St. Joseph County, Michigan Genealogy

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United States
Michigan Genealogy
St. Joseph County

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


St. Joseph County, Michigan
Map of Michigan highlighting St. Joseph County
Location in the state of Michigan
Map of the U.S. highlighting Michigan
Location of Michigan in the U.S.
Founded October 29, 1829
County Seat Centreville
Address St. Joseph County Courthouse
125 W Main St.
Centreville, MI 49032-0189
Phone: 616-467-5602
St. Joseph County Website

County Information

St. Joseph County, Michigan Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1867 1844 1867 1802 1830 1832

County Courthouse

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]


Parent County

1829--St. Joseph County was created 29 October 1829 from unorganized territory. County seat: Centreville [3]

Boundary Changes

For animated maps illustrating Michigan county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Michigan County Boundary Maps" (1790-1897) may be viewed for free at the website.

Record Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Branch  • Calhoun  • Cass  • Elkhart County, Indiana  • Kalamazoo  • Lagrange County, Indiana  • Van Buren

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Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
USGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
MIGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
Billion Graves
See Michigan Cemeteries for more information.

Mottville Township:

  • Mennonite Cemetery
  • Mottville Township Cemetery

Park Township:

  • Center Park Cemetery
  • Moorepark Road North Park or Mint Cemetery
  • Moorepark Cemetery
  • Parkville Cemetery
  • South Park Cemetery


Federal Census

State Census


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

Local histories are available for St. Joseph 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.



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


Finding More Michigan Newspapers

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as St. Joseph County, Michigan Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:



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, St. Joseph 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


Vital Records

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.

  • 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.
  • Michigan Death Record Search, 1867-2008 -- A free index to deaths that occurred in St. Joseph county, Michigan is available at the County Clerk's death records web site.
  • St. Joseph County Death Indexes. MiGenWeb Project

Societies and Libraries

Colon Historical Society
Blackstone Ave.
Colon 49040

Governor Barry Historical Society
340 Florence
Constantine 49042

Tri-state Genealogical Society
c/o Sturgis Public
130 N. Nottawa St.
Sturgis MI 49091
Telephone Number: 616-651-3597

St. Joseph County Genealogical Society
PO Box 486
White Pigeon, MI 49099-9734

Committee will provide one hour of local research for $10.00. Please include a pedigree chart, a stamped self-addressed envelope, along with your check or money order made out to SJCGS

St. Joseph County Historical Society
PO Box 492
Centreville, MI 49093
Telephone Number:616-496-5695


Burr Oak Public Library

220 S 2nd

Burr Oak, MI 49030

Sturgis Public Library

255 North St

Sturgis MI 49091

Colon Library

128 S Blackstone Ave

Colon MI 49040

Three Rivers Public Library

920 W Michigan Ave

Three Rivers MI 49093

Constantine Library

165 Canaris

Constantine MI 49042

White Pigeon Library

105 N Kalamazoo St

White Pigeon MI  49099

Mendon Library

314 W Main

Mendon MI 49072

Glen Oaks Community College Library

62249 Shimmel Road

Centreville MI 49032

Nottawa Public Library

112 S Clark St

Centreville MI 49032

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.


  • St. Joseph County Genealogical Society
  • Tri-State Genealogical Society



  1. 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
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), St Joseph County, Michigan page 351, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).