Help on tracking down a birthday

Inquiring minds


Each week the staff at the Roseville Library answers more than 2,500 questions on every subject under the sun. Here is one of the most interesting ones they’ve gotten lately.


Q. We’re a small nonprofit, and we’d like to send one of our major donors a birthday card. We know the year he was born, but we’re not sure of the date. He has a relatively unusual name, if that is important. Can you help?


A. The more uncommon the name is, the better chance you have of finding reliable information. You didn’t mention how old your donor is, but the Minnesota Historical Society has an online index for state birth records from 1900 to 1934. You can access that index at Other states’ records are, in some cases, even more extensive. A good place to start is with the genealogy database Depending on the state and the year of birth, you may have much better luck. offers a searchable version of the California State Birth Index, for example, which covers the years 1905-1995.

However, our subscription of is accessible only within the library. You can ask a librarian for more assistance.  

(Online resources.)


Do you have a question for the staff at the Roseville Library? You can call them at 651-724-6001 or ask your question in person at the Information Desk, Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave. Library hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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