Michigan Periodicals

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Overview[edit | edit source]

A periodical is a regularly published magazine, newsletter, or journal. Several valuable periodicals concerning Michigan genealogical research exist. Many genealogical and historical societies publish magazines and newsletters. The articles in these periodicals often include the following:

  • Family genealogies and pedigrees
  • Helpful articles on research methodology
  • Transcripts or indexes of biographical sketches, censuses, church records, migration lists, military records, obituaries, wills, vital records, and more
  • Historical background
  • Current and historical maps
  • Information about local and national records, archives, and services
  • Interesting articles about social life and customs
  • Book advertisements and book reviews
  • Advertisements of professional researchers
  • Queries or requests for information about specific ancestors that can help you contact other interested researchers

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

The major genealogical periodicals for Michigan are:

  • Detroit Society for Genealogical Research Magazine 1937–. Published by the Detroit Society for Genealogical Research, 5201 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202. FHL Book 977.4 C4de. Volumes 1 through 30 are indexed.
  • Family Trails 1967–. Published by the State Department of Education, Michigan State Library, Box 30007, Lansing, MI 48909. FHL Book 977.4 D25f.
  • Michigana 1955–. Published by the Western Michigan Genealogical Society, Grand Rapids Public Library, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. FHL Book 977.4 B2m. Some volumes are indexed.
  • Michigan Heritage 1959–73. Formerly: The Kalamazoo Valley Heritage; published by the Kalamazoo Valley Genealogical Society, Kalamazoo, MI. FHL Book 977.4 B2mh.
  • Michigan Historical Collections 1877–1929. The collection is commonly called Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections, although it never actually had that title. Volumes have been issued under various titles (Pioneer Collections, Historical Collections, Michigan Historical Collections, Collections of the Pioneer Society of the State of Michigan, and Collections: Report of the Pioneer Society of the State of Michigan...) and different publishers (Pioneer Society of the State of Michigan, Pioneer and Historical Society of the State of Michigan, Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society, Michigan Historical Commission). Formerly published by the Michigan Historical Commission, Lansing, MI. FHL Book 977.4 H2m; FHL Films 844864–84; Fiche 6051338. Volumes 1 through 30 have printed indexes, available online. A 2nd edition or reprint of volumes 1 to 21 occurred from 1900 to 1913. All volumes of either the 1st or 2nd edition have been digitized and are available online. For more information, see "Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections: A Research Guide," by the Michigan State University Libraries.

Obtaining Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Copies of periodicals are available from the local societies that publish them. Major archives with genealogical collections will have copies of many periodicals, particularly those representing the area they serve. The Periodical Source Index, or PERSI, is the largest subject index to genealogy and local history periodical articles in the world. PERSI is available online and is especially useful because it refers to countless items published in thousands of family history periodicals worldwide. Learn more at the PERSI wiki page here:

  • Periodical Source Index (PERSI). Ft. Wayne, Indiana: Allen County Public Library Foundation, 1987-. (Family History Library book 973 D25per; 40 fiche 6016863 (1847-1985); 15 fiche 6016864 (1986-1990).) Partially indexes over 5,000 English-language and French-Canadian family history periodicals. The microfiche indexes are cumulative; book indexes since 1986 are year-by-year. For further details see the PERiodical Source Index Resource Guide (34119).
  • Find My Past Researchers can use the Internet edition of this index at Family History Centers via their site.

Once you locate an article in a periodical, check the FamilySearch Catalog and regional or local libraries for available copies. The Family History Library has collected many periodicals, with some available in digital format and accessible online. Michigan periodicals may be found in the FamilySearch Catalog with a Place and Subject search, as found here: Michigan-Periodicals. They can also be found by using:

  • Place Search of the country, state/province, and county
  • Title Search of the periodical
  • Keyword Search for the publishing society name.

Also find Periodical resources available at other libraries via WorldCat. As with the FamilySearch Catalog search, search WorldCat using society names, locality names, and periodical title names. Learn more about how to search WorldCat and the FamilySearch Catalog on our Wiki pages.


External Links[edit | edit source]