North Dakota Counties records vary widely from county to county in both quality and quantity. Some have been carefully preserved while others have been much abused and neglected. Some North Dakota records have simply disappeared. For genealogists doing research in North Dakota there is no effective replace for an on-site search of county courthouse records. For Definitions of all court terms see the Genealogy Encyclopedia
North Dakota Counties – North Dakota is divided into 53 counties. North Dakota State Government is located in Bismarck.
From the time that each county in North Dakota was formed, records were kept on the county level. Many of those records still exist today. However, not all of them are entirely accurate. So, researchers may need to cross-reference certain information. Some of the record locations are as follows: County Judge – Probate and Marriage Records; Clerk of the District Court – Civil Court Records; Register of Deeds – Land Records.
The State Archives and Historical Research Library has copies of some of those records on file, but new records are continuously being transferred there. So, researchers are better off to begin by contacting the appropriate county office by letter. Letters will be transferred, in cases where the records have already been moved. Letters may often be addressed to the county office in care of the county courthouse.
A Historical Records Survey of North Dakota is housed at the FHL. It is a bit outdated, but can still be a useful guide for researchers. See also a list of links to county and county seat government run websites.