St. Louis County

Chestnut St, Virginia MN, 1910 – Photo Courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society

Poles settled in St. Louis County in the following locations:

Towns: Duluth, Virginia, Rice Lake
Townships: Gnesen Township, Buyck (Portage Township)
Unincorporated Communities: Gheen, Greaney


County-Wide Resources

Vital Records and Land Records

The St. Louis County Recorder’s Office oversees birth, marriage, and death records, as well as land records.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management

The U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management has General Land Office Records where you can pick the state and county, then type a surname. If an ancestor purchased land, you will likely be able to see the document and details about the land and purchase.

Genealogy and Historical Societies

The Historical Societies and Research Centers preserve artifacts and historical information related to St. Louis County and its people.

General Genealogy Links

The following are websites with general resources and genealogy information about St. Louis County:

Map

Plat maps are helpful in showing who owned the land that year. Click on the area you are interested in until you get to the detail level with names.

PGS-MN Newsletter Articles

(You will need to scroll down to the page indicated to find the article within the newsletter link)

Newslettertitle/authorpage
Summer 1994Book Review of Rusins In Minnesota and Galician-Rusins on the Iron Range (Northeastern MN)
Reviewed by Greg Kishel
9
Fall 2001The Polish Army in France in World War I (Haller’s Army) Recruitment Database – Northern Minnesota
by Ray Marshall
(includes names of recruits from the Duluth-Superior area
1
Fall 2005Polonia on a Northern Frontier – The Polish American Communities of Northeastern Minnesota
by Greg Kishel
12

Other Articles

SourceTitle/AuthorComments
MN Historical SocietySome Vanished Settlements of the Arrowhead Country
by Julius F. Wolff
Link to article
Foundation for East European Family History Studies (FEEFHS)Polish Immigrants to St Louis County 1895
by Ray Marshall, 1996
Link to article
2400 Polish names from the 1895 census

Books

titleauthor/
publisher
A County Built on Iron – St. Louis County, Minnesota (1856-2006)William O. Beck/MN Historical Society
Donning Company Publishers, 2006
(A copy is in the Polish section at the Hoffman Resource Library in the Minnesota Genealogy Center)
The Rusins of MinnesotaWilliam Duly
Minneapolis: The Rusin Association, 1993
(A copy is in the Polish section at the Hoffman Resource Library in the Minnesota Genealogy Center)

Galician-Rusins on the Iron Range

by John D. Goman
Minneapolis: Published by the author, 1990
(A copy is in the Polish section at the Hoffman Resource Library in the Minnesota Genealogy Center)





Buyck

General Genealogy Links

The following are websites with general resources and genealogy information about Buyck:

PGS-MN Newsletter Articles

(You will need to scroll down to the page indicated to find the article within the newsletter link)

newslettertitle/Authorpage
Winter 1998Patterns of Polish Settlement in Minnesota , 1910: Buyck Township. St. Louis County
by Greg Kishel
10
Winter 1998A Transcription of the Polish Side of the Forest Home Cemetery, Buyck, St. Louis County
by Greg Kishel
14
Summer 1999 A Visit to Buyck
by Greg Kishel
1

Book

Portage Township: Better Known as Buyck, The First 100 Years (1906-2006)
by Dorothea Alma Finstad Streiff, 2006


Virginia

Local Library and Historical Society

Public Libraries and local Historical Societies have valuable resources related to genealogy, local history and culture.

General Genealogy Links

The following are websites with general resources and genealogy information about Virginia:

PGS-MN Newsletter Articles

(You will need to scroll down to the page indicated to find the article within the newsletter link)

newsletterpagetitle/authorcomments
Summer 20018Z LEŚNICTWA RAIGRODZKIEGO: A Chain Migration from Poland’s North Country to Minnesota’s Mesabi Range
by Greg Kishel
Focus is on Virginia, MN and naturalization records. The appendix includes names and dates of Polish immigant naturalization records.
Summer 20038Z Beskidu Wyspowego: Another Chain Migration to the Mesabi Range
by Greg Kishel
Focus is on Virginia and the Poles who came from the lumber industry in Mszana Dolna area of Poland, to the forests of Northern Minnesota. Once lumber was depleted, the Poles starting working in the mines of northern Minnesota.
Summer 200314From the Virginian, 1906: A Bit of Polish Lagniappe
by Greg Kishel
Spring 20041 From the Virginia Pioneers Scrapbook: Early Polish Settlers on the Mesabi Iron Range
by Greg Kishel
Spring 200418Drobne Echa article: Virginia, Minnesota and Bessemer-Ironwood, Michigan: From Wiarus,1893, 1905, and 1908
by Greg Kishel

Rice Lake and Gnesen Townships

The Poles who settled in the Rice Lake and Gnesen Township area came from villages in both the Poznan and Kashubia area.

    Some of them first settled in Chicago and Buffalo. Desire for a more rural setting that they were used to in Poland and the marketing through the railroad companies led them to migrate to Rice Lake and Gnesen Township.

    Polish-Related Links

    General Genealogy Links

    The following are websites with general resources and genealogy information about Gnesen and Rice Lake Townships:

    Book

    Southern Gnesen Township with a Particular Emphasis on the Anton Tarnowski Family
    by Barbara June Tarnowski
    Available in the Hoffman Research Library at the Minnesota Genealogy Center.

    PGS-MN Newsletter Articles

    (You will need to scroll down to the page indicated to find the article within the newsletter link)

    newslettertitle/authorpage
    Winter 1999A Transcription of St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Gnesen, St. Louis County: Part 1
    by Greg Kishel
    9
    Spring 2000The Patterns of Polish Settlement in Minnesota: Rice Lake and Gnesen Townships in St. Louis County, 1870-1920
    by Greg Kishel
    1
    Fall 2000Gnesen and Rice Lake: A Postscript
    by Greg Kishel
    20
    Winter 2008Drobne Echa Article: Installment # 15 – Gnesen: From Wiarus, 1886-1888
    by Greg Kishel
    1

    Duluth

    Local Library Resources

    Libraries can be a valuable resource for finding local historical books, articles and other documents related to genealogy.

    General Genealogy Links

    The following are websites with general resources and genealogy information about Duluth:

    Historic Newspapers

    The Duluth Public Library has newspaper indexes and microfilms from the Duluth Herald and the Duluth News-Tribune between 1893 and 1929.

    PGS-MN Newsletter Articles

    (You will need to scroll down to the page indicated to find the article within the newsletter link)

    NewsletterpageTItle/Author
    Winter 19998The Beginning of Polish Settlement in Duluth
    by Stanislaw Walczak and translated by Greg Kishel
    Summer 200514Drobne Echa article – Installment #5 – Duluth:
    From Katolik, 1894, Sbrtce, 1898, Wiarus, 1901,and Rolnik, 1908
    by Greg Kishel
    Fall 20051The Origins and Relationships of Selected Duluth Area Families of Polish Ancestry (A Chain Migration)
    by Richard G. Bates
    Summer 200719Drobne Echa article – Installment #11 – Duluth: From Straż, 1904 and 1907, Wiarus, 1906-08,Rolnik, 1908, and Kuryer Polski, 1908-1909
    by Greg Kishel
    (with a primary focus on St. Josephat Church)

    Books

    Titleauthor/publisher
    Duluth: An Urban BiographyTony Dierckins
    Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2020
    Images of America: Duluth Minnesotaby Maryanne C. Norton and Sheldon T. Aubut
    Taconite: New Life for Minnesota’s Iron Range – A History of Erie Mining Companyby St. Louis County Historical Society, 2020

    Greaney

    General Genealogy Links

    The following are websites with general resources and genealogy information about Greaney:

    PGS-MN Newsletter Article

    (You will need to scroll down to the page indicated to find the article within the newsletter link)

    newslettertitle/authorPage
    Fall 2008Not All Polish Immigrants Stayed in Silver Lake
    by William Graczyk
    8

    Gheen

    General Genealogy Links

    The following are websites with general resources and genealogy information about Gheen: