Finding the Truth Behind Family Stories: State Hospital, Prison, and Court Records at MNHS


Perhaps there was a rumor about a relative who spent time in a state hospital. Maybe you discovered an old diary or collection of letters that alludes to a divorce or other civil case you'd never heard of before. It's possible you were doing some genealogical research and were shocked to see that someone is listed as being in prison in a census record. In any of these cases it's natural to want to know more about the story, to "find the truth." Unfortunately, tracking down records for state hospitals and prisons, as well as court records can be a complicated and mysterious process to those who have not done this type of research before. Learn the basics of conducting this type of research including the types of records that are available, use of indexes and case file numbers, and potential restrictions. Examples of doing research at the Minnesota Historical Society will form the basis of the program.

Who Should Attend?

Librarians new to historical family research or are interested in building their skills and understanding.