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State Research Guide: Minnesota
4/1/2006
Follow our lead to your North Star State ancestors.
Where are Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon, the home of Paul Bunyan (so claim the locals) and the headwaters of the Mississippi River? The world-famous Mayo Clinic? The most-visited shopping mall in the United States?

If you answered Minnesota, you're correct. The state's proud residents warmly welcome visitors to the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and the state capital, St. Paul), the Lake Superior port of Duluth, resorts, casinos, and of course, the Mall of America in Bloomington. This Land of 10,000 Lakes (some estimates put the actual number at 15,000 or 20,000) draws fishermen, boaters and swimmers to places such as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Voyageurs National Park. Ice fishermen and skiers brave the fabled frigid winters.

Besides all those lakes, the North Star State boasts an astronomical amount of family history resources-including the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) <www.mnhs.org>, whose Web site offers research guides to 40-plus record groups (under Resources, click Family History) and searchable indexes to births (1900 to 1911), deaths (1905 to 1996) and veterans' grave registrations (1857 to 1975). But you needn't feel overwhelmed by Minnesota's vast genealogical universe: We've charted the best and brightest tools to guide your search.

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