Stearns County, Minnesota Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: St. Cloud
Organized: March 3, 1855[1]
Parent County(s): Cass, Nicollet, Sibley, Pierce (extinct)[2]
Neighboring Counties
Benton  • Douglas  • Kandiyohi  • Meeker  • Morrison  • Pope  • Sherburne  • Todd  • Wright
See County Maps
Courthouse
Minnesota, Stearns County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Minnesota Stearns County Map.svg.png
Adoption

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Charles Thomas Stearns who was a member of the Territorial Council. The County is located in the central area of the state.[3]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Stearns County Courthouse
705 Courthouse Sq
St. Cloud, MN 56303
Phone: 320-656-3620
Stearns County Website

Court Administrator has divorce, probate and court records.
County Recorder has land records.
License Center has birth, marriage and death records. [4]

Stearns 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[5]
Marriage Court Land Probate Census
1870 1870 1870 1857 1855 1859 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:[8]

Cities
Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places
Townships


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 Stearns 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 4,505
1870 14,206 215.3%
1880 21,956 54.6%
1890 34,844 58.7%
1900 44,464 27.6%
1910 47,733 7.4%
1920 55,741 16.8%
1930 62,121 11.4%
1940 67,200 8.2%
1950 70,681 5.2%
1960 80,345 13.7%
1970 95,400 18.7%
1980 108,161 13.4%
1990 118,791 9.8%
2000 133,166 12.1%
2010 150,642 13.1%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

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

Online Books

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Stearns 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]

Wright CountySherburne CountyBenton CountyMorrison CountyTodd CountyDouglas CountyPope CountyKandiyohi CountyMeeker CountyMN STEARNS.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Multiple Wars

Civil War

Civil War service men from Stearns County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies or regiments that were formed from men of Stearns County.

- 1st Regiment, Minnesota Cavalry (Mounted Rangers), Company D.
- 1st Regiment, Minnesota Infantry, Companies D and E.
- 3rd Regiment, Minnesota Infantry, Company I.
- 4th Regiment, Minnesota Infantry, Companies D and G.
- 7th Regiment, Minnesota Infantry, Company I.
- 9th Regiment, Minnesota Infantry, Company G
- Hatch's Independent Battalion, Minnesota Cavalry, Company E.

Spanish-American War

World War I

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

All newspapers are available on microfilm at Stearns History Museum

  • St. Cloud Times, 1861-2011 (weekly and daily)
  • Der Nordstern, 17 Feb 1876 - 27 Aug 1931 (1886 is missing)

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 Stearns 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 Stearns County. For state-wide library facilities, see Minnesota Archives and Libraries.

Great River Regional Library
St Cloud Branch
1300 W St Germain St
St Cloud, MN 56301
320-650-2500
833-438-4775
Website

St Cloud State University
720 4th Avenue South
St Cloud, MN 56301-4498
320-308-3083
E-mail: library@stcloudstate.edu
Website

Museums[edit | edit source]

Stearns History Museum
235 33rd Avenue South
St Cloud, MN 56301-3752
320-253-8424
Email: info@stearns-museum.org
Website

Haehn Museum
Saint Benedict's Monastery
104 Chapel Ln
St Joseph, MN 56374-0277
320-363-7098 or 320-363-7100
Email: mwild@csbsju.edu
Website

Hill Museum & Manuscript Library
Saint John’s University
2835 Abbey Plaza
PO Box 7300
Collegeville, MN 56321-7300
320-363-3514
Email: hmml@hmml.org
Website

St. Joseph Area Historical Society Museum
Box 434
25 1st Street NW
St Joseph, MN 56374
Email: stjosephhistoricalsociety@gmail.com
Website

Sinclair Lewis Boyhood Home
PO Box 25
812 Sinclair Lewis Ave
Sauk Centre, MN 56378
320-352-5201
Email: sinclairlewisfoundation@gmail.com
Website

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Albany Heritage Society
Box 25
400 Railroad Ave
Albany, MN 56307
320-845-2952
Email: arnieginny1955@gmail.com
Website

Stearns County Historical Society
235 33rd Avenue S
Saint Cloud, MN 56301-3752
320-253-8424
Email: info@stearns-museum.org
Website

Paynesville Historical Society
PO Box 35
251 Ampe Drive
Paynesville, MN 56362
320-243-7547
Website

Kimball Area Historical Society
PO Box 55
5 Main St
Kimball, MN 55353-0100
320-398-5250
Email: kimballhistory@meltel.net
Facebook

Melrose Area Historical Society
518 E Second St S
Melrose, MN 56352-1414
320-256-4996
Email: rpaschke@meltel.net
Website

Sauk Centre Area Historical Society
430 Main St S
Sauk Centre, MN 56378-1509
Telephone: 320-351-8777
Email: scahs@mainstreetcom.com
Facebook

Cold Spring Area Historical Society
527 Main St
Cold Spring, MN 56320
320-248-5044
E-mail: bmurphy@coldspring.govoffice.com
Website

Paynesville Historical Society
251 Ampe Dr
Paynesville, MN 56362
320-243-754
Email: paynesvillehistoricalsociety@hotmail.com
Website

St. Joseph Area Historical Society
Box 434
St Joseph, MN 56374
Email: stjosephhistoricalsociety@gmail.com
Website

Sartell Historical Society
PO Box 1907
Sartell, MN 56377
320-253-4036 X 1
Email: historicalsartell@gmail.com
Website

Sinclair Lewis Foundation/Society
PO Box 25
812 Sinclair Lewis Ave
Sauk Centre, MN 56378
320-352-5201
Email: sinclairlewisfoundation@gmail.com
Website

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Minnesota Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed 3 March 2021.
  2. Minnesota Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed 3 March 2021.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Stearns County, Minnesota" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stearns_County,_Minnesota accessed 15 Nov 2018
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Minnesota.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  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.
  7. Minnesota Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed 3/6/2021.
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Stearns County, Minnesota," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stearns_County%2C_Minnesota, accessed 22 February 2020.