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Welcome To Crow Wing County
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Crow Wing County Courthouse
Crow Wing County Historical Society
Evergreen Cemetery Association
Brainerd Public Library
"Cemetery records of Crow Wing County, Minnesota"


This web page provides information specific to resources in Crow Wing county to help researchers understand what is available, where to get it, and how much it might cost.

I spent a few interesting and enjoyable months in the summer of 1998 gathering information on many of my ancestors and other relatives here in Brainerd (where I was born and raised). I had a lot of fun and learned quite a bit that I'd like to share.

I especially recommend getting your initial info from Evergreen Cemetery, if possible, since they will have a lot of what you need.

Please send corrections/additions/suggestions for this page to John Van Essen <vanes002@umn.edu>

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Crow Wing County Courthouse

Address : Crow Wing County Treasurer
326 Laurel St
Brainerd, MN 56401
Phone : (218)828-3953
Hours : Mon - Fri : 9:00 - 5:00
Web : http://www.crowwing.us/index.aspx?NID=163

General Information: Recordkeeping began in the early 1870's after Brainerd was founded and soon became the County Seat. The records are very incomplete in the first few decades, gradually getting better through the first half of the 20th century and are pretty complete from the 1940's on.

The Courthouse is located at 4th and Laurel, in Brainerd. The Treasurer's office, which is where the Birth, Death, and Marriage records are, is on the 2nd floor. The general public is allowed to inspect these public records and copy information by hand. Xerox copying is not provided. For years up through the 1940's, the information is in book-ledger form. And they are BIG books. From about the 50's or 60's on, death and birth certificates were used, which are easier for the County to single-page xerox copy. If you want a xerox copy, you still have to buy the official copy from the county.

Cost of Official Copies (as of Jul 2007)

Type of Copy Birth Death Marriage

First Certified Copy   $16.00 ea.  $13.00 ea.  $9.00 ea.
Add'l Certified Copies   $9.00 ea.  $5.00 ea.  $9.00 ea.

NOTE: Each different record counts as a new 'first' copy. Additional copies refers only to exact duplicates of the first copy.

Birth Records: Different sets of information are recorded for births depending on the recordbook in use during a particular time frame. Sometimes the occupation of the father is recorded. For a while, the child number was recorded. Delayed registrations (see next paragraph) often had some additional info to prove someone's identity - additional relatives were sometimes noted.

In the 1940's, as part of a nation-wide effort to get all citizens registered in their county of birth, many additional delayed entries were made to the birth records for people whose births was never originally recorded. The name of the person giving the information and their relationship to the person in the birth record is also given. For example, I discovered a previously unknown aunt of my maternal grandfather from that information (although her name eventually did turn up later when I found my gr-grandmother's obituary).

And, of course, the records for illegitimate births are sealed.

Death Records: The information available depends on the recordbook in use at the time. Sometimes the parents' occupations and/or birthplaces are listed. The information from the first few decades is especially suspect. For example, my gr-gr-gr-grandmother, Kristine Ryden, who died in 1883, was listed as a man with a name of Christian Roidan. In the early days, the transfer and recording of information left a lot to be desired. This also holds true for the Birth records.

Marriage Records: These are indexed on both the husband's name and the wife's current name as of the time of the marriage. The marriage info is very sparse. No birthdates, parentage, or residence. Just a current locale (County or State or Country) for the possibly non-resident spouse-to-be.

The early records here are sparse, too, because the person performing the marriage was allowed to issue the license, but sometimes forgot to register it with the county. For example, I have the original license issued in Crow Wing in 1917 for a marriage performed by the local Catholic Church pastor for my maternal grandparents, but there's no mention of it in the County Records.

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Crow Wing County Historical Society

The Crow Wing County Historical Society maintains and operates a research library on the lower level of the Crow Wing County Museum at 320 Laurel Street in Brainerd (to the west of the Courthhouse). It has many resources for aiding genealogical research. Among them:

There is much, much more. Visit the Crow Wing County Historical Society home page for a more detailed list of materials available and for information on how to contact the Society with your research requests.

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Evergreen Cemetery Association

Address : 1105 3rd Ave NE
Brainerd, MN 56401
Phone : (218)829-5898
Web : http://www.evergreencemeterybrainerd.com/

The Association office is next to the cemetery at 3rd Avenue and K Street in northeast Brainerd. Barbara Gavin has been the secretary since 1973.

The Evergreen Cemetery Association was organized in 1879 and Evergreen Cemetery now has more than 17,000 interments. The records are pretty good, with a filing system organized by the name of the lot owner with a few miscellaneous single burials.

The file for each lot contains a Directory of the Dead fact sheet for each person buried in that lot. The lot owner is allowed to provide additional info to go in the file. For example, I hit the jackpot when I discovered that my gr-gr-gr-grandmother was buried in the family plot of the husband of her daughter (who wasn't the daughter that was my gr-gr-grandmother). I was gathering information on siblings of my direct ancestors, and here's this sheet with a little family history, including some details on my newly-discovered gr-gr-gr-grandmother!

Basic information is provided for free. This include the deceased's name, age, date of death, and location of the grave site. Other information that the secretary has gathered and included in the Directory of the Dead sheet is available for $1 per name (and $1 per page of additional info that was provided directly by the family) with a $5 minimum per request. Oftentimes (but not always), this will include an obituary.

Additionally, a WPA project in the 1930's to document local history also involved Evergreen cemetery, and many of the records up to that time also have info from the County Death records. So you can hit quite a bonanza.

UPDATE: The new Evergreen Cemetery web site (see URL, above) has a new online Directory of the Dead, with every (known) burial in Evergreen and Memorial Gardens cemeteries.

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Brainerd Public Library

The library is located at South 5th St and Maple in Brainerd.

It has a set of microfilms of the Brainerd Dispatch from 1888 - present. Paper copies of microfilm pages cost $0.15 per page.

It has a copy of "Cemetery records of Crow Wing County, Minnesota".

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"Cemetery records of Crow Wing County, Minnesota"

This is a wonderful book by Earl C. and Laura L. Leslie listing the names on all the grave markers in all Crow Wing County cemeteries as of about 1979 (except for Evergreen, which would have made the book 3 times as big). It has 270 pages, and was self-published in 1982.

In the late 1970's, the Leslies co-ordinated an effort to walk these cemeteries and record the names, dates, and other pertinent information (such as war service) that were visible on the markers in each cemetery. This information is grouped by cemetery, with an index in the back listing surnames in alphabetical order and the page(s) where individuals with those surnames are listed. Directions for getting to each cemetery are included. It's current through about 1979, which is when the survey was completed.

This book is available at the Brainerd Public Library (but not for check-out), at the Crow Wing County Historical Society, and at the Minnesota Historical Society.

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Visit MnGenWeb    <http://crowwing.mngenweb.net/tips.html> Nov 05, 2014
MNGenWeb - Crow Wing County - Research Tips
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