St. Joseph County, Michigan Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Centreville
Organized: October 29, 1829
Parent County(s): Unorganized Territory
Neighboring Counties
Branch  • Calhoun  • Cass  • Elkhart (IN)  • Kalamazoo  • LaGrange (IN)  • Van Buren
See County Maps
Michigan, St Joseph County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Michigan, Saint Joseph County Locator Map.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for St. Joseph. The County is located in the east area of the state.[1]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

St. Joseph County Courthouse
125 W Main St.
Centreville, MI 49032-0189
Phone: 616-467-5602
St. Joseph County Website

County Clerk has birth and death records from 1867, marriage records from 1832, divorce and court records from 1900 and naturalization records.
Probate Court has probate records.
Register of Deeds has land records. [2]

St. Joseph 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 1832 1867 1900 1830 1832 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]

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

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 St. Joseph 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

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1830 1,313
1840 7,068 438.3%
1850 12,725 80.0%
1860 21,262 67.1%
1870 26,275 23.6%
1880 26,626 1.3%
1890 23,356 −12.3%
1900 23,889 2.3%
1910 25,499 6.7%
1920 26,818 5.2%
1930 30,618 14.2%
1940 31,749 3.7%
1950 35,071 10.5%
1960 42,332 20.7%
1970 47,392 12.0%
1980 56,083 18.3%
1990 58,913 5.0%
2000 62,422 6.0%
2010 61,295 −1.8%
Source: "".

Federal Census

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]

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 St. Joseph County courthouse and where records are currently housed.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for St. Joseph 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.

  • Portrait and biographical album of St. Joseph County, Michiga FamilySearch Digital Library is a 606 page history of St. Joseph County that was published by Chapman brothers in 1889.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Van Buren CountyKalamazoo CountyCalhoun CountyCass CountyBranch CountyLaGrange CountyElkhart CountyMI ST JOSEPH.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War
Civil War service men from St. Joseph 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 St. Joseph County.

- 17th Regiment, Michigan Infantry, Company C

World War I

World War II

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 St. Joseph County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Michigan Archives and Libraries.

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 St. Joseph County. For state-wide library facilities, see Michigan Archives and Libraries.

Sturgis District Library
255 North Street
Sturgis, MI 49091
Phone: 269-659-7224

Colon Library
128 South Blackstone Ave
Colon, MI 49040
Phone: 269-432-3958
website Facebook

Three Rivers Public Library
920 West Michigan Ave
Three Rivers MI 49093
Phone: 269-273-8666

Constantine Library
165 Canaris
Constantine MI 49042
Phone: 269-435-7957
website Facebook

White Pigeon Library
102 North Kalamazoo Street
White Pigeon MI 49099
Phone 269-483-7409
website Facebook

Mendon Library
314 West Main
Mendon MI 49072
Phone: 269-496-4865

Glen Oaks Community College Library
62249 Shimmel Road
Centreville MI 49032
Phone: 269-467-9945

Nottawa Public Library
685 East Main Street
Centreville, MI 49032
Phone: 269-467-6289

Museums[edit | edit source]

Governor Barry Historical Society
300 North Washington Street
Constantine, MI 49093
Phone: 269-506-1575
Facebook Wikipedia

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

  • Colon Historical Society
    Blackstone Ave
    Colon, MI 49040
  • St. Joseph County Genealogical Society
    PO Box 486
    White Pigeon, MI 49099-9734
  • St. Joseph County Historical Society
    34 North Main /PO Box 492
    Three Rivers, MI 49093
    Phone: (269) 273-6003

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, "St. Joseph 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, "St. Joseph County, Michigan," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, wikipedia accessed 14 November 2019.