In 1618, the first European, a Frenchmen named Étienne Brulé, came to what is now Michigan. At that time, there were several Native American tribes in the area. Soon, Sieur de la Salle, Jacques Marquette Louis Joliet and other French explorers came to Michigan as well. Sault Ste. Marie became home to the first permanent settlement in the area in 1668.

There was a strong French presence in the region until 1763, when Great Britain took control of the area after the French and Indian Wars ended. Although the United States acquired most of what is now Michigan after the Revolutionary War, conflicts continued between the U.S. and Great Britain, as well as various Indian tribes. Those conflicts didn’t begin to wind down until after the War of 1812 ended.

Michigan Counties – The Michigan Territory was created on Jan. 11 1805. The State of Michigan was founded as the 26th state on Jan. 26 1837. It has 83 Counties. The capital is Lansing and the official state website is States bordering Michigan are Wisconsin in the west, Ohio and Indiana in the south, Minnesota across Lake Superior.

Select a Michigan county to view information & records pertaining to each County

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Michigan Genealogy Record Guides

Getting Started with Michigan Genealogy and Family Trees

Understanding the Search for Michigan Genealogy Information – How do you begin the search for Michigan genealogy information? Most people head to their computers, and this is a wise course of action because there are so many libraries and archives making information accessible electronically.

This can be a good way to begin gathering essential data for Michigan genealogy projects and even to request copies of documents as well. The key is to spend a bit of time understanding which resources for Michigan genealogy are going to be online tools, and which require an actual visit in order for you to succeed in your search for Michigan genealogy materials.

New Techniques for Michigan Genealogy Research – Michigan sits almost in the center of the country and is a place of very diverse terrain, and an astonishing amount of history. It has connections with the Native Americans, Canadians, and the millions of people who have migrated across the nation. It is a state that is home to the American auto industry as well as a place famous for its gorgeous landscape.

There is so much to say about Michigan that it isn’t surprising that so many people are searching for Michigan genealogy details and data. This article will touch on the issues that you should know before beginning your research, and includes links to the strongest resources.

Your Basic Resources for Michigan Genealogy Data – You will learn that most state research begins with public records, and that these are broken down into recognizable categories. You should understand the differences as you begin looking for Michigan genealogy:

  • State Records – from probate information to birth certificates, cemetery information, death records, deeds, estate information, genealogical folders, land records, maps, marriage details, military or veterans information, newspapers, private manuscripts, state census information, surname lists and more; these are available as online and offline resources for Michigan genealogy.
  • Local Records – state research will normally start at a county clerk’s office or website, and will then head on to the small local libraries, historical societies, local genealogical societies, and school or college libraries for Michigan genealogy materials. These are items that are usually offline and viewable by appointment or special arrangement.
  • Vital Records – these cover the birth, marriage, divorce and death records from county, state, and national archives. They can also include immigration and naturalization details, cemetery or obituary information, census records, newspaper items, military records, and passenger lists and records as well. These tend to be available as online or offline resources for Michigan genealogy.

Targeted Resources for Michigan Genealogy Materials – The types of records described above are going to easily become primary resources for those seeking for Michigan genealogy, and are often found here:

  • Vital Records Request, P.O. Box 30721, Lansing, MI  48909; Website: .
    This is where anyone can order birth, death, marriage and divorce records via a written request or even through an online form.

Additional state and local records can be found at the:

  • Archives of Michigan, Michigan Library and Historical Center, 702 W. Kalamazoo Street, Lansing, MI 48913; Website:,4570,7-153-54463_19313—,00.html .
    The amount of material available from these archives is almost overwhelming. Most of the data is digitized and includes a specific section for genealogical research as well as photographs, and vital records.

Also, consider using the Michigan Genealogical Council for Michigan genealogy data at:

Michigan Genealogy Databases and other Helpful Links

Also, these websites give researchers a tremendous amount of state-specific details for those in search for Michigan genealogy data.