Spring 2020 Vital Records News

MDH logo

Vital Records News

Spring 2020

Records moved to Minnesota State Archives

Minnesota State Archives logo

In collaboration with the Office of Vital Records, the State Archives of the Minnesota Historical Society continues to collect original “historic” paper vital records from Minnesota local governments. During the past year, the State Archives received, in transfer from Minnesota local governments, a number of valuable birth and death records, many dating from 1870. These vital records complement other records preserved by the State Archives and are extremely useful for family and local history research. In accordance with Minnesota state law, access to non-marital birth records and adoptions are restricted for 100 years; now most of the records are available in the Library at the Minnesota History Center: http://sites.mnhs.org/library/.

Here is a brief summary of the records transferred to the State Archives.

Hennepin County, City of Edina - The city transferred birth and death records dated 1890 and 1903-1953. Included in the transfer were birth and death records (dated 1922-1953) of the now defunct Village of Morningside. Morningside was a distinct neighborhood in the Village (now City) of Edina. The community voted to secede from Edina and form their own village in 1920. In 1966, Morningside citizens voted to rejoin Edina.

Hubbard County - The county recorder transferred birth and death records (dated 1870-1953) for many of the cities and townships in the county. The records have not yet been processed and cataloged.

Washington County - Birth (dated 1911-1928) and death (dated 1911-1945) books, and township and city death returns* (dated 1870-1883) of the county. Included in the transfer were birth and death records (dated 1893-1940) of May Township. (*Returns are handwritten lists of births/deaths that occurred in the jurisdiction during each month. Information on the returns was used to record birth and death information in the county’s set of birth and death records.)

Winona County - Delayed birth certificates dated 1870-1908; the date span of the delayed birth certificates is based on the date of birth. Also, a separate set of delayed birth affidavits dated 1886-1902, and delayed birth registrations dated circa 1864-1946. The delayed birth affidavits and delayed registrations are distinct from the set of delayed certificates. The reason for creating and maintaining two separate sets of documents is unknown. The State Archives also received delayed death certificates dated 1904-1953.

Wright County, City of Delano - Birth and death records dated 1908-1953. The State Archives received these records in transfer with cooperation from the Delano Franklin Area Township Historical Society in Wright County.

For more information about vital records preserved by the State Archives, and how to use the records, see the Minnesota Historical Society Library vital records (birth, death, marriage) research guide at: http://libguides.mnhs.org/vital/ov.

The State Archives continues to collect vital records from Minnesota local governments. For information about transferring custody of historical vital records, contact 651-259-3260 or statearchives@mnhs.org and visit the State Archives website at www.mnhs.org/statearchives.

Thanks to Charles L. Rodgers, Government Records Archivist at the Minnesota Historical Society, State Archives, for contributing this article.

Grief Support for Parents

Experiencing the Death of an Infant or a Stillbirth in Minnesota

Experiencing the death of an infant or a stillborn child is difficult for parents and caregivers alike.

Late last year, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), Maternal and Child Health Section awarded a grant to the Minnesota Center for Stillbirth and Infant Death (MNCSID) to provide initial bereavement support services to parents who experienced a stillbirth, or the death of an infant. MNSCID is a project of the Star Legacy Foundation, which works to address gaps in pregnancy and bereavement care.

MNCSID learns about stillbirths and infant deaths from medical examiners/coroners and the Office of Vital Records (OVR). Relatives, employers, co-workers, clergy, funeral homes, friends, and neighbors can also refer families to MNCSID for services. MNSCID makes an initial contact with the parent or caregiver to offer grief support and connect them to community-based services or resources, such as in-person support groups. Then, MNSCID follows up with families at three months, six months and on the one-year anniversary to determine their progress and connect them to additional services if necessary.

See the Star Legacy Foundation - Minnesota Chapter website for more information. Alternatively, call 952-715-7731, Extension 5, or email mncsid@starlegacyfoundation.org.

Thanks to Kathryn Linde and Michelle Chiezah from Women and Infant Health at the Minnesota Department of Health.


Links and short announcements

Funeral Home Action Needed:

Report your fatality management status daily

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, the MDH Mortuary Science program is partnering with medical examiner and coroner offices as well as many local and state agencies to track morgue and personal protective equipment (PPE) status situational awareness statewide.

Funeral homes should report their situation online every day at:

COVID-19 Fatality Management Status (https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/56ae0adaf7f04e179b1f319676661c85)

Please contact the MDH Mortuary Science Section at health.mortsci@state.mn.us or 651-201-3829 if you have questions.

MR&C Enhancement for MEs/coroners

Effective April 9, 2020 - Death record referral emails from MR&C to jurisdictional medical examiners/coroners contain contact information for both the medical certifier and the funeral director.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Resources

Office of Vital Records stakeholder webpages

Death Registration Information for Morticians and Staff

Death Registration Information for Medical Certifiers including MEs and coroners

Minnesota Department of Health Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) webpages

Situation Update for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Reporting COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 Infections

Registering and Reporting COVID-19 Deaths

CDC - Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA)

Guidance for Certifying Deaths Due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – April 16 webinar, slides, transcript and free continuing education credits

CDC – National Vital Statistics System

3-minute YouTube video - Certifying Deaths Due to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Death Data and Reporting Guidance

Contact the Office of Vital Records