Jackson County MN genealogy website!
Jackson County is located in southwest Minnesota and borders Iowa.
front area of church, located at Fort Belmont
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.
NOVEMBER 2014 activities...
HARD DRIVE: I mentioned last month I was having troubles with my PC. Well, lesson-be-learned, my hard drive took a bad turn. In the past, I've mentioned the importance of saving your genealogy research data and information? All those photos, documents, genealogy software and the information you've entered? Thankfully, I didn't lose one bit of information. I also had a backup hard drive image (although it was 2 years old) which I restored onto a new hard drive and had me logging in on my computer within a few hours. I was also able to connect the bad hard drive via USB, and browse in and move all necessary folders of information to my new hard drive...even my emails the past 2 years. A few nights of "cleaning and transferring" files, and it's almost like my hard drive never went bad. I will say this...get a backup external USB hard drive and use it's backup software to save anything from your primary hard drive to it. A duplicate copy of all your precious and vital files is a must! And, if possible, perform an actual IMAGE backup of your primary hard drive. I use Acronis. Quite simple to run. I boot from the Acronis CD, specify the EXTERNAL hard drive I want to place my backup image on, and it takes a "snapshot" of my desktop's hard drive. Do this about once a month or so. If your hard drive every crashes, you can restore your backup image only as far back as your last image backup. One nice thing...hard drives are generally inexpensive these days. I bought a 1-TB Seagate drive for $60. Quality, though, is important with hard drives. You should consider quality when buying a hard drive. How much are your precious files worth if you were to lose them? Backups are so important no matter what.
ROOTSWEB: If you've poked around the webpages of this site, you've noted several items of particular interest...I hope. This website is NOT affiliated directly with the county of Jackson, or the Jackson County Historical Society. However, I am a life member of the historical society. I do NOT live in or around Jackson county...I live 150 miles away in Bloomington MN (I wish I lived in Jackson county!). I have a house, other interests, and work full-time and spend a fair amount of my days on the road as a field technician maintaining or installing public safety communication equipment. In whatever spare time I have left at the end of a day, I try to take advantage of family genealogy research or uploading items to this website. However, I generally do not have everything worth uploading here of interest to others. I do receive items from visitors who send me information or photos now and then. I try my best to upload them in a reasonable amount of time (I always appreciate anything I can get for this website!), and that's usually not a problem unless I get inundated with a lot of items, or photos, etc. I believe time has caused changes for the casual researcher or person seeking memories of days-gone-by, and much of that I believe has been replaced with social media. Facebook pages dedicated to Jackson or Lakefield in particular are often full of pictures uploaded by people who enjoy talking about the good old days, etc. Family pictures, reunions, business or neighborhood photos are typically uploaded to these facebook pages regularly. As a result, I find fewer items being forwarded to me. However, there are some things facebook can provide which I cannot...ongoing discussions. With facebook, you can post comments all of the time with others and have minute-by-minute discussions about almost anything to do with the topic at hand. Nothing wrong with that.
In any case, just be aware of how times change and while Facebook and other social-media resources provide their own value in genealogy research, it does appear to have some impact on the activity you may see here, but does not necessarily replace it by any means. There are people performing genealogical research that will have nothing to do with facebook. There's nothing wrong with that. I am on facebook and joined simply to find a common-place to keep in touch with friends and relatives. I have met up with friends and relatives I would otherwise rarely hear from or keep in touch with simply because of the "convenience" to do so. With facebook, you can post comments and photos and be in an almost "real time" conversation with others. I can keep up with my cousin in Hawaii who I otherwise would only be able to communicate with when we feel like sending an email. My cousin can post a picture and comment about something during the day, and I can view it anytime thereafter. I've met past classmates and friends on facebook who lives miles away which otherwise would have not been possible. It is a wonderful way to keep up with anyone. And, yes, it's also a place for your friends and relatives to post things you'd otherwise not care about...like politics, for example. Apparently some feel facebook is a podium they can preach upon and post things they feel is important even if you do not. It's called freedom of speech I guess, which comes at the cost of being their "friend". You take the good with the bad.
CHANGES: Summer is behind us. My attention changes to indoor projects and things I can accomplish on the computer...genealogy among them. Most of you are likely not much familiar with the structure of the Rootsweb genealogy resources (of which this page is hosted) but there have been some minor changes most of which you will not necessary see, but occur behind the scenes nonetheless. The efforts behind the Jackson Co genealogy pages you see reach far wider on a mission under the US GenWeb project. Yes, this webpage is part of a big picture, and it's goal is simply what you see...resources you can hopefully use right down to a county-level where your ancestors once lived or came from. As much as I am a "county coordinator" for Jackson County, the goal is to have a "CC" for all Minnesota counties. We also have a state coordinator. Once or twice a year, it's the state coordinator's job to do "roll call" with all CC's. I recently received an email from the national coordinator which made me realize the state coordinator hasn't been heard from in a few years...and apparently not able to be contacted by email for whatever reason. To make a long story short, there are some changes and it appears the state (Minnesota) will be receiving an updated webpage layout. I would personally like to make some updated webpatge layout changes also, but that will take time. I assumed responsibility of this website about 7 years ago and took it "as it was" with virtually NO webpage experience or knowledge of HTML. To date, I make ALL updates and changes "by hand" by typing all information in using a keyboard using HTML...meaning I use the slash-B command of to make text bold and so forth. It takes time to type, but I am a fast typer (thankfully). However, I do not use any software for photos and such. I simply type in (or copy and paste) the necessary HTML codes to accomplish the end result of a webpage. The only software I use is NOTEPAD...yes...NOTEPAD...the text editor which comes with Windows. That's it. When time permits, I hope to revamp everything and migrate to a software-based webpage designer and make things a bit more pleasing and interesting...with a more intuitive and user-friendly design which will allow me to do more with less. It would make updates to the webpages more easy I'm sure!
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).
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Jackson Co Fair 2014 Official web page, click here.
- - - Jackson County is bordered by the following counties in this geographical arrangement - - -
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Visitors since Oct 23, 2007