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

Catalog Search
Research Collections

Search Help:

General Tips for Searching in


These search tools DO NOT search the Library Catalog
Minnesota People Records Search has been designed for searching birth, death, State Census, Veterans' Grave Registration, and World War I Gold Star Roll records.  

Start your Search

Start your search by entering a basic word or name. These can be names of companies, places, subjects, individuals or types of items. Then use the filters on the left-hand side of the screen to narrow your search.

Tips & Tricks

  • Keep it simple. Start with one or two search terms, then add more or use filters to focus your search. 
  • Think creatively about search terms. For horse-drawn carriages, you might try carriage, coach, and buggy.
  • To search for an exact phrase in an exact order, use quotation marks ("Civil War").
  • Use the ? and * wildcard characters search for alternate spellings or to do “Starts With” or “Ends With” searches.  (? replaces just one character and * replaces one or more.)  Here are some examples:
    • Ed?ard = Edvard, Edward, Eduard
    • Ed*rd = Eduard, Edgard, Edelhard
    • Bar* =  Barbara, Barber, Barbra
    • *erson = Anderson, Iverson, Pederson, Peterson
    • Agri* = agribusiness, agriculture, agricultural, agriculturist, etc.
  • Abbreviations may give different results than full words (Ave vs. Avenue, St vs. Street vs. Saint).
  • Don't worry about punctuation; our search ignores it. 
  • Searches are not case sensitive. Minnesota and minnesota are treated the same.
  • AND, OR, and NOT are treated like regular search terms.
  • Use specialized search hints for Images

Want fewer results? Use the filters!

  • To narrow a search, use the filters on the left to specify the type of record, place, names, subject, collection, or year. In addition, you can limit the results to only those with online images. 
  • Filters can include or exclude something.  For example, to see all the results that are photographs, filter with the +.  To see all the results that are NOT photographs, filter using the.
  • Multiple filters can be used to further narrow your results list.
  • Sticky filters:
  • You can change your search term(s) but keep your filters using the small search box at the top of the left-hand column.  
  • To stop using a specific filter on your results list, click the X next to it 
  • Click "Remove all Filters" to use the same search term with no filters
  • Start a completely fresh search by clicking the "Start a New Search" button

Want to use SoundEx? 

SoundEx is an indexing system based on how a surname sounds rather than how it is spelled, so it enables one-step searching for variant spellings of a names.  For example, using Soundex on Anderson would return results like Andreson, Andersen, Anderstrom, etc.
If you are searching for birth, death, State Census, Veterans' Grave Registration, and World War I Gold Star Roll records, we recommend using the Minnesota People Records Search. It's "sounds like" search capability is very easy to use. does have SoundEx filtering capability, but it is important to note that this is NOT the same as a straight-forward SoundEx or "sounds like" search in other systems.  To use it on a last name:
  • Search for a name--first, last, or full
  • Click on Narrow by Family Name in the left-hand column.  
  • If you do not see the name you are seeking, click on Show More under the short list of names.       
  • Find the last name from the list and click the  button next to it.  
  • If you used a last or full name for your search, erase the last name from the "Term" box in the Your Search area at the top of the left-hand column. Then click the search button.

  • You can now add other filters, search terms, etc. in the left-hand column.  As long as there is a "Family Name Soundex" filter listed in the "Your Search" area, the SoundEx filter will be applied.
  • To remove the SoundEx filter, click the x next to it.  


Didn't find what you were looking for?

  • Many more photographs, films and videos, oral histories, manuscripts, and government records can be found in the Library Catalog.
  • Reference staff can provide additional help in person or via phone, email, or chat reference.  Visit the Library’s main webpage for full contact information. 


Back to General Search Help page