North Dakota County Resources

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This entry was originally written by Beth H. Bauman and Marsha Hoffman Rising, CG, FUGA, FASG for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
the North Dakota Family History Research series.
History of North Dakota
North Dakota Vital Records
Census Records for North Dakota
Background Sources for North Dakota
North Dakota Maps
North Dakota Land Records
North Dakota Probate Records
North Dakota Court Records
North Dakota Tax Records
North Dakota Cemetery Records
North Dakota Church Records
North Dakota Military Records
North Dakota Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
North Dakota Archives, Libraries, and Societies
North Dakota Naturalization
Ethnic Groups of North Dakota
North Dakota County Resources
Map of North Dakota


The FHL holds the Historical Records Survey of North Dakota (Bismarck, N.Dak.: WPA, 1939). Although outdated, it remains a helpful guide. County records including land, court, tax, probate, and township records for North Dakota may be extant from time of formation. There may, however, be individual discrepancies, and the researcher will need to check with the local office for exact reference. The county judge holds marriage and probate records, the register of deeds holds land records, and the clerk of the district court holds civil court records. Details about county offices can be found on the Internet at <www.ndaco.org/nd_counties/county.asp>.

Some records have been transferred to the State Archives and Historical Research Library (see State Historical Society website <www.discovernd.com/hist>). Since this is a continuing process, correspondence should be addressed to the county first, and if the records have been transferred, the letter will be forwarded. County offices can normally be addressed in care of the county courthouse; however, in the list below, addresses or post office boxes for registers of deeds are given.

For some counties on the chart there are two years listed for “Date Formed.” The first is the year that the county was created; the second is the year it was fully organized if it differs from creation year. Under the heading “Parent County/ies,” unorganized land denotes that it was formed from non-county lands, and counties listed with an asterisk (*) are those to which the county was at one time “attached” before organization.

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