Library Genealogy Assistance

The local history collection at the Northfield Public Library includes books, atlases, plat maps, local high school yearbooks, scrapbooks, newspaper and census microfilm, clippings, family histories, telephone books and more. The Reference staff can look up articles or obituaries in the local newspaper. There is a charge of $5.00 per article for out-of-state residents. We will respond to genealogical requests as time permits. The Reference staff is not able to do in depth genealogical research. Please contact the Northfield Historical Society or the Rice County Historical Society for names of people who do research for a fee.

Library Databases

  • HeritageQuest Online - HeritageQuest Online is available 24/7 with your library card. HQ Online provides access to the U.S. Census, Revolutionary War Records, digitized images from over 28,000 family histories, local histories and other books.
  • Ancestry Library Edition is available ONLY in the library. This database has over 1.5 billion names and includes records from the U.S. Census, military records, court, land and probate records, vital and church records, directories, passenger lists and more. There is a computer dedicated for genealogical research and it available on a first-come first-served basis.
  • Training webinars for Ancestry and HeritageQuest You can register for upcoming sessions or view older ones. There’s also a link on the training page for training videos on YouTube.

Additional Web Resources

  • Cyndislist - This is a well-organized site with links to over 94,100 genealogical webpages.
  • Dalby Database - The Dalby Database includes many genealogical records from Rice and Steele Counties.
  • Ellis Island - Containing arrival records for 22 million immigrants who entered the port of New York from 1892 to 1924, this searchable database includes immigrants’ names, port of origin, age, nationality, hometown, and marital status.
  • Family Search - Family Search is a service provided by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints to help people find and share family history information. It includes over 400 million names from records worldwide dating back to 1500.
  • Minnesota Death Certificates Index - This index contains Minnesota death records from death cards from 1904 to 1907 and death certificates from 1908-2001.
  • Minnesota Historical Society - Find helpful resources from the Minnesota Historical Society including a Minnesota birth certificate index and a Minnesota Census Index.
  • Minnesota Reflections - Minnesota Reflections is the first online project of the Minnesota Digital Library Coalition. It is a collection of more than 135,000 images and documents depicting the history of Minnesota.
  • Northfield History - The Northfield History Collaborative preserves and makes accessible digital versions of the historical records of Northfield, Minnesota. The collection includes manuscripts, scrapbooks, photographs, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, audio recordings and more.
  • RootsWeb - RootsWeb is one of the oldest and largest genealogical web sites. In addition to hosting 3,000 independent web sites, it coordinates over 26,000 mailing lists which fall into such categories as general interest, surname/family, regional, ethnic and practical advice.
  • USGenWeb Project - The USGenWeb Project site was created by a group of volunteers working together to provide a web of Internet websites for genealogical research in every county and every state in the United States.
  • Vital Records
  • WorldGenWeb - The WorldGenWeb Project is a nonprofit, volunteer based organization dedicated to providing genealogical and historical records and resources for world-wide access.