Michigan Church Records
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 Family History Library 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
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA Archives)
8765 West Higgins Road
Chicago, IL 60631-4198
E-mail Address: email@example.com
(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-?]. (Family History Library 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
THE DROUIN COLLECTION:
Drouin Collection 1621-1967 at Ancestry.ca. When searching these databases, be creative in the spellings as well as the various focuses in searching for an ancestor. The French language has many possible spellings for a name, as well as there are errors in the indexing.
This French-Canadian collection has over 15 million genealogical and vital records entries; they were microfilmed by the Institut Généalogique Drouin. In Quebec, under the French Regime, there were two sets of records kept: a copy for the civil government archives and a copy for the ecclesiastical church archives. The Drouin collection is a civil copy of these entries. Please note that the cutoff date of this collection is in the early 1940s; only a small percentage of entries were covered from 1948 to 1967.
This collection is divided into six databases: 1. Quebec Vital and Church Records, 1621-1967 2. Ontario French Catholic Church Records, 1747-1967, 3. Early U.S. French Catholic Church Records, 1695-1954, 4. Acadia French Catholic Church Records, 1670-1946, 5. Quebec Notarial Records, 1647-1942, and 6. Miscellaneous French Records, 1651-1941. For details about these six databases, see "The Drouin Collection: Six Databases" at https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/The_Drouin_Collection:_Six_databases .
Early U.S. French Catholic Church Records, 1695-1954: 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. 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.
Diocese of Marquette
444 South Fourth Street
P.O. Box 550
Marquette, MI 49855
Archdiocese of Detroit
1234 Washington Boulevard
Detroit, MI 48226
Diocese of Saginaw
5800 Weiss Street
Saginaw, MI 48603-2799
Diocese of Grand Rapids
660 Burton Street S.E.
Grand Rapids. MI 4950
Diocese of Lansing
300 West Ottawa
Lansing, MI 48933
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. (Family History Library book 977.4 K2hca; film 962282 item 1; fiche 6051290.)