Traverse County, Minnesota Genealogy

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

Traverse County, Minnesota
Map of Minnesota highlighting Traverse County
Location in the state of Minnesota, United States Genealogy
Map of the U.S. highlighting Minnesota
Location of Minnesota in the U.S.
Founded February 20, 1862
County Seat Wheaton
Minnesota, Traverse County Courthouse.png
Address Traverse County Courthouse
702 2nd Ave N
PO Box 487
Wheaton, MN 56296
Phone: 320.563.4266
Phone 320-563-4343 (phone)
Phone: 320-563-4311 (fax)
Traverse County Website

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Lake Traverse. The County is located in the west-central area of the state. [1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1881 1881 1881 1881 1881 1881 1836
Statewide registration started for births in 1900 and deaths in 1908. General compliance by 1915.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Clerk District Court has birth, marriage, death, divorce,
probate, court and land records from 1881. [3]

History[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1862--Traverse County was created 20 February 1862 from Pierce (Eliminated 20 Feb 1862) County and unorganized territory.
County seat: Wheaton [4]

  • For a brief history of how Traverse County was named, click here, then select Traverse County.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Places/Localities[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:[5]

Unincorporated communities

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
MNGenWeb Billion Graves
MNGenWeb Archives FamilySearch Places
Tombstone Project
Billion Graves
See Minnesota Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1870 13
1880 1,507 11492.3%
1890 4,516 199.7%
1900 7,573 67.7%
1910 8,049 6.3%
1920 7,943 −1.3%
1930 7,938 −0.1%
1940 8,283 4.3%
1950 8,053 −2.8%
1960 7,503 −6.8%
1970 6,254 −16.6%
1980 5,542 −11.4%
1990 4,463 −19.5%
2000 4,134 −7.4%
2010 3,558 −13.9%
Source: "".

State Census

Church[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.

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Land[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.

Land records for Minnesota are listed in the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:


Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Traverse County, Minnesota Genealogy. 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.

  • Wheaton, Minnesota: Centennial History, 1887-1987. Wheaton, MN: Gazette Oublishing Co., 1987. Print. 

Maps[edit | edit source]

Wilkin CountyGrant CountyStevens CountyBig Stone CountyRoberts CountyRichland County250PX
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

World War II[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[6][edit | edit source]

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Traverse County, Minnesota Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

  • The Wheaton Gazette (May 1925-Current; Weekly)
  • Wheaton Gazette-Reporter (1889 [?]-April 1925; Weekly)
  • Wheaton Gazette (March 1885-1889 [?]; Weekly)
  • Browns Valley Reporter (May 1880-1889 [?]; Weekly)
  • The Valley News (April 1926-Current; Weekly)
  • The Traverse County Star (1922 [?]-1924[?]; Weekly)
  • Traverse County Traveler (April 1916-November 1918; Weekly)
  • Weekly Footprints (June 1903-Mar 1916; Weekly)
  • The Footprints (September 1894-June 1903; Weekly)
  • Browns Valley Footprints (1890 [?]-September 1894; Weekly)
  • Browns Valley Inter-Lake Tribune (February 1902-March 1936; Weekly)
  • Inter-Lake Tribune (1894 [?]-February 1902; Weekly)
  • Inter-Lake Tribune and Traverse County Times (1891 [?]-1894[?]; Weekly)
  • The Dumont Journal (May 1902-[?]; Weekly)
  • The Weekly Call (1902 [?]-[?]; Weekly)
  • The Browns Valley Courier (1891 [?]; Weekly)

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Probate[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

Taxation[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]

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Traverse County Historical Society
1201 Broadway
Wheaton, MN 56296

Traverse-des-sioux Genealogical Society
815 Nicollet Ave
North Mankato 56001

Traverse County Historical Society
601 1st Avenue South (mailing address)
Corner of Broadway Avenue and Trail Street (museum address)
Wheaton, MN 56296
Telephone: 320-563-8520

Browns Valley Historical Society
PO Box 13
Browns Valley, MN 56219
Telephone: 320-695-2312

Wheaton Community Library
901 1st Avenue North
Wheaton, MN 56296
Telephone: 320-563-8487
Fax: 320-563-8815

Browns Valley Public Library
PO Box 307
15 3rd Street South
Browns Valley, MN 56219
Telephone: 320-695-2318
Fax: 320-695-2125

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

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

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Traverse County, Minnesota" in,_Minnesota accessed 15 Nov 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Traverse County, Minnesota. Page 362-370 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 362-365.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Traverse County, Minnesota page 369, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Traverse County, Minnesota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Minnesota, accessed 04 March 2020.
  6. MNHS Library Catalogue; Traverse County Newspapers. (accessed November 9, 2011).