Gale Family Library

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



Library Hours

Tuesday: 9 am-8 pm
Wednesday: 9 am-4 pm
Thursday: 9 am-4 pm
Friday: 9 am-4 pm
Saturday: 9 am-4 pm
Sunday: Closed
Monday: Closed
Holiday Hours


$6 per day

Using the Library

Collections OnlineTimepieces

Will Book Record Request

What are Will Books?

Will Books consist of copies or transcriptions of the complete texts of wills probated by the courts.


Will books do not contain original wills, are not the official records, and cannot be used to create certified copies. Original wills are are found in probate case files, and certified copies can be obtained from county probate courts.


We have Will Books for most* Minnesota counties, though the dates covered by the books varies by individual county. The earliest wills date from 1849 and the most recent are from the mid-1980s. To request a copy of a will from a Will Book, please follow the instructions below.


How do I order a copy?

  1. Search for a will in the online index to Minnesota Will Books (1849 - 1985). This index--and indexes to some other Minnesota genealogical records--are available online, for free, through
  2. Make note of the following required information:
    • Name: The full name of the deceased individual
    • Event Place (County): County where the will was filed (Please note that we do not have the Will Books for Hennepin, Marshall, or St. Louis counties.*)
    • Source Reference (Volume): Volume number, letter, or full title, for example: "Will Records Volume A, 1883-1907"
    • Image #: located on the right side of the screen
    • The following information may or may not be present in the index, but please include it whenever possible:
      • Page number(s) 
      • Year of Will: listed in the index as "Event Year"
  3. Complete your order through our Online Shop, using the information you found in the index. Note: for each request, staff will search for one will record. 



  • Prepayment is required and non-refundable
  • The $9 fee includes traditional shipping costs
  • There is an extra $3.00 fee if you would like your order emailed.
  • Credit/debit card is the preferred method of payment, but we can also accept checks and money orders. Just select the off-line payment option in the online shop, make the check payable to the Minnesota Historical Society, and note your order number on the check's memo line.  
  • Your order will not be fully processed until payment has arrived, and payment must be received within 30 days of placing the order or the order will be cancelled.  
  • Members of the Minnesota Historical Society receive a 10% discount. Visit the Membership page to find out more about becoming a Society member.



  • Will Book Requests are completed on a first-come-first-served basis
  • Turn-around time can be as much as 30 business days if we are busy, dating from the receipt of payment
  • Copies will be sent via first class US Mail, unless email delivery is specified at the time the order is placed.


* If you are interested in obtaining a will filed in Hennepin (including Minneapolis), Marshall, or St. Louis (including Duluth) counties, please contact that county’s court records or court administration department.