Gale Family Library

345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102
Directions

Contact

651-259-3300

Library Hours

Tue 9 am-8 pm
Wed-Sat 9 am-4 pm
Sun Closed
Mon Closed
Holiday Hours

Admission

Free
 
PARKING
$6 per day
 

Using the Library

Collections OnlineTimepieces

 
Catalog Search
Research Collections

FAQ - Specific Research Areas

Do You Have a Question About...

Specific Types of Research

 

Q. How do I get started researching my family history?

 

See the Family History Research page for tips about getting started, locating information and organizing your Research strategy.

 

Q. How do I find birth and/or death information?

 

The Library has birth and death information for the state of Minnesota. The Minnesota People Records Search allows researchers to find birth records for the years 1900-1934 and death records for 1904-2001. Copies may be ordered online if you are not able to visit the Library.

 

Q. How do I find birth and/or death information before 1900?

 

For records before 1900 the Library has many township and village registers; the Library catalog will list those available in our collection. You will need to contact the county in which the birth or death occured for records not in MNHS’s collections.

 

Q. How do I find naturalization (citizenship) information?

 

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The Library has all 87 county district court records available for people who filed for citizenship in the state of Minnesota. These cover the time range of the 1850s-1940s. There are print indexes for each county in the Library’s Hubbs microform room. There are also online indexes available on Ancestry.com.

 

For more information on other immigration resources see the Immigration Records page.

 

Q. How do I find obituaries?

 

The Library has an extensive collection of historic Minnesota newspapers dating back to 1849. There is no master index to obituaries, so to find them you must have a date and newspaper in mind to search.

 

Newspapers are available on microfilm and may be borrowed via Interlibrary Loan.

 

If you are not able to visit the Library, you can also place an obituary Research order online.

 

Q. How do I find marriage records?

 

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The Library has a limited number of marriage records including records of seventeen counties. These can be found by searching the Library catalog. Marriage records cover the 1850s-1980s, depending upon the county.

 

There is no master index of marriages that have occurred in Minnesota but Minnesota Official Marriage System (MOMS) is a good place to begin a search.

 

For more information on marriage records see the Marriage Records page.

 

Q. How do I Research a house or building?

 

There are a variety of resources that can be helpful in researching buildings. Please see ourBuilding and House History page for tips about getting started and locating information.

 

Q. How can I Research legislative history?

 

Some of the resources for Minnesota legislative history Research are available at the Minnesota Historical Society Library, while others are available at the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library or online. In general, MNHS Library legislative resources are most complete for bills from 1998 and before, but we do have access to some more recent materials.

 

  • For more information on how to conduct legislative history Research, see the step-by-step guide to Minnesota Legislative History
  • The Minnesota Legislative Reference Library also has an online guide to Minnesota Legislative History
  • Librarians can help on-site researchers with legislative Research in our collections.
  • For people who cannot visit the Library to do their own legislative Research, a fee-based legislative Research service is available.

Q. How do I find military records?

 

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The Adjutant General’s records (part of the State Archives) include service records for Minnesota National Guard and Militia. The Service Record Cards (microfilm SAM 1) have basic service information for the period 1861–1917, and National Guard service through World War II. In addition, there are Civil War Muster Rolls for Minnesota Regiments, Combined Service Records for the Spanish American War; Service Records, Gold Star Rolls and Bonus records for World War I and bonus records for Minnesota servicemen and women from World War II and the Korean War. For an overview of these records view theMilitary Records podcast.

 

Additional sources available online include:

Q. How do I Research a business?

 

A number of resources may be useful in researching businesses:

  • Basic information about many Minnesota businesses can be found on the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website.
  • The Secretary of State’s records in MNHS's State Archives holdings include useful information on businesses incorporated in Minnesota.
  • MNHS's manuscript collections include the records of numerous Minnesota businesses from large corporations likeNorthwest Airlines, to small groceries. Search the Library catalog using the name of the business or the name of the business owner.
  • Many firms publish a history of the business, often in association with a major anniversary. MNHS has collected many of these, search the catalog for holdings.
  • For larger cities, city directories list businesses by name and often provide the name of the owner or manager. These can be particularly useful for tracing small firms.
    Insurance maps can provide information on location and the buildings that were part of a local enterprise.
  • Photograph collections often provide information on a company’s buildings and locations. See MNHS's Collections Online database and the Minnesota Reflections website.
  • Newspapers are a good source of information on major events around the life of a business, its creation, dissolution, acquisition and its advertising. Some papers are indexed; many are not and require sometimes lengthy searches.
  • Court records can be useful sources of business history. Was the company sued by customers, business partners etc.? These files can demonstrate the relations of the firm with the wider community.