Brief History of Pennington County. The earliest known settlers in northwestern Minnesota were the Dakota Sioux who were well established by the late 1600's. By 1770 the Chippewa had become the dominant tribe in a wide area of northern and central Minnesota, including the area which later became Pennington County. In 1863 the Chippewa signed a treaty with the Federal Government which opened up a large tract of land to homesteaders, while reserving some of what would later become Pennington County as Chippewa land. When Polk County was formed in 1858, it included what would later be both Red Lake and Pennington Counties. In 1896 Red Lake County was formed from part of Polk County and in 1910 Pennington County was formed from part of Red Lake County. Thief River Falls is the county seat.
Pennington County and Minnesota Links
Alien Registration Forms
Minnesota's 1918 Alien Registration
Family Maps of Pennington County, Minnesota Each Township has a Patent Map, Patent Index, Road Map, and an Historical Map.
Federal Land Patents Search BLM land patent records for MN prior to 1908.
Minnesota Biographies Project
Minnesota Historical Society Birth Certificate Index
Minnesota Historical Society State Census Index This index includes Minnesota State Census records from 1849, 1850, 1853, 1855, 1857, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895 and 1905.
Minnesota Lookups - includes help with your research in Minnesota, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, and Luxembourg.
Minnesota Naturalization Records Index
Minnesota Place Names Searchable source to find Minnesota place names.
Minnesota's On-line Death Certificate Index 1908-1996
Minnesota World War II Casualities
Pennington County Cemeteries
Pennington County Historical Society The PCHS has searchable cemetery listings, obituary listings and photos online.
Pennington County World War II Casualities
Polk County 1896 Plat Map Listing and 1911 Pennington/RedLake County Atlas
Thief River Falls TIMES
St Pauli Luthern Church Baptisms, Confirmations, Marriages and more.
Park Books--Minnesota County by County Search for items related to Pennington County published by Park Books
Land Records Info --about how to search for land records and figure out locations from range and township descriptions.
Why Named Thief River Falls from 1915 issue of Thief River Falls News-Press
My name is Lynn Brandvold and I'm the coordinator for Pennington County. These pages will always be changing and hopefully improving. Please e-mail me directly with any suggestions, if something isn't working on these pages, or you have some resources for Pennington County that you are willing to share. I don't live in Pennington County or even in Minnesota. But I do have roots in Pennington County. My great grandparents, Charles and Louisa Robbecke, owned and operated the Ogamah Hotel, first in St. Hilaire from 1882-1885 and then in Thief River Falls from 1886-1912. During the winter of 1885-1886, Charles Robbecke had the two story hotel building loaded on runners and pulled over the snow and ice from St. Hilaire to Thief River Falls. He arrived in Thief River Falls with a capital of $1.50. By 1892 he was financially able to build an addition and add a third story.
In March and April 1996, a group of genealogists organized the Kentucky
Comprehensive Genealogy Database. The idea was to provide a single entry
point for all counties in Kentucky, where collected databases would be
stored. In addition, the databases would be indexed and cross-linked, so
that even if an individual were found in more than one county, they could
be located in the index. This led to the USGenWeb of which Minnesota is
a part. Volunteers are needed who are willing to coordinate the collection
of databases and generally oversee the contents of the county web pages. If you
would like to host an available Minnesota county, please contact the
MNGenWeb State Coordinator.