Michigan Archives and Libraries

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The FamilySearch moderator for Michigan is Sallyrose1.

Repositories Overview[edit | edit source]

Michigan repositories preserve sources, maintain indexes, and provide services to help genealogists document their ancestors who lived in the Great Lakes State.

Online Records of Michigan[edit | edit source]

Links to online databases and indexes that may include vital records, biographies, cemeteries, censuses, histories, immigration records, land records, maps, military records, naturalizations, newspapers, obituaries, or probate records.

Statewide Repositories[edit | edit source]

Library of Michigan[edit | edit source]

State of Michigan Library and Historical Center, snow (1).jpg

702 W. Kalamazoo St.
P.O. Box 30007
Lansing, MI 48909-7507
Telephone: 517-373-1300

Hours: Monday - Friday 1 pm - 5 pm, Saturday 10 am - 4 pm, closed State holidays

A well-rounded and comprehensive genealogy collection with periodicals, county histories, and family histories for Michigan. Also includes good collections for states contributing to the Michigan population, such as Ohio, New York, and New England states.[1]

Michigan Historical Center Archives[edit | edit source]

State of Michigan Library and Historical Center, snow (1).jpg

702 W. Kalamazoo Street
Lansing, Michigan 48913
Telephone: 517-373-1408

The Archives of Michigan is responsible for preserving the records of the Michigan government and other public institutions. The collections also include documents, maps, photographs and films from private individuals and organizations.
They have early state records like land, licenses, notaries, probates, and Michigan department records. They also have records of every county in Michigan, especially vital records, deeds, and probate records.[1]
  • The Michigan Genealogical Council has published Guide to the Michigan Genealogical and Historical Collections at the Library of Michigan and the State Archives of Michigan. This book is organized by county and then by towns within the county. It lists county and church histories, atlases, censuses, newspapers, vital records, indexes to transcribed cemetery records, land records, probate records, naturalization records, church records, genealogical and historical society newsletters, and various other genealogical materials located at the two facilities. The book is also available at the FHL film 2055576 item 9; book 977.4 A3g both in book and microfilm. (See the "Societies" section for the address of the Michigan Genealogical Council.)

Historical Society of Michigan[edit | edit source]

5815 Executive Drive
Lansing, MI 48911
Phone (517) 324-1828
Fax (517) 324-4370

This society has some county records which can be found nowhere else. They also have genealogies, Bibles, cemetery transcripts, newspapers, and obituaries.

Regional Repositories[edit | edit source]

Central Michigan University Park Library
1200 S. Franklin St.
Mount Pleasant, Mich. 48859
Phone 989-774-4000

This lesser-known facility has plenty of records of Michigan settlers in family folders, published genealogies, periodicals, newspapers, published court records, and American Indian sources.[1]

Detroit Public Main Library


5201 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48202
Telephone: 313-481-1401

This is home to the Burton Historical Collection and to the Detroit Society for Genealogical Research. They also have many unpublished family histories, research aids like indexes and cemetery guides, and an obituary collection. Their family folder collection is large, as is their very good newspaper collection.[1]
The Burton Historical Collection contains records pertaining to Detroit’s history from her days as a 17th century settlement to present day, with information about the Great Lakes Region including the role of Canada, the French and English influence. There are atlases, maps, photographs, pamphlets, bound newspapers, personal papers and much more. Some Vital records such as marriage, birth and death records are available. Federal population schedules along with family histories, personal papers, immigration records, some Detroit high school yearbooks, probate indexes and records plus city directories for most years and other supporting resources are also available. An inventory guide to this collection is:

Flint Public Library
1026 East Kearsley Street
Flint, MI 48503

Phone: 810-232-7111

This library has genealogical books, periodicals, and family folders for residents from all over Michigan. Their collection is also good for the upper Midwest, New England, and Ontario.[1]

Grand Rapids Public Main Library
Main Library
111 Library Street NE
Grand Rapids Michigan 49503
Phone 616-988-5400

Their genealogy collection is very good. They probably have more unpublished family histories than any other repository in Michigan because they have actively solicited family histories for many years.[1]

Grace Dow Memorial Library
City of Midland
333 W. Ellsworth St.
Midland, MI 48640
Phone: 989-837-3300

This small library can boast some good genealogical indexes. Many of their references are to early settlers coming through Saginaw Bay into Michigan.[1]

Michigan State University Library
MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: (517) 353-8700

They have a great manuscript collection. They also have newspapers, and unpublished pioneer, logger, and early settler records. [1]

University of Michigan Bentley Library
Bentley Historical Library
University of Michigan
1150 Beal Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Telephone: 313-764-3482

This is a huge manuscript library with many unpublished histories, biographies, travel guides, and newspapers.[1]

Outside of Michigan Repositories[edit | edit source]

Allen County Public Library[edit | edit source]

Allen County Public Library.jpg

900 Library Plaza
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
Telephone: 260-421-1225

This is the second-largest genealogy collection in the United States[2] and the largest genealogy collection in a public library. Its holdings include more than 350,000 printed volumes and 513,000 items on microfilm and microfiche.[3] It has a premier genealogical periodical collection, local histories, genealogies, databases, military, censuses, directories, passenger lists, ethnic sources, and Canadians. They have a great Michigan collection.[4]

Newberry Library[edit | edit source]

Newberry Library.jpg

60 West Waltron Street
Chicago, IL 60610
Telephone: 312-255-3512

A large Chicago repository with genealogies, local histories, censuses, military, land, indexes, vital records, court, and tax records some from Michigan, the Mississippi Valley, eastern seaboard, Canada, and the British Isles.[5] They have over 17,000 printed genealogies. The collection is noteworthy for its colonial America, especially New England holdings. They have church, town, and county histories from all parts of the United States, Canada, and the British Isles. This includes a comprehensive set of New England town records and a strong collection of county histories from the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states. Their Civil War unit histories collection is one of the best.[6] This library has research guides on various subjects related to genealogy and library holdings cataloged from 1978.  See
  • Genealogy Collection Guides and Research Tools for more information about the collections. 
  • A surname index to genealogical periodicals and local history books in the Newberry Library was completed in 1915 and published as The Genealogical Index of the Newberry Library[7] Since this index is old, be sure to use the online guide sheet to this collection before using the source.

Library and Archives Canada[edit | edit source]

Library and Archives Canada.jpg

395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0N4
  • Telephone: 613-996-5115 or 1-866-578-7777 (toll-free in Canada and the US)
  • TTY: 613-992-6969 or 1-866-299-1699 (toll-free in Canada)
  • Fax: 613-995-6274

Genealogy and Family History inquiry form/ Email]
Website the collection, genealogy and family history, censuses, military records, research by topics, copies and visiting, services and programs, forum, news, photo gallery.

Many Michigan settlers had their origins in Canada. Significant records from this collection may be about immigrants to Michigan including land, military, estates, tax lists, and church records. They are open 24/7.[1]

National Repositories[edit | edit source]

National Archives at Chicago
NARA Chicago.jpg

7358 S. Pulaski Rd.
Chicago, IL 60629-5898
Telephone: (773)948-9001
Fax: (773)948-9050

Includes federal censuses 1790–1930; selected military service indexes, pension indexes, passenger lists, and naturalizations. Free computers for Ancestry, Heritage Quest, or Fold3. Federal agency, civil, and criminal court records of Michigan.[8]

National Personnel Records Center (NPRC)
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138

The military and civil services personnel-related records. It maintains military personnel records for servicemen and servicewomen discharged from 1912 to 1952

Guides[edit | edit source]

Wiki Articles About Major Repositories in Michigan[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 William Dollarhide, and Ronald A. Bremer, America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers (Bountiful, UT: Heritage Quest, 1988), 61. At various repositories (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 J54d.
  2. Allen County Public Library in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia (accessed 28 April 2010).
  3. Genealogy Center in Allen County Public Library (accessed 28 April 2010).
  4. Genealogy Center Collections in Genealogy Center (accessed 27 February 2015).
  5. Genealogy and Local History in The Newberry (accessed 27 February 2015).
  6. Dollarhide and Bremer, 39.
  7. The Genealogical Index of the Newberry Library. Boston, Massachusetts: G.K. Hall, 1960. WorldCat 83367401 FHL films 928135–928137 and FHL book 973 D22n vols. 1–4
  8. Genealogy in National Archives at Chicago (accessed 27 February 2014).