Michigan Church Records
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|Local Research Resources|
Before 1900 the largest religious groups in Michigan were the Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic churches. Information about early churches, ministers, and circuits is in published histories of some of the churches of Michigan.
The availability of Michigan church records is described in the Summer 1973 issue of Family Trails (see the "Periodicals" section). Other inventories of the church archives of several denominations, such as the Protestant Episcopal and Evangelical, have been published and are at the Family History Library.
The Michigan Historical Records Survey, WPA, completed a series of denominational record lists called Inventory of the Church Archives of Michigan. Check for these records in the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:
MICHIGAN - CHURCH RECORDS - INVENTORIES, REGISTERS, CATALOGS.
The library also has copies of a few small collections of original Michigan church records. Some original manuscripts and published abstracts are also in the Bentley Historical Collection at the University of Michigan (seeMichigan Archives and Libraries for the address).
Many denominations have gathered their records into central repositories. You can write to the following addresses to learn where their records are located:
1200 Academy Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49006
Phone: (616) 337-7153
Fax: (616) 337-7143
Christian Reformed Church in North America
1855 Knollcrest Circle SE
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546-4402
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)
Early church records, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for Michigan Wards and Branches can be found on film and are located at the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The film numbers, for each ward, can be locate through the FamilySearch Catalog . Or by refering to Jaussi, Laureen R., and Gloria D. Chaston. Register of Genealogical Society Call Numbers. 2 vols. Provo, Utah: Genealogy Tree, 1982. FHL fiche 6031507; book 979.2258 A3j. These volumes contain the film numbers for many (but not all) membership and temple record films.
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA Archives)
8765 West Higgins Road
Chicago, IL 60631-4198
Phone: (312) 380-2818
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Note: Please include a mailing address when using the E-mail address.)
The records of Evangelical Lutheran churches in the United States that have been disbanded are located at the ELCA Archives in Chicago. If a church is still active, they will be able to help you locate their records.
The ELCA Archives has records of many congregations and those on microfilm can be borrowed for a small fee. A list of church records in its collection is given in:
ALC Archives. ALC Congregations on Microfilm. Dubuque, Iowa: The Archives, [197-?]. FHL fiche 6330690–93.Arranged by state and city of congregation. Fiche 6330690 includes Michigan. The ALC Archives are now part of the ELCA Archives.
110 South Madison Street
Adrian, MI 49221
Phone: (517) 265-5161
Fax: (517) 264-3331
Archdiocese of Detroit
1234 Washington Boulevard
Detroit, MI 48226
Phone: (313) 237-5800
Fax: (313) 237-4642
Diocese of Gaylord
611 W. North Street
Gaylord, MI 49735
Phone: (989) 732-5147
The diocese includes the counties of: Alcona, Alpena, Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Crawford, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Iosco, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon and Wexford.
Diocese of Grand Rapids
660 Burton Street S.E.
Grand Rapids. MI 4950
Phone: (616) 243-0491
Fax: (616) 243-4910
Diocese of Kalamazoo
215 N. Westnedge Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Phone: (269) 349-8714
Diocese of Lansing
300 West Ottawa
Lansing, MI 48933
Phone: (517) 342-2440
Fax: (517) 343-2515
Diocese of Marquette
444 South Fourth Street
P.O. Box 550
Marquette, MI 49855
Phone: (906) 225-1141
Fax: (906) 225-0437
Diocese of Saginaw
5800 Weiss Street
Saginaw, MI 48603-2799
Phone: (517) 799-7910
Fax: (517) 797-6670
The Drouin Collection
Early U.S. French Catholic Church Records, 1695-1954 ($) (Ancestry). This database only contains the French Catholic parish records from the United States in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, and Pennsylvania. It is the U.S. part of the U.S. and French-Canadian Drouin Collection. For more details see "The Drouin Collection: Six Databases"
The types of records include baptisms, marriages, and burials as well as confirmations, dispensations, censuses, statements of readmission to the church, and so on. They are written mainly in French, as well as English, Latin, and Italian.
For information concerning Catholic records, see:
- Inventory of the Church Archives of Michigan, The Roman Catholic Church, Archdiocese of Detroit. Detroit, Michigan: Michigan Historical Records Survey, 1941. FHL film 962282 item 1; fiche 6051290; book 977.4 K2hca
- The Diocese of Detroit : a paper read at the annual meeting of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society, June 8, 1886 / by the Rev. Frank A. O'Brien.
- Seasons of faith : a walk through the history of the Roman Catholic diocese of Marquette 1900-2000 / by Angela S. Johnson.
- Living in joyful hope : a history of the Diocese of Lansing / George C. Michalek.
- The Diocese of Marquette : convocation of priests.
- These very stones cry out : stories on the history of the Diocese of Gaylord / Patrick T. Cawley, editor.
- Diocese of Gaylord celebrates 25 years.
- The Diocese of Marquette : fully alive in '95!
- Golden jubilee : Diocese of Lansing, parish historical sketches / George C. Michalek.
- Festival of faith : celebrating 50 years of faithful service in the Diocese of Lansing, 1937-1987.
- Diocese of Lansing, 1937-1962.
- Parish listings of the Diocese of Gaylord.
- Directory for the Diocese of Grand Rapids.
- Archdiocese of Detroit by Roman Godzak.
Emphasis on Swedish Settlement
- Sydney E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1972). FHL Book 973 K2ah.
- Map of the Roman Catholic Dioceses in the United States of America, Office of Catholic Schools Diocese of Columbus, accessed 3 Nov 2010.