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Archive for March, 2009

Minnesota State Census Available

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

The Minnesota Historical Society now has available on its website an index for and images of the Minnesota State Census, 1849-1905. This is the same index and images currently available on but unlike Ancestry, MHS will be able to correct the index and even replace bad images.

The index works like the Minnesota Birth Certificates and Minnesota Death Certificates indexes, with drop-down menus for “exact,” “contains,” “starts with,” and “ends with” for both last and first names; Soundex and extended Soundex; and the ability to limit the search by year and county.

The Society’s innovative WOTR (Write On The Record) comment feature is usable on the census index. This means that you can report errors and MHS will make corrections. Also, the census images can be purchased online, with electronic delivery within minutes, just like the birth certificate images.

Unfortunately, the Minnesota State Census is not included in the PeopleFinder. So please use the link provided above, or the link on the Family History homepage.

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Upcoming Classes

Monday, March 9th, 2009
Intermediate Genealogy Series Continues

The second 2-lecture set in the popular 10-part series of classes offered by the Minnesota Genealogical Society (MGS) and hosted by the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) is coming up on Saturday. Don’t worry if you missed the first set, you can still come! And don’t think you need to be a genealogist to get a lot of useful information from these two classes.

This month’s two genealogy lectures are by MGS member and MHS Genealogy Help Desk volunteer J. H. (Jay) Fonkert, who will present “Census Sleuthing: Strategies for Family History Research” and “The GEO in Genealogy: Using Maps in Family History.”

  • Saturday March 14, 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $28 for MHS or MGS members; $32 for non-members.
  • Location: Fraternal Congress Classroom in the Minnesota History Center.
  • The class is limited to 40, pre-registration required.
  • Register online.

“Census Sleuthing: Strategies for Family History Research” will take place from 10:00-11:00 a.m. Census records are among the genealogist’s best friends because they provide social and economic snapshots of our ancestors in family settings. This class will help researchers locate hard-to-find ancestors, evaluate evidence against other sources, and link generations together over time. Just in time for this class, the Minnesota Historical Society has launched the Minnesota State Census Index, so you can browse for your Minnesota ancestors using the same search interface as the indexes for Minensota birth certificates and death certificates. You can also use WOTR to report corrections.

After a half-hour break, “The GEO in Genealogy: Using Maps in Family History” will be presented from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Every event in your ancestor’s life took place in a unique place. Maps cannot only help you find the place, but bring that place to life. Maps can help explain how your ancestor got there and what life was like there. This lecture will show examples of many kinds of maps and give tips for finding the maps most useful for your family history research. After the class, be sure to visit the Society’s new map exhibit: “Minnesota on the Map: Four Centuries of Maps from the Minnesota Historical Society Collection.”

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Minnesota on the Map

Friday, March 6th, 2009

A new exhibit - Minnesota on the Map: Four Centuries of Maps from the Minnesota Historical Society Collection - just opened on February 28. The exhibit features dozens of maps, atlases, and artifacts from the Society’s collection, including an atlas from 1595, displayed alongside current road, city, and tourist maps. The Society’s extensive collection of early exploration and travel maps of North America includes document maps and atlases used by Europeans to understand the geography of the “New World” and illustrates how that understanding changed over time. For more information visit the exhibit’s webpage.

If you’re a real map lover, you’ll want to take the library class “Minnesota on the Map: An Introduction to the MHS Map Collection” on March 10 (6:00-7:30 pm).  Class participants will walk through the exhibit with Patrick Coleman, the Society’s map curator. The class will continue in the Library where other maps and cartographic resources not included in the exhibit will be viewed and their value in conducting historical research discussed.  Register online to make sure you get a spot.

Partie occidentale du Canada ou de la Nouvelle France, 1688

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