Clinton County, Michigan Genealogy

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Guide to Clinton County, Michigan ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: St. John's
Organized: March 12, 1869
Parent County(s): Unorganized territory
Neighboring Counties
Eaton  • Gratiot  • Ingham  • Ionia  • Montcalm  • Saginaw  • Shiawassee
See County Maps
Michigan, Clinton County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Michigan, Clinton County Locator Map.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for DeWitt Clinton. The County is located in the south central area of the state.[1]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Clinton County Courthouse
100 E State Street
PO Box 69
St. Johns, MI 48879-1571
Phone: 517-224-5140
Clinton County Website

County Clerk has birth and death records from 1867, marriage records from 1839, divorce records from early 1800’s and court records. [2]

Clinton County, Michigan Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1867 1839 1867 1860 1837 1840 1820
*Statewide registration started in 1867 for births and deaths. General compliance by 1915.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1831--Clinton County was created 2 March 1831 from unoganized territory. It was attached to Kent and Shiawassee Counties prior to organization 12 March 1869.
  • County seat: St. John's[4]
  • Interactive Map of Michigan County Formation History (1790-1897) - animated maps illustrating Michigan county boundary changes

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[5]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Clinton County, Michigan online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Michigan Cemeteries for more information

The following may help you with your research:

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1840 1,614
1850 5,102 216.1%
1860 13,916 172.8%
1870 22,845 64.2%
1880 28,100 23.0%
1890 26,509 −5.7%
1900 25,136 −5.2%
1910 23,129 −8.0%
1920 23,110 −0.1%
1930 24,174 4.6%
1940 26,671 10.3%
1950 31,195 17.0%
1960 37,969 21.7%
1970 48,492 27.7%
1980 55,893 15.3%
1990 57,883 3.6%
2000 64,753 11.9%
2010 75,382 16.4%
Source: "".

State Census

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Michigan denominations, view the Michigan Church Records wiki page.

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

State wide or ethnic groups


Fred Hart Williams Genealogical Society
c/o Burton Historical Collection, DPL
5201 Woodward Avenue
Detroit MI 48202-4007
Publication is Fred Hart Williams Genealogical Society News published twice a year
Located in Wayne County
MGC Member of Michigan Genealogical Council

Lansing Area African American Genealogical Society
Post Office Box 22203
Lansing MI 48909-2203
Publication is Newsletter published quarterly
Member of Michigan Genealogical Council


Keweenaw Houghton Cornish Society of the Copper Country
Cornish Connection Of Lower Michigan
8494 Wesley Drive
Flushing, MI 48433


Joint Archives of Holland, Hope College


Finnish American Heritage Center


Genealogical Society of Flemish Americans, Facebook Page

FRENCH-CANADIAN (includes Acadian, Cajun and Metis)

French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan
PO Box 1900
Royal Oak, MI 48068-1900
Publication is Michigan's Habitat Heritage published quarterly
Located in Oakland County
MGC Member of Michigan Genealogical Council
Facebook Page


Irish Genealogical Society of Michigan
c/o Gaelic League/Irish American Club
2068 Michigan Avenue
Detroit, MI 48216-1303
Publication is Irish Tree published nine times a year
Located in Wayne County
MGC Member of Michigan Genealogical Council
Facebook Page

Wayne County Irish Society
31975 Cowan
Westland, MI 48185


Americans Of Italian Origin Society
18336 Lister E.
Detroit, MI 48021


Jewish Genealogical Society of Michigan
PO Box 251693
West Bloomfield, MI 48325-1693
Publication is Generations published quarterly
Located in Oakland County
MGC Member of Michigan Genealogical Council Facebook Page


Polish Genealogical Society of Michigan
c/o Burton Collection
5201 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48202-4007
Publication is The Polish Eaglet published three times a year
Located in Wayne County
MGC Member of Michigan Genealogical Council
Facebook Page

Polish Heritage Society
P.O. Box 1844
Grand Rapids, MI 49501


The St. Andrew's Society of Detroit
2360 Rochester Ct
Troy, Mi 48083
Phone: 248-526-1849
Fax: 248-528-1477

  • ANISHNAWBE (Chippewa / Ojibwe, Ottawa / Odawa, Potawatomi Indians)

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Michigan Land and Property for additional information about early Michigan land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the Clinton County courthouse and where records are currently housed.

Article on Deeds.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Clinton County. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Michigan Local Histories.

  • History of Shiawassee and Clinton Counties, Michigan, by Franklin Ellis. 1880. Philadelphia : D.W. Ensign & Co. Online at: Hathitrust; Google Books; Ancestry ($)
  • Past and Present of Clinton County, Michigan. By Judge S. B. Daboll. 1906. Chicago : S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. Online at: Google Books

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Montcalm CountyGratiot CountySaginaw CountyShiawassee CountyIngham CountyEaton CountyIonia CountyMI CLINTON.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War
Civil War service men from Clinton County served in various regiments. Men often joined a regiment or a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are the military units that were formed in or had many men from Clinton County.

- 1st Regiment, Michigan Cavalry, Company D

World War I

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

In most counties in Michigan, probate records have been kept by the county judge. They include wills, fee books, claim registers, legacy records, inheritance records, probate packets, and dockets. The records are available at the county courthouse.

Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Michigan tax records complement land records and can be used to supplement the years between censuses. Because only persons who owned taxable property were listed, many residents were not included in tax lists. There may also be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties. For more information see the Wiki page, Michigan Taxation.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

  • Birth Records and Death Records from 1867 can be obtained from the Michigan Department of Community Health or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred.
  • Marriage Records from 1867 and Divorce Records from 1897 can be obtained from the County Clerk.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Clinton County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Michigan Archives and Libraries.

Clinton County Historical Society Archives
16101 Brook Road
DeWitt Township Community Building
Lansing, MI
Phone: 517-482-5117
Mailing Address:P.O. Box 174
St. Johns, MI 48879

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Clinton County. For state-wide library facilities, see Michigan Archives and Libraries.
DeWitt District Library
13101 Schavey Road #9008
Dewitt, MI 48820
Phone: 517-669-3156
Briggs District Library
108 East Railroad Street
St. Johns, MI 48879
Phone: 989-224-4702
Elsie Public Library
145 West Main Street
Elsie, MI 48831
Phone: 989-862-4633
Maple Rapids Public Library
130 South Maple Avenue
Maple Rapids, MI 48853
Phone: 989-682-4464
Ovid Public Library
206 North Main Street
Ovid, MI 48866
Phone: 989-834-5800
Website Facebook

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Clinton County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Michigan Societies.

  • Elsie Historical Society
    c/o Doris Gregor/Box 125
    Elsie, MI 48831

Websites[edit | edit source]

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The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Clinton County, Michigan" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, wikipedia
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Michigan.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Michigan.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Michigan.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Clinton County, Michigan," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, wikipedia accessed 16 September 2019.