North Dakota Genealogists
Our North Dakota genealogists are available to research on location. They will find and analyze the best records available to further your family history research. They can search the archives and libraries in North Dakota, as well as help you with other special requests.
North Dakota State Archives and Libraries
North Dakota State University (Fargo, North Dakota)
North Dakota State University’s Institute for Regional Studies & University Archives preserves organization records and personal documents that are “of enduring historic value”. The manuscript collection of the institute is numbered at over 1,200 volumes. The type of articles vary from single records to boxes that contain hundreds of documents. Many of the items the institute has collected focus on agricultural development in the state, the lives of North Dakota settlers, and women of North Dakota.
State Historical Society of North Dakota (Bismarck, North Dakota)
The State Historical Society of North Dakota is located in Bismarck. Their archives contain- vital records dating from 1893. They also hold state census schedules from 1885, 1915 and 1925. Their newspaper collection includes issues from 1864 to the present day. It is the official repository for historical documents from each of the 53 counties in North Dakota. The society is also home to a selection of biographies of North Dakota pioneers, in their Pioneer Mothers Collection.
North Dakota Archives in Other States
There are other excellent resources for genealogical research of North Dakota ancestors located in archives outside of North Dakota. We have genealogists working throughout the country who can investigate these archives for information about your ancestors.
National Archives at Kansas City (Kansas City, Missouri)
The National Archives at Kansas City, Missouri, contain articles that focus on the Northern Great Plains area. Their holdings contain more than 35,000 cubic feet of records including textual documents, photographs, maps, and architectural drawings which all date from 1821 to the 1980s. There is also information about the Native American tribes of the region and records of civil rights cases.
National Archives at Denver (Broomfield, Colorado)
The National Archives at Denver hold a Microfilm/Genealogy Room with over 60,000 rolls of microfilmed federal records. They contain federal population censuses for all states from 1790 to 1930, Revolutionary War records, and Native American censuses. Their records also include information on other states, such as Utah and North Dakota.
Native American Schools
The name North Dakota is derived from a Sioux word meaning “friend”. Several tribes lived in the region such as the Sioux, Cheyenne, and the Chippewa. Throughout the state’s history, many Native American children were sent to either day schools or boarding schools that were established by The Office of Indian Affairs (now the Bureau of Indian Affairs). Many of these schools were located in North Dakota, and their records have been spread out among several different states.
Bismarck Indian School Records
Bismarck Indian School was authorized in 1901 and, after a period of closing and reopening, became an all girls school in 1922. It was finally closed in 1937. Records of this school can be found in Central Plains Regional Archives of the National Archives and Records Administration in Kansas City, Missouri.
Fort Totten Indian School Records
In Fort Totten, the first Native American school was originally created by the local Catholic Mission. It was first established as a mission school in 1874 before it burned down in 1883. It was rebuilt two years later before burning down once again in 1926. The students were then combined with the Fort Totten Indian Boarding School. The school closed completely in the 1950’s and Fort Totten became a historical site. Records for this school can also be found in the National Archives and Records Administration in Kansas City.
Wahpeton Indian School Records
The Wahpeton Indian School was the last non-reservation boarding school to be established. Students came from tribes managed by the Fort Berthold, Fort Totten, Standing Rock, and Turtle Mountain agencies in North Dakota, and the Leech Lake, Red Lake, and White Earth agencies in Minnesota. It functioned as an agricultural and elementary school, but also provided advanced coursework for older students. The Central Plains Regional Archives contains records for this school as well. They hold student case files dated from 1908 to 1966.
Our genealogists specialize in researching all different types of documentation, and the list above is simply a small sample of what they can help you with.