Beginning in 1927, Minnesota statutes required that the Adjutant General maintain a permanent registry of the graves of all persons “who served in the military or naval forces of the United States and whose mortal remains rest in Minnesota”. In 1943 this duty was transferred to the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs who later enlisted the help of funeral directors who were required to send information on deceased veterans to the Department of Veterans Affairs. By 1969 the program had become quite large and expensive and so was officially discontintued, but some 55,000 records of veterans had been compiled. Between 1970 and 1975 several counties and Fort Snelling cemetery continued to add records.
The report forms cover individuals from the Civil War through the Vietnam War who are buried in Minnesota. The information provided incudes: name, date and place of enlistment, rank and organization, date and place of discharge, residence, birth date, date and cause of death, name and address of next of kin, place and location of burial. Some forms also include photographs and clippings relating to the veteran. The collection is indexed on the MHS web site. Photocopies of Veterans Grave Registration records can be ordered through the index.
Hamp Smith, Reference Librarian