< 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.


JAN A New Year, and a bit behind in letting anyone know I'm still here. I should apologize that I haven't made much of an appearance. I seem to come and go but like most I am always doing something and one must prioritize activities. I will re-enforce the statement that quite honestly I have not personally had anything I could possibly add or upload to these pages of the Jackson County genealogy website.

I hope you had a good Christmas and New Year. I spent all of it at home this year. Family changes caused my family to stay home while my sister had Christmas with her full house and family. I was on-call over New Years weekend so I generally must stick around and make no plans or committments whatsoever because they will inevitably be broken up by an event from what I await while on-call.

Once again I was unable to make the drive and attend the annual meeting of the Jackson County Historical Society on January 14. Yup...I was on call. And, for much of my career I have always had to plan my life around being on call. Currently I must be on call one week (7 straight days) every 4 weeks, so 25% of my life revolves around unable to planning anything or going out of town...or risking a meal out for that matter. About the time I place an order with a server, 2 minutes later I could get a call and ultimately have to leave as soon as possible, or spend the next several minutes on the phone trying to resolve something...hoping to avoid actually having to respond in person. I don't like it. I've done it a long time, and I cannot wait until the day arrives when I don't have to worry about it. I cannot wait for the day to retire for that matter.

I wish to take a minute to mention one thing. If you've been stopping by here long enough, you know from the past I have tried to encourage those of you with a lot of software data on family research, including many scanned digital photos of ancestors and such, that you should be sure to back up your information, and on a regular basis. Save it to 2 or more external sources other than your computer hard drive. Keep one of them off your property at another safe location. Well, I came very close to learning this the hard way this past New Years Eve. My hard drive was only a few years old (possibly 3 at the most) but I typically never shut my computer off because I use it so often, and it can take several minutes to completely boot up. I generally save information from my hard drive using 2 or 3 methods. One is to perform a complete image backup. I made the last such on this past August. If I completely lose a hard drive, I can use this image to completely restore a new hard drive back to that point in time as if nothing happened. However, anything you have placed on your hard drive since that point in time would not be included in your backup image. My other backup method is quite simple. I keep an external hard drive plugged in to a USB port on the PC. I MANUALLY copy files (usually the MY DOCUMENTS or MY PICTURES folder) to the backup drive. I save them to a folder on that drive called MANUAL BACKUPS. There, I have two subfolders...MY DOCUMENTS and MY PICTURES. It's a very straightforward way of saving important files. The only downside is you have to MANUALLY do it, and it is too easy to put it off. Another method of backup is using a backup program which will automatically save these files to the external drive much the same as the manual method except the software automatically does it. No brainer, right? In any case, my internal hard drive would not re-boot after I shut the computer down New Years Eve when I was cleaning out the dust inside the case. I was able to pull the drive out and connect it to a USB interface and access the important folders/files using a laptop I have, and I was able to transfer them to my actual backup external drive. I then purchased a new hard drive, restored it using my backup image from this past August, then copied over the current documents and picture folders/files I was able to save from the bad drive. Done. Almost like nothing happened. Believe me, I will be more prudent in saving and backing up my hard drive and files more often. Imagine a day when you realize you've literally lost *everything* you ever had on your hard drive, and had no backup or way to recover from it. It's NOT a good feeling. Not at all.

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)
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