Select historical township and county records will be transferred to the Minnesota Historical Society State Archives.
Hubbard County Recorder Nicole Lueth asked for permission to transfer them at Tuesday’s county board meeting.
“We have a bunch of these in the basement,” she said, holding up an example of a township register of births and deaths dating from the 1930s. “Apparently, at that time, you went to the township and recorded your vital events and the townships notified the courts.”
Years ago, she explained, Hubbard County inherited some township/city birth and death records when the courts became the official record.
The sets are incomplete, and the state does not allow the county to use them to certify vital records. “So they really do us no good,” Lueth said, adding they sit untouched in the basement, where there were some water issues.
Lueth said these records are particularly valuable to the state archives “because they can put a certain individual in a certain place geographically and a certain timeframe. . .Genealogists like to create layers of information to substantiate their family’s history.”
At no cost to the county, state archives staff will visit and inventory the unique records, transfer them to their St. Paul location, repair them and make them available to the public indefinitely.
Lueth asked to transfer three sets of records: township birth and death registers; township chattel mortgage record books and indexes (1913), and the county’s Motor Vehicle Index 1 (1919-1921).
By Minnesota Statute, the county may transfer certain permanent records to the state archives.
According to Minnesota Historical Society State Archives, “The records complement other records and information preserved in our collections. . .While the state archives cannot certify birth and death records preserved in our collection, our researchers greatly appreciate the informational and historical value of the records. The records are regularly used in our library. See the library website at http://sites.mnhs.org/library.”
In accordance with state law, the archivists restrict access to information about adoptions and
out of wedlock births.
“There’s certain information in here that can’t be released until a certain timeframe has passed,” Lueth said.
The state will permanently retain the records in a secure storage area, with the appropriate environmental controls for temperature and humidity.
“Any damaged records (broken volume spines, torn pages, etc.) will be treated and repaired by our professional conservation staff. This ensures the preservation of the records, and allows the records to be safely used by researchers,” stated a letter from the Minnesota Historical Society.
“So it’s really win for us,” Lueth said, and residents may go to the library website for assistance with their family research.
County commissioner Char Christenson said a lot of these township records are randomly stored throughout Hubbard County. She informed all the townships of this service and told them to contact Lueth.
Currently, Lueth said, only Lake Emma Township birth and death records are preserved in the
state collection. The set appears to be incomplete, she said, noting it includes a death register dated 1896-1899, register of births dated 1900-1949, one volume of deaths dated 1900-1958, and burial or removal permits dated 1936-1958.
Lueth said she would be happy to help other townships transfer their sets to the state.