Renville County, Minnesota Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Olivia[1]
Organized: March 1, 1866[2]
Parent County(s): Nicollet, Pierce (extinct), Sibley[3]
Neighboring Counties
Brown  • Chippewa  • Kandiyohi  • McLeod  • Meeker  • Nicollet  • Redwood  • Sibley  • Yellow Medicine
See County Maps
Minnesota, Renville County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Minnesota Renville County Map.svg.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Joseph Renville, a fur trader. The County is located in the south-central area of the state.[4]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Renville County Courthouse
500 DePue Ave E
Olivia, MN 56277
Phone: 320-523-3680
Renville County Website

District Court has birth, marriage, and death records from 1870, divorce, probate and court records.
County Recorder has land records.[5]

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

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[6]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1870 1870 1870 1970 1864 1893 1836
*Statewide registration started for births in 1900 and deaths in 1908. General compliance by 1915.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes[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:[10]

Unincorporated communities
Ghost towns

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Renville County, Minnesota online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Minnesota Cemeteries for more information.


Census Records[edit | edit source]

For links to Federal, State, and Territorial censuses, see Minnesota Census.

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 245
1870 3,219 1213.9%
1880 10,791 235.2%
1890 17,099 58.5%
1900 23,693 38.6%
1910 23,123 −2.4%
1920 23,634 2.2%
1930 23,645 0.0%
1940 24,625 4.1%
1950 23,954 −2.7%
1960 23,249 −2.9%
1970 21,139 −9.1%
1980 20,401 −3.5%
1990 17,673 −13.4%
2000 17,154 −2.9%
2010 15,730 −8.3%
Source: "".

State Census

Church Records[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.


Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[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.

Online Land Indexes and Records

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Renville County. 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.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Chippewa CountyKandiyohi CountyMeeker CountyMcLeod CountySibley CountyNicollet CountyBrown CountyRedwood CountyYellow Medicine CountyMN RENVILLE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Multiple Wars

Civil War

Spanish-American War

World War I

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[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

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[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]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Renville County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Minnesota Archives and Libraries.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • 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

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Renville County. For state-wide library facilities, see Minnesota Archives and Libraries.

Renville Public Library
221 N Main St
PO Box 609
Renville, MN 56284

Bird Island Public Library
260 S Main St
PO Box 217
Bird Island, MN 55310

Fairfax Public Library
101 1st Street SE
Fairfax, MN 55332

Hector Public Library
126 S Main St
PO Box 625
Hector, MN 55342

Olivia Public Library
405 South 10th Street
Olivia, MN 56277

Museums[edit | edit source]

Renville County Historical Museum
441 N Park Dr
Morton, MN 56270

Hector Historical Center
PO Box 698
213 Main St S
Hector, MN 55342

Fairfax Historical Depot Museum
200 Park St S
PO Box 434
Fairfax, MN 55332

Sacred Heart Area Museum
PO Box 462
300 5th Avenue
Sacred Heart, MN 56285
320 765-8868

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Renville County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Minnesota Societies.

Renville County Historical Society
PO Box 266
441 N Park Dr
Morton, MN 56270

Bechyn Historical Society
30208 735th Avenue
Redwood Falls, MN 56283

Bison Archive
50450 800th Avenue
Hector, MN 55342

Danube Historical Society
1st Street near Railroad Avenue
PO Box 33
Danube, MN 56230

Hector Historical Center
213 S Main St
PO Box 698
Hector, MN 55342

Renville Historic Preservation Commission and Museum
211 N Main
Renville, MN 56284

Sacred Heart Area Historical Society
300 5th Avenue
PO Box 462
Sacred Heart, MN 56285

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Minnesota.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Minnesota Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; Access Date 2/19/2021.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Renville County, Minnesota" in,_Minnesota accessed 14 Nov 2018
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Minnesota.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Minnesota.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  8. Minnesota Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; Access Date 2/19/2021.
  9. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Minnesota.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  10. Wikipedia contributors, "Renville County, Minnesota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Minnesota, accessed 17 February 2020.