Illinois Territory.

1818-1836--The area that is now Minnesota is in Michigan Territory.

1836--All of Minnesota is in Wisconsin Territory.

1840--Some Minnesota residents are listed in the 1840 territorial censuses of Wisconsin and Iowa.

1849--Congress creates Minnesota Territory.

1858--Minnesota gains statehood.

Indexes[edit | edit source]

Statewide indexes[edit | edit source]

The census schedules of 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 are indexed.

  • 1850, 1860, 18701880 & 1900  US Censuses for Minnesota are available at for free. Site includes searchable name indexes and images. 1860 and 1880 are available in name index only. 

An 1860 every-name card index on microfilm is:

  • Index to the 1860 Federal Census Schedules for Minnesota. St. Paul, Minnesota: Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts, 1978. (Family History Library microfilms 1373881–911). The page numbers in this card index do not always correspond to the page numbers in the National Archives microfilms of the 1860 census. This index may be used to decide which county and township the family lived in. Then that location can be searched line by line on the census schedules.

The Minnesota Historical Society has an every-name card index to the 1870 federal census that is different from the printed version. The index is on microfilm and is available through interlibrary loan. A few printed county or area indexes exist for some of the state censuses.

1880,1900, 1920--Soundex (phonetic) indexes are available for part of the 1880 census and all of the 1900 and 1920 censuses.

There is no statewide index to the 1910 census of Minnesota.

The following reference tools help determine which census schedule microfilm and enumeration district to search for specific addresses:

  • Kirkham, E. Kay. A Handy Guide to Record- Searching in the Larger Cities of the United States. Logan, Utah: Everton, 1974. (Family History Library book 973 D27kc; microfiche 6010059-60.) Contains street maps for Duluth, Minneapolis, and St. Paul. 

Special Censuses[edit | edit source]

For information about Minnesota non-population schedules 1850-1880 click here.

Mortality Schedules[edit | edit source]

A mortality schedule is a list of persons who died in the 12-months period  prior to the census

There are published indexes to the Minnesota mortality schedules for 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880.

1850-- indexed by county


1870-- indexed by county

1880-- indexed

  • Jackson, Ronald Vern, ed. Mortality Schedule, Minnesota 1880.  Bountiful, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems. 1979.  (Family History Library book 977.6X2j 1880) .
  • Mortality Records of Minnestoa by Counties from the Territorial Period of 1850 to the End of the year 1870: with the Records of St. Louis County to End of Year, 1883. Typescript, 1947. (Family History Library book 977.6 X2m) This book gives name, age, sex. state or country of birth, occupation and month of death. The St. Louis County lists are for 1872-1879 and 1881-1883. This book is arranged by county and is not indexed. The records come form the federal census except St. Louis County, which appears to come from local records.
  • Mortality Schedules 1850-1880

1900-- There is also a surviving portion of the 1900 mortality schedule taken for Minnesota.  The printed transcription can be found in"

  • Warren, James W. Minnesota 1900 Census Mortality Schedule. St. Paul, Minnesota: Warren Research and Marketing Publication, 1992. (Family History Library book 977.6 X2w 1900

Veteran Schedules (1890)
[edit | edit source]

A special census was taken in 1890 of Union veterans of the Civil War:

  • United States. Census Office. 11th Census, 1890. Schedules Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War. National Archives Microfilm Publication M123. (On 118 Family History Library microfilms.) The Minnesota returns are available at the Family History Library on Family History Library microfilms 338181–84. This census lists the veteran’s name or widow, rank, company and regiment or vessel, dates of service, and current post office address.

An index to the Minnesota returns has been published:

  • Dilts, Bryan Lee. 1890 Minnesota Census Index of Civil War Veterans or Their Widows. Salt Lake City, Utah: Index Publishing, 1985. (Family History Library book 977.6 X22d 1890).

The following special censuses are available at the Minnesota Historical Society: 

Agricultural Schedule[edit | edit source]

Agricultural census lists:  name of agent, manager, or owner of farm, acres of land, cash value of farm, value of farm implements and machinery, number of various farm animals, value of livestock, amounts produced of grains, wool, cotton, dairy and all farm products, value of orchard products, value of homemade manufactures, and value of animals slaughtered.

Years taken: 1850,1860,1870, 1880

Manufacturer's Schedule[edit | edit source]

Manufacture census lists: name of corporation, company or individual, name of business, capital invested in real and personal estate, raw materials used, value of fuel, kind of motive power, machinery, structures, resources, average number of hands employed, average wages, annual products, total amount paid in wages, number of months in active operation, greatest number of persons employed at one time, number of workers on full time, 3/4 time, 1/2 time, idle, value of products.

Years taken: 1860, 1870, 1880

Social Statistics Schedule [edit | edit source]

Social statistics census lists: value of estate, annual taxes, number and types of schools, methods of funding, libraries, newpapers, number and type of churches, pauperism, crime, hired labor, amount of public debt, homeless children, inhabitants imprisoned, paupers and indigents, deaf-mutes, blind, insane

Years taken: 1860,1870, 1880

 State Censuses[edit | edit source]

Minnesota has state censuses for the years:

1865--Name, sex, colored, deaf, dumb, blind, soldier in service on June 1, 1865.

1875--Name, age, sex, color, place of birth, father of foreign birth, mother of foreign birth

1885--Name, age, sex, color, place of birth, father of foreign birth, mother of foreign birth, whether deaf, dumb, blind, insane or soldier in Civil War

1895--Name, age, sex, color, place of birth, father of foreign birth, mother of foreign birth, whether deaf, dumb, blind, insane or soldier in Civil War

1905--Gives same as 1895, plus: street address, place of birth of father, place of birth of mother, service in Civil and Spanish Wars.

Portions of some counties have been indexed, and some are available in published format. Census schedules for some years have been lost for some counties. Microfilms are available at the Minnesota Historical Society and at the Family History Library.

The Minnesota Historical Society created guides of their collection for the 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895, and 1905 censuses that include a county index, an introduction that lists counties that have no schedule, and a roll content list that has the subdivisions (townships, municipalities) in each county and the order they appear on the roll.

The Minnesota Historical Society’s Genealogical Resources of the Minnesota Historical Society, A Guide has information on all the censuses that pertain to Minnesota. (See the "Minnesota Archives and Libraries" article.)

Some of the early territorial censuses have been published in the Minnesota Genealogist and the Minnesota Genealogical Journal.

The film numbers for Minnesota State Censuses are also found in:

  • State Census Register: State and County Censuses Located at the Family History Library  Salt Lake City, Utah: Family History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,2005  (Family History Library book 973 X23us Vol. 1-3)

Territorial Census[edit | edit source]

Portions of present-day Minnesota were included in the 1836 Wisconsin territorial census, as part of Crawford and Dubuque counties. (Dubuque County was later in Iowa Territory.) In 1838, the Wisconsin territorial census covered some of Minnesota in Crawford and Clayton counties. Some Minnesota residents are listed in the 1840 territorial censuses of Wisconsin and Iowa.

In 1849 Minnesota became its own territory.  Territorial censuses were taken in 1849, 1850, 1853, 1855 and 1857. A microfilmed index is at Minnesota Historical Library and available through interlibrary loan. Parts or all of some of these censuses have been lost. Others are at the Minnesota Historical Society Library. The Family History Library has:

  • Minnesota. Census Bureau. Schedules of the Minnesota Census of 1857. National Archives Microfilm Publication, T1175. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1973. (Family History Library microfilms 944283–90.) The 1857 census is arranged alphabetically by county and then by the smaller jurisdiction. It was taken 21 September 1857 and lists each household member and includes name, age, sex, race, birth locality (state, territory, or country), occupation, and if naturalized or native citizen.

According to the article below, some fictional names of people and places of residence were listed in southwestern Minnesota in the 1857 census:

  • Forrest, Robert J. Mythical Cities of Southwestern Minnesota. Minnesota History: A Quarterly Magazine. 14, no. 3 (September 1933): 243–62. (Family History Library book 977.6 H25m; film 965778.)

Web Sites[edit | edit source]

                       Ancestry:  ($)

                       Heritage Quest Online:

                       Census Online:

                       Genealogy Today:

                       Access Genealogy:

                       National Archives:

                       Minnesota Historical Society:

                       Census Finder:

                       Roots Web:

                       Mortality Schedules:

                       Family History 101:

References[edit | edit source]

Minnesota Research Outline. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Family History Department, 1998, 2001.