Any Historical Minnesota Map can indicate who owned specific property in the state and which towns held the county seat at the time. This information is a valuable starting point for your research pointing you to the right location of records.
Solving Research Problems with a Minnesota Maps – If you have started your family research, you might have experienced trouble with trying to identify Minnesota city borders and names that have changed over the course of time. This can make it difficult to understand where your ancestors’ information is kept.
Because Minnesota historic maps were usually commissioned by the county seat, they often display information about the county, including town names. Reading a Minnesota map from the time period you are researching can help tremendously in solving these problems by leading you to the correct town records. It can also give you other leads, such as the location of city directories or old post offices in Minnesota.
Minnesota Map of Counties
Choosing the Best Minnesota Map – If you have a large source of maps to choose from, try starting with the area where your ancestors resided and looking for the maps with the most detail. You can determine a lot by seeing if the area was still rural or more developed, and how far it was to the nearest city. This can shed light on your family’s lifestyle and occupation. Were they farmers who lived in the country, or merchants who traveled often to a nearby city? A map can give you an idea of what occupations were possible.
County atlases for Minnesota include maps for the respective county and for townships within that county. The names of property owners are frequently included on these maps. The Minnesota Historical Society has microfilmed many of these atlases, which makes them accessible on interlibrary loan.
Library of Congress Fire Insurance Maps in the Library of Congress; Plans of North American Cities and Towns Produced by the Sanborn Map Company (Washington D.C.: Library of Congress, 1981) states that the earliest map of this type for Minnesota is for 1884. There is, however, a Sanborn map for the city of St. Paul for 1875; this map is located at the map library of the Minnesota Historical Society.
The map collection of the Minnesota Historical Society consists of over 35,000 individual maps and 1,300 atlases, the majority of these for Minnesota and the Midwest. The society is a five-state regional depository for the U.S. Geological Survey maps. It has extensive collections of Minnesota territory and state maps, county and city maps, and fire insurance maps of over 950 Minnesota towns and cities.
There are random maps and plat maps in the county records at the Minnesota Historical Society Research Center. The map library of the Wilson Library at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, is an outstanding cartographic repository, not restricted to Minnesota. It includes worldwide maps and associated material.
Minnesota Map of County Formations For The Years 1801-1937
These Minnesota maps shows the historical changes to Minnesota counties from 1801 to 1937. This Interactive Minnesota map is made with the use AniMap Plus 3.0 & with the Permission of the Goldbug Company.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation is pleased to provide highly detailed county maps online. These maps contain more detailed information about man-made features than the geological survey maps. In addition to roads and boundaries, these maps include rural communities, churches, and cemeteries. Paper copies of these maps can be obtained at Mn/DOT’s Map and Manual Sales
These maps are downloadable and are in PDF format. The main use of these are the locations of all known cemeteries in a county and of course the various roads and church locations. These Maps are Free to Download