“Beta” Minnesota People Records Search

If you research births or deaths in the state of Minnesota, you’ll be happy to hear about the “beta” version of “People Records Search” on the Minnesota Historical Society (MnHS) website.

I’m probably going to sound like an old fogey when I say this, but back when I started doing family history research the MnHs website was a really valuable tool. Then a few years ago they “improved” People Finder to the point of frustrating worthlessness. I gave up using it except when I was truly desperate. Last weekend I reached a desperation level that prompted me to try again. Across the screen was this message and a link:

“The new Minnesota People Records Search is launching soon. Try the beta version today.”

What a happy surprise! The new version works great!

IGSI director and MnHS volunteer Tom Rice shares my enthusiasm. He said, “this new tool has a very nice feature in that it arranges the search results in a columnar fashion at the bottom of the page. These can then be sorted by clicking on the heading of the various columns. A very nice feature indeed. The ability to search several databases all at once is another very nice feature. There may even be more searches with this tool than with the old one. My only complaint is that they still call it a Beta and have not totally replaced the current search engine with this.”

Four record types can be searched: Births (1900-1934), Deaths (1904-2001), State Census (1849-1905), and Veterans Graves (1857-1975).

Sortable fields are: First Name, Middle Name, Last Name, Related Name, Year Range, Place, and Identification Number.

Here’s a link to the beta version: www.mnhs.org/search/people.

I encourage you to give it a try (and maybe leave some feedback about your experience).


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