Ancestry® Library Edition for world wide genealogical information. Available in our library. Access to over 4 billion records in census data, vital records, directories, photos, and more. Our connection to records outside Otter Tail County and the USA. For more information visit the ProQuest website.
Our Collection Consists of Microfilmed and Non-Microfilmed Records
Two 35mm microfilm readers. These readers allow you to see full page records and are great for scanning microfilm when you don't know exactly what and where you need to look.
Two 35mm microfilm reader/printers. These readers allow you to print directly from the microfilm.
Our Collection of Microfilmed Records: Over 1,300 rolls
In County Newspapers: Battle Lake from 1884; Deer Creek 1906-1929, 1942-1947; Fergus Falls from 1871; Henning from 1891; New York Mills from 1902; Ottertail City 1871-1872; Parkers Prairie from 1902; Pelican Rapids 1882-1892, 1894-1895, 1906-current; Perham 1875-1876, 1882, 1888, 1890-current; Rothsay 1894-1960; Underwood 1946-1950, 1968; Vergas 1926-1938. Surrounding County Newspapers: Alexandria 1878-1920; Ashby 1883-1896, 1903-1922, 1939-1943; Breckenridge 1879-1896; Detroit Lakes 1872-1927; Foxhome 1901-1918; Frazee 1898-1942; Osage 1890-1891; Verndale 1879-1893; Wadena 1877-1988
Census Records: Federal Census Records for Otter Tail County and Surrounding Counties of Becker Co., Clay Co., Douglas Co., Grant Co. Todd Co., Wadena Co. Wilkin Co.: 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930. State Census Records for Otter Tail County and Surrounding Counties of Becker Co., Clay Co., Douglas Co., Grant Co. Todd Co., Wadena Co. Wilkin Co.: 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905.
Naturalizations and Index: Microfilm copies of the forms people filled out when they became citizens of the United States 1870-1919.
Alien Registrations: Microfilm copies of the forms aliens had to fill out in 1918.
Church Records: Church records on microflim of the ELCA churches in Otter Tail County, pre-1950s. United Church of Christ; Augustana Lutheran Church, Fergus Falls.
Elmer E. Adams Papers
Biography Files: These files contain obituaries, newspaper clippings and various other materials. A good place place to start your research.
Obituary Card File Index: Card index of obituaries found in area newspapers. If we haven't clipped it and put it in the biography files this is the next place to check.
Marriage Card File Index: Card index of marriages both those that have a marriage license recorded at the county or those we have indexed in newspapers.
Cemetery Master Index: We work closely with our cemeteries to keep a record of all burials. This is a major task for a county with over 258 cemeteries from the largest to the private/individual burial sites. Click here to see a list of cemeteries by township.
Death Index: Index of deaths provided to us by the county. These records list deaths between 1871-1918.
History of Otter Tail County by John Mason Index: A two volume history of the county published in 1916. This index is to the names found in both volumes.
Plat Maps and Index: The three earliest platted maps of Otter Tail County are 1884, 1902 and 1912. An index to the names that appear on these maps is available. More maps are available and we are working on an index to some of them. Others were indexed at the time they were created. We have plat books for: 1921, 1925, 1933, 1946, 1953, 1960, 1968, 1974, 1978, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1994, 2000, 2004.
Book Collection: Over 2,500 books covering various topics related to Otter Tail County and Minnesota's history. Family History Books: Many genealogists have donated a copy of their family histories to our library. A list is available in our library.
City Directories: Fergus Falls 1883, 1899-current.
Indexes: Birth, Marriage, Death, Cemetery, Obituaries, Naturalization.
Township History Boxes containing information on Otter Tail County's 62 townships, past and present villages, our 289 rural schools, churches, etc.
History Files: A series of history files arranged by topic, from Accidents to Wit and Humor and everything in between. Great for the local history research project.
High School Annuals: We have made an attempt to collect high school annuals from: Battle Lake, Henning, Fergus Falls, Parkers Prairie, Pelican Rapids, Perham, and Underwood Public Schools.
Oral Histories: A listing of the more than 760 oral history recordings in our collection.
Photograph Collection: over 45,000 images.
Photography Studio Negative Files available for reprinting: Vernon - Flanigan Photography, Fergus Falls, 1970-1998; Farrar Photography, Fergus Falls, 1966-1984; MJP Studio, Battle Lake, 1997-2000.
Tax Lists: Otter Tail County's tax lists from 1871. These lists are organized by year and township and/or village and record the description of the property owned and the taxes assessed.
Township Records: This really varies. We have some from the following townships: Clitherall, Eagle Lake, Elizabeth, Gorman, Lida, Maine, Norwegian Grove, Orwell, Oscar, Tordenskjold, Tumuli.