North Dakota Biography

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North Dakota Wiki Topics
Beginning Research
Record Types
North Dakota Background
Cultural Groups
Local Research Resources

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Biographies in Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Biographical information is often found in state, county, and town histories.
  • Towards the end of the 19th century, began publishers soliciting short biographical/family histories from local founding families, offering to publish them in an upcoming local history. This then became an incentive for family members to buy a copy of the book.
  • Families represented were not necessarily prominent. Practically everyone living there, especially in the Midwest, counted as an early settler.
  • These biographies often start with the first member of the family to settle in the area, and detail their descendants at the time of publishing. They may tell where the family moved in from. Children's marriages often are given, with maiden names included.

Finding Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • The county Wiki page lists several county histories. It also lists local libraries, and societies which probably have copies of local histories.
  • Many histories are no longer under copyright and can be found in the following online, digitized book collections. Search with keywords "History" and "the name of your locality" (state, county, or town).
  • The FamilySearch library has extensive collections of these local histories. Many are digitized. Search the FamilySearch Catalog under your locality for the topics "Biography" and "History".

The North Dakota Biography Index database at the Institute for Regional Studies, North Dakota State University, indexes over 219,000 biographical sketches found in some 762 publications.
Representative biographical encyclopedias are:

  • Aberle, George P. Pioneers and Their Sons.. . .Two Volumes. Bismarck, North Dakota: Tumbleweed Press, 1980. (Family History Library film 1035608.) Includes family histories.
  • Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota Containing a History of North Dakota. . . . Chicago, Illinois: George A. Ogle & Company, 1900. (Family History Library film 982021.)
  • Crawford, Lewis F. et al. History of North Dakota and North Dakota Biography. Three Volumes. Chicago, Illinois: The American Historical Society, 1931. (Family History Library film 1036393.) Volumes 2 and 3 are biographical.
  • Lounsberry, Clement Augustus. North Dakota History and People. Three Volumes. Chicago, Illinois: S.J. Clarke, 1917. (Family History Library 982024; volume 3 on film 982025.)
  • Bibliography of Agricultural and Rural Life Literature 1860-1945: North Dakota