Kalamazoo County, Michigan Genealogy
Guide to Kalamazoo County, Michigan ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
|Kalamazoo County, Michigan|
Location of Michigan in the U.S.
|Founded||October 29, 1829|
|Address|| Kalamazoo County Courthouse|
201 W Kalamazoo Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Phone: (269) 383-8840
Kalamazoo County Website
- 1 County Information
- 2 County Courthouse
- 3 History
- 4 Places/Localities
- 5 Resources
- 5.1 Cemeteries
- 5.2 Census
- 5.3 Church
- 5.4 Court
- 5.5 Emigration and Immigration
- 5.6 Land
- 5.7 Local Histories
- 5.8 Maps
- 5.9 Military
- 5.10 Newspapers
- 5.11 Obituaries
- 5.12 Probate
- 5.13 Taxation
- 5.14 Vital Records
- 6 Societies and Libraries
- 7 References
The County was named for "the mirage or reflecting river" and the original Indian name was "Kikalamazoo". The County has Kalamazoo as its seat and the County was created May 7, 1830. The County is located in the southwest area of the state.
Kalamazoo County, Michigan Record Dates
1829--Kalamazoo County was created 29 October 1829 from unorganized territory. It was attached to St. Joseph County prior to organization 1 October 1830. County seat: Kalamazoo 
For animated maps illustrating Michigan county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Michigan County Boundary Maps" (1790-1897) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
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|Tombstone Transcriptions Online||Tombstone Transcriptions in Print||List of Cemeteries in the county|
|Findagrave.com||Family History Library||Findagrave.com|
|See Michigan Cemeteries for more information.|
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.
Emigration and Immigration
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 county courthouse and where records are currently housed.
Local histories are available for Kalamazoo County, Michigan Genealogy. 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.
Histories of many of the villages in Kalamazoo were described in the 1869 Kalamazoo Directory which is available for free from Internet Archive.
- Family Maps of Kalamazoo County, Michigan Genealogy (land patent maps) at HistoryGeo.com ($). Free surname search.
- Maps of Michigan (1790-1897)
Civil War service men from Kalamazoo 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 Kalamazoo County.
- - 1st Regiment, Michigan Cavalry, Companies I and M
- - 12th Regiment, Michigan Infantry, Companies F, H, and Unassigned
- - 17th Regiment, Michigan Infantry, Companies D, I, and K
Kalamazoo Gazette (various incarnations 1837-present). The Kalamazoo Public Library is indexing the newspaper which is searchable online through their Website. The continually updated index can be searched by going to Research-> Genealogy -> Local Information Databases -> Search Local Newspapers (select "subject" from the drop down box). Obituaries are available for a small fee.
Kalamazoo Telegraph (various incarnations 1845-1916). The Kalamazoo Public Library is digitizing this paper. It is currently searchable (1868-1899) from their website.
Finding More Michigan Newspapers
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Kalamazoo County, Michigan Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:
- Southwest Michigan Obituary Index from the earliest date to 2000.
- 1820-2006 - Michigan Obituaries, 1820-2006 at FamilySearch — index and images
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.
The FamilySearch Catalog lists films of probate records. To find the records for this county, use the Place Search for Michigan, Kalamazoo and search for Probate records in the list.
- Note: Not every county in Michigan will have Probate Records in the FamilySearch Catalog.
Online Probate Records
- 1784 – 1980 Michigan Wills and Probate Records 1784-1980 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1797 – 1973 Michigan Probate Records 1797-1973 at FamilySearch — images
Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased as shown below:
- Birth Records and Death Records from the Michigan Department of Community Health (from 1867) or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred.
- Marriage Records (from 1867) and Divorce Records (from 1897) from the County Clerk.
- Marriage Records (from 1867) and Divorce Records (from 1897) from the County Clerk.
- 1867-1917 - Michigan, County Births, 1867-1917 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1867-1902 - Michigan Birth Registrations, 1867-1902-- Free name indexes and images at FamilySearch. Records include such information as name of child, birthdate and place, if still-born, illegitimate or twin, gender, race and record number.
- 1585-1945 - Michigan, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
- 1868-1925 - Michigan Marriage Registrations, 1868-1925 -- Free name indexes at FamilySearch. Records include such information as names of bride and groom, date of license, ages, race, residences, birthplaces, occupations and names of the fathers of the bride and groom.
- 1867-1897 - Michigan Death Registrations, 1867-1897 -- Free name indexes and images at FamilySearch. Records include such information as name of deceased, date and place of death, gender, color, marital status, age in years, months and days, disease or apparent cause of death, birthplace, names and occupations of parents, and the date the record was made.
Societies and Libraries
Kalamazoo County Historical Society
315 S. Rose St.
Kalamazoo Valley Genealogical Society
PO Box 405
Comstock Township Library Local History Room
P.O. Box 25
6130 King Highway
Comstock, MI 49041
Family History Centers
Family history centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.
- Kalamazoo Michigan Family History Center 1112 N Drake Rd, Kalamazoo, MI 49006 United States
- List of Michigan Archives, Libraries, Publications, Historical & Genealogical Societies
- Kalamazoo Valley Genealogical Society
- Kalamazoo County, MI History, Records, Facts and Genealogy
- Michigan Genealogy Network Community on Google+
- Michigan Genealogy Network Group on Facebook
- USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county.
- Kalamazo County Genealogical Records has many local records (digitized and searchable) including vital records, city directories, maps, yearbooks and more.
- Bushwhacking Genealogy: Kalamazoo and Beyond describes Kalamazoo genealogy resources and articles on local history.
- FamilySearch Catalog
- Kalamazoo County MI Genealogy (LDS Genealogy)
- Wikipedia contributors, "Kalamazoo County, Michigan" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalamazoo_County,_Michigan."
- Alice Eichholz, Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, Revised ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992), 369-384. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 1992
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Kalamazoo County, Michigan page 346, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).