Genealogical and Regional Research
The Nobles County Historical Society collects, organizes, and preserves collections, manuscripts and genealogy resources. Many of our holdings consist of collections donated by area individuals, families, and businesses. These holdings consist of self-published family genealogies and biographies, documents donated by other genealogists, bound manuscripts and volumes, church records, early marriage records, county records, and much more.
Below, you will find access to online resources curated by NCHS as well as state and topical research databases. While we endeavor to digitize our collection, the majority of our documents are not yet available online. We maintain on-site research library and also support distance queries sent by email or U.S. Mail for research on family or other topics.
Online Research Tools
Early Bathhouses and Waterslides of Lake Okabena
Minnesota Reflections Digital Archive
National Register of Historic Places
- The Western Advance (Worthington, Minn.) - 1874
- The Worthington Advance (Worthington, Minn.) - 1874-1908
- Worthington Daily Advance (Worthington, Minn.) - 1894
Our income is solely based on membership dues and general donations. As distance research queries have become more complicated and require more time by our volunteers and staff, we are asking for you to consider making a donation to the Society for this service. These donations will help fund our facilities’ utility costs as well as the purchase of relevant genealogies, biographies and published family histories.
The Nobles County Historical Society, (NCHS) can accommodate both on-site research and requests via telephone, mail, and e-mail. If we can help you please consider a donation to the Society. We have a PayPal link on our main web page or we will gladly take a check. We will do basic database (see below) search here at the History Center at no charge for a single surname. We do not respond to requests to provide “everything you got” on a surname. We will do research in our library and archive resources. Please note we do not conduct off-site research such as trips to the County Court House or cemeteries. Volunteers have put all of the Nobles County cemeteries on the website Find-a-Grave and respond to photograph request via that site.
Results will be emailed or mailed. We may offer suggestions how you may continue researching, provide alternate resources and/or suggest hiring a professional genealogist. Please allow two weeks for requests to be completed. If we cannot fulfill your request, we will try to direct you to the appropriate source, free of charge.
The NCHS is open for on-site research, Monday thru Friday, from 12:00 to 4:00 pm. Society members can use the archives library, free of charge, while non-members will be asked to make a small donation.
The NCHS maintains four databases that can help with family history. Email a request for a free check of the Master Database.
1. The “Master Database” is an index containing the surname, first name, page and resource. This master index contains resources like all the centennial and other history books from the communities in Nobles County. Service records from World War One and Two. Collection of over 200 scrapbooks. Early birth and death index, 1860 & 1870 census, all the cemeteries in the county, correspondence and members ancestor charts of the NCGS society, obituary clipping file and many other resources held at the historical society.
2. Historical Clippings Database: Index of file draws containing newspaper clipping from the area.
3. Artifact Database which includes the Society's photograph collection.
4. History Columns from the Daily Globe newspaper, (Ray Crippen, Ruth Hein and others)