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 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.
North Dakota State University
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection at North Dakota State University has one of the most comprehensive collections of German-Russian resources in the world.
Our North Dakota genealogists are, or can become, members of the Russia Heritage society in order access the collections provided here. These collections includes Biographies, Cemetery records, Church histories, Family histories, Maps of German and Russian villages and territories
Microfilms of newspapers, passenger manifests, Russian archives, and much more. Researches can also access obituaries and 7,5000 written letters archived ( only accessed by members of the Germans from Russia Heritage Society). In order to become a member of the society, fill out the Membership Form to access many genealogical materials held by GRHS. Visit the site for the Germans from Russia Heritage Society to see what they have to offer for your own research.
The Chester Fritz Library has an extensive bygdebok collection on Norwegian farms and community histories. North Dakota Genealogists can also access printed government documents at this library.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 North Dakota genealogists specialize in researching several types of documentation and are not limited to the list above. For more information or specific inquiries about our genealogists, please feel free to contact us.