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Otter Tail County, Minnesota
Genealogy, History & Facts

Otter Tail County, Minnesota Facts

Otter Tail County

When was Otter Tail County, MN Created?
Otter Tail County was created on March 18, 1858 (Organized in 1870) from Cass County and Pembina County. The county was named for Otter Tail Lake. Otter Tail is the translation of the Ojibway name for the lake, characterized by a long, narrow sand bar in the shape of an otter's tail.

What is the County Seat of Otter Tail County, MN?
The County Seat is located in Fergus Falls and the county government website is

What counties are adjacent to Otter Tail County, MN?
Bordering Counties are Becker County, Wadena County, Todd County, Douglas County, Grant County, Wilkin County, Clay County.

What cities and towns are in Otter Tail County, MN?
Cities and towns located in the County include Battle Lake, Bluffton, Clitherall, Dalton, Deer Creek, Dent, Elizabeth, Erhard, Fergus Falls, Henning, New York Mills, Ottertail, Parkers Prairie, Pelican Rapids, Perham, Richville, Rothsay, Underwood, Urbank, Vergas, Vining, Wadena.

Otter Tail County, MN Vital Records

Where can find Otter Tail County Birth, marriage, Divorce and Death Records?
Otter Tail County vital records can be found at the Minnesota Office of Vital Records which has copies of birth resords from 1900 and death records from 1908. There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in Minnesota for current fees and application process.

You can search online for Otter Tail County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also Order Electronically Online or can download an application for Minnesota Birth Certificate and Death Certificates Applications to mail.

Otter Tail County, MN Census Records

What Otter Tail County, MN census records are available?
There are many types of census records for Otter Tail County guide you in researching your family tree. Federal Population Schedules are available for 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

Otter Tail Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1860, 1870 and 1880. Otter Tail Co. Industry and Agriculture Schedules can be found for 1860, 1870 and 1880. Otter Tail Co. Union Veterans Schedules can be acquired for 1890.

Otter Tail Co. territorial and state censuses exist for the years 1849-1905.. There is free down-loadable and also printable census forms to help you with your research. See Also Minnesota Census Records Research Guide

Otter Tail County, MN Courthouse and Government Records

Otter Tail County Courthouse

What genealogical records can I find in the Otter Tail County Courthouse?
The below facts shows exactly what death, marriage, birth, property, wills, and court records are typically in Otter Tail County. The years listed below are the first noted records with this county. See Also Minnesota Corthouse Records Research Guide.

  • Otter Tail County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 121 West Junius Avenue, Fergus Falls , MN 56537
    • Phone: (218) 998-8000
  • Otter Tail County Recorder is responsible for all the real estate records for properties located in the County. Permanent records of deeds, mortgages and other various real estate records are recorded/filed in this office. As Local Registrar, the office protects and issues certified copies of Birth and Death records, Marriage Certificates & Military Discharge Records.
    • Birth / Death Records: 1871 (It is no longer necessary to go to the registrar's office of the county where the birth or death took place. You may go to a registrar's office in any county in Minnesota for births that took place during of after 1900 and for deaths that took place during or after 1997)
    • Marriage Records: 1869
    • Land Records: 1867
  • Otter Tail County Court Administrator maintains court files for Civil, Criminal, Traffic, Probate, Conciliation, Juvenile, Tax and Family Court matters.
    • Probate Records: 1872 
    • Court Records: 1871 
  • Minnesota, Will Records, 1849-1985
  • Minnesota Land Records
  • BLM Land Records

Otter Tail County, MN Societies and Family History Resources

What genealogical and historical societies, archives, museums, associations and libraries are available for Otter Tail County, MN?
A list of Otter Tail County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Libraries, Archives. See also list of Statewide Minnesota Archives, Historical & Genealogical Societies.

Where can I connect with other Otter Tail County, MN Researchers through message boards and forums?

What other genealogical resources are available in Otter Tail County, MN?
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources pertaining to Otter Tail County. Each of these genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Professional Sites, Personal Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some have to have a fee. This is simply a list which has been gathered or submitted. I do not endorse or promote one genealogy site above another.

Otter Tail Co. MN Books, Newspapers & Publications

Otter Tail Co. MN Cemeteries & Church Records

Otter Tail Co. MN Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Otter Tail Co. MN General and History Websites

Otter Tail Co. MN Immigration & Naturalization

Otter Tail Co. MN Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Otter Tail Co. MN Military Records

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