< Jackson Co MN Genealogy

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Got books? Call the historical society if you need any: 507-662-5505... ...click here for the books-page...

Welcome...to the
Jackson County MN genealogy website!
Jackson County is located in southwest Minnesota and borders Iowa.



Randy Wendel photo

Welcome to the Jackson Co MN genealogy website! ------PLEASE READ!
My name is Randy Wendel (meet Randy), Rootsweb MNGenWeb volunteer County Coordinator and webmaster for Jackson County, MN since May 2007, and lifetime member of the Jackson Co Hist. Society. The Jackson County Historical Society does not have a website but is fully aware of this one which I maintain, but please feel free to say "hello" to Mike, director of JCHS, should you ever visit to talk with him. Mike and I communicate somewhat regularly and it's not unusual for researchers to contact him for items or information after having visited here or corresponded with me. My goal is to keep this website regularly updated with Jackson Co genealogy and Jackson Co Historical Society information. It is my primary goal to concentrate on the PEOPLE and genealogical roots of Jackson County, although there may be some expansion to other direct historical information (i.e. events and buildings) in Jackson county since it may have been an important or direct factor in the life of someone (genealogical standpoint). I'm always interested in contributions to post on this website so please pass along any photos, person or family history/genealogy related items! Also be aware I live 150-miles from Jackson County (Bloomington MN) and the distance keeps me from regular on-site research activities, cemetery visits for this website or volunteer work at the historical society/museum for that matter. Therefore, the least I can do in any volunteer-capacity on a regular basis is maintain this web site.
Click here to email me with questions, submissions, etc.


APRIL Spring is here. Our winter was not the "snowyer and colder" winter we were threatened with after all. The trend of our changing climate was made apparent once again with a season even Floridians could have tolerated perhaps. (grin)

I had given thought some time ago about a possible re-design of these web pages. Then again, I realized how little it seems these pages provide any apparent help to what few visitors I assume visit here. I have no real clue how many people visit these Jackson County Genealogy pages, but with so many sources on the internet for genealogical statistics, these particular pages may seem somewhat insignificant to some.
However, what these pages CAN do is provide more of a personal sense to the "feeling of home" and what it meant to our ancestors to live in Jackson County. As you do your research, you cannot get that feeling in a birth or death record from the state, or census record. Here, within these pages, you can get a sense of what life may have been like for those who lived here. You can view real headstones, as well as photos of places of which likely were seen or visited by those family members in your past. They walked the gravel roads of the townships, visited the churches, attended a public event or gathering in town perhaps, to name a few likely scenarios.
One thing some of us (me included) often overlook is that genealogy isn't a brief period of time (relatively speaking) between coming across the ocean and passing away only to end up in some old cemetery that has old headstones leaning over or crumbling apart. Many of us knew and remember our Great-Grandparents who either were immigrants themselves, or the direct descendant of one. But, for some of us...our children or grandchildren will never "see" that part of time in their life. They will have been (or now are) just far enough removed from that part of their generational history to even realize how close they are to a major part of genealogical history in their family and the fact their ancestors came to America never to return to their home country ever again.
I think we can agree that even our younger adults today do not fully understand and appreciate the daily culture some of us came from during a time of what many of us may refer to as the "good old days". Let's face it, the technological aspect of modern times have shaped who we are and what we do...how we exist. We used to attend regular social gatherings because it was often the only way we regularly kept in touch with people...friends or family. Now, we use our phones...texting, or computers...email...Facebook...Twitter...Instagram, and so forth.
How often are their any potluck gatherings anymore? Who has time? Or, meet at the local restaurant for that matter. Well...you get the idea.
Times have changed for sure. But our lives are no more or less valuable than our ancestors because without them we would not be here. They had their own values and activities in life. They had their own struggles and accomplishments. Yet, they had things we didn't have, and we have things they didn't have.
In the end, we must not forget them. If technology has directed much of what we do in life and how we live each day, we should use it to our advantage especially when it comes to remembering our ancestors and history in general for that matter. After all, in a 100 years, we will be "an ancestor" as well.
How would you want to be remembered, and what would you like to leave behind for your descendants to remember you by despite the fact they will never have known you personally? Digitize your photos...write a biography...tell them who you are and what life was for you. Write about what you remember of your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents. Leave something of value for your children's children, and their children.
Perhaps then you will have left something special for someone to one day enjoy, and for them to imagine what kind of person you were, and what family (your family history) was all about.

Jackson County area residents...can you help?
If you are within a short drive of the Jackson Co Historical Society and Museum, and have a little time you could spare, they could sure use your help! Why not consider dedicating 1 day out of the year (or just a Saturday morning?) to give back to your community and help preserve some history. Among any immediate items they need assistance with, there are MANY photos which need to be scanned so a digital file can be used to backup photos and documents and stored more safely. Imagine all paper-based items that would be lost if a fire or tornado destroyed them. Scanning items to digital format for safe keeping is important. Contact Mike 507-662-5505 and tell him you'd like to come in and lend a hand with something...he'll be very glad you did, and so will you!

Jackson...origin of the name
Jackson County (24 counties in the United States are named Jackson County), established on May 23, 1857, was named after Henry Jackson, the first merchant in St. Paul and a member of the first territorial legislature. You will find Jackson County in the Southwest corner of Minnesota (43.6750 N, 95.1567 W). The county seat is Jackson. The historical society is located in Lakefield.

Henry Jackson was born in Abingdon, VA, in 1811. He acquired only a limited education as a youth, but ultimately became a good penman and accountant through diligent self-study. Of a somewhat roving nature, he went off to serve as an orderly sergeant in the Texas "Patriot War" of 1836-7, then returned to Buffalo, NY, where he married Angelina Bivins (1814 NY) in 1838. Soon after, they emigrated to Green Bay, WI, then to Galena, IL. When his business failed in 1842, the family moved to St. Paul, where they rented a cabin from Pierre Parrant where the family lived temporarily. Jackson purchased 3 acres of land from Benjamin Gervais which was located in the area later bounded by Jackson, Robert, Bench, and 3rd Streets, which was then a high bank overlooking the lower levee. On this property, he built a log or pole cabin, and opened a small stock of goods suitable for the Indian trade. He soon did a prosperous business, and shortly thereafter became a community leader.

During his residence in St. Paul, he held several important offices. In 1843, he was appointed the first Justice of the Peace in St. Paul. In 1846, he was appointed as the first Postmaster, and in 1847, he was elected to the Wisconsin Assembly. He was later a member of the first Territorial Legislature of Minnesota, and was a member of the first St. Paul Town Council. In 1853, he and his family moved to Mankato, MN, where he played a role in founding the city. He died in 1857. Jackson Street in St. Paul, Mankato, and Jackson County, MN, were named for him. His real estate holdings were valued at $8,000 in 1850. He and Angeline had at least one child: William C. (1847 MN).



Jackson Co Fair 2016 July 26-30 Official web page, click here.

- - - Jackson County is bordered by the following counties in this geographical arrangement - - -

Murray Watonwan

Thank you for visiting this website!!!

Visitors since Oct 23, 2007

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This page last updated: (see below)
Mar 21: added HANSON to queries page
Mar 18: updated bad link on churches page
Aug 27: added ZELLAHA to queries page
Aug 10: added BODVIG to queries page
May 15: added VOSHAGE to surnames page
Feb 15: added Okabena High School query to queries page
Dec 23: corrected Joseph Pribyl bio link on bio's page.
Nov 19: added Jackson children's burial inquiry to queries page
Sep 21: added digital newspaper link on resources page
Jul 5: added photo gallery resource
Jan 7: add HUEBNER query to queries page
Jan 4: add CIHAK headstone photo
Jan 2: add mn online books url to resources page
Jan 1: add add'l links on MAPS page, add GIESEL to surnames page


2017 Randy Wendel