Bay county

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This entry was originally written by Arleigh P. Helfer, Jr. and Carol L. Maki for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
the Michigan Family History Research series.
History of Michigan
Michigan Vital Records
Census Records for Michigan
Background Sources for Michigan
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Michigan Land Records
Michigan Probate Records
Michigan Court Records
Michigan Tax Records
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County Map of Michigan

Records at the county level are the responsibility of different offices. The office of the county clerk has birth, death, and marriage records. The register of deeds has land records, and the office of the probate judge has probate files. Circuit court offices or office of the county clerk: circuit court records.

Callard’s Sourcebook... (see Background Sources for Michigan) provides a bibliography of relevant titles for each of the eighty-three Michigan counties. It is available for $6 from the Department of Management and Budget, Office Services Division Publications, State Secondary Complex, 7481 Crowner Dr., P.O. Box 30026, Lansing, MI 48909.

For some counties on the chart, there are two years listed for “Date Formed.” The first is the year the county was created, the second is the year it was fully organized, if it differs from the creation year. Under the heading “Parent County/ies,” the name/s listed may be the county or counties from which the respective county was formed, or it may be names by which the county was originally known. “Unorganized” denotes that it was formed from non-county lands. A county name in parentheses is the county to which the unorganized land may have been attached at that time. An asterisk (*) under “Parent County” indicates those locations in which you may also find records for the listed county. The * county may have been “attached” to the listed county for some period of time. The date listed for each category of record is the earliest record known to exist in that county. It does not indicate that there are numerous records for that year and certainly does not indicate that all such events that year were actually registered.

Callard (1987) and McGinnis (1987), described in Background Sources, and more recent online resources, were used for the following guide to county information.

Each county has its own policies regarding the number of genealogists allowed to conduct research concurrently and whether or not children are permitted in the records area. It would be wise to check these rules with the county office in advance of an on-site visit.

Some Michigan counties provide Internet search capability for selected vital records. Such availability can be determined by checking the county’s website, a list of which can be found at www.michigan.gov/emi. Look for the “About Michigan” section of the “Michigan Government” tab.


Map County County Address Date Formed Parent County(ies) Birth Marriage Death Land Probate Court
Aischum 1840 (renamed Lake, 1843) Mackinac/*Ottawa
F7 Alcona 106 5th St., P.O. Box 308 1840 (1869) (as Negwegon; renamed 1843) *Mackinac/ *Alpena/ *Cheboygan/ *Iosco186918691869186918691872
C4 Alger 101 Court St., Munising 49862-1103 1885 Schoolcraft188418871884188418891885
J5 Allegan 113 Chestnut St., Allegan 49010-1332 1831 (1835) Barry/unorganized186718361867183518391837
E7 Alpena 720 W. Chisholm St., Alpena 49707-2453 1840 (1857) (as Anamickee; renamed 1843) Mackinac/*Cheboygan186918711871185818581871
Anamickee 1840 (renamed Alpena, 1843) Mackinac/unorganized (Saginaw)
E5 Antrim 208 E. Cayuga St., P.O. Box 520, Bellaire 49615-0520 1840 (1863) (as Meegisee; renamed 1843) Mackinac *Grand Traverse186618661867186718631867
G7 Arenac 120 N. Grove St., Standish 48658-0747 1831 (1883) unorganized land *Saginaw188318831883188218831883
Arenac was eliminated in 1857 and recreated 1883 from Bay County.
B2 Baraga 16 N. Third St., L’Anse 49946-1002 1875 Houghton187518751875187518761875
J5 Barry 220 W. State St., Hastings 49058-1849 1829 (1839) unorganized land *St. Joseph/*Kalamazoo186718391867183418621850
G7 Bay 515 Center Ave., Bay City 48708-5125 1857 Midland/Saginaw/Arenac1867186718671835?18571883
F4 Benzie 448 Court Place, P.O. Box 398, Beulah 49617-0398 1863 (1869) Leelanau *Grand Traverse186818691868185418701869
K4 Berrien 811 Port St. (Mail) or 701 Main St. (Walk-in), St. Joseph 49085-1183 1829 (1831) unorganized land *Cass186718311867183118341833
Bleeker 1861 (renamed Menominee, 1863)unorganized
K6 Branch31 Division St., Coldwater 49036-19041829 (1833) unorganized * St. Joseph 186718331867183318331833
Brown 1818unorganized land
Became part of Wisconsin Territory in 1836; now Wisconsin.
J6 Calhoun315 W. Green St., Marshall 49068-15181829 (1833)unorganized *St. Joseph/ *Kalamazoo186718331867183318351867
K5 Cass120 N. Broadway, P.O. Box 355, Cassopolis 49031-13021829 (1829) unorganized186718301867182918291831
Charlevoix (old) 1840 (as Keskkauko; renamed 1843; became part of Emmet, 1853)
E6 Charlevoix (present)203 Antrim St., Charlevoix 49720-13681869Antrim/Emmet/Otsego186818681868186918811869
D6 Cheboygan870 S. Main St. , P.O. Box 70, Cheboygan 49721-00701840 (1853)Mackinac186718671867185418541854
Cheonoquet 1840 (renamed Montmorency, 1843)Mackinac/unorganized
C6 Chippewa319 Court St., Sault Ste. Marie 49783-21831826Michilimackinac186918271869182618281860?
G6 Clare225 W. Main St., P.O. Box 438, Harrison 48625-83361840 (1871) (as Kayakee; renamed 1843) Mackinac *Midland/*Isabella/*Mecosta187118711871186518721871
H6 Clinton100 E. State St., P.O. Box 69, St. Johns 48879-15821831 (1839)unorganized land *Kent186718391867183718401860?
Crawford 1818 (Michigan Territory)unorganized land
Became part of Wisconsin Territory in 1836; now Wisconsin.
F6 Crawford200 W. Michigan Ave., Grayling 49738-17461840 (1879) (as Shawono; renamed 1843) Mackinac *Cheboygan/ *Iosco/ *Antrim/ *Kalkasa187318731873186318811881
D4 Delta310 Ludington St., Escanaba 49829-40571843 (1861)Mackinac/unorganized land186718671867184318431843
Des Moines 1834unorganized
Became part of Wisconsin Territory in 1836; now Iowa.
C3 Dickinson705 S. Stephenson Ave., P.O. Box 609, Iron Mountain 498011891Iron/Marquette/Menominee189118911891189118911891
Dubuque 1834unorganized
Became part of Wisconsin Territory in 1836; now Iowa.
J6 Eaton1045 Independence Blvd., Charlotte 48813-10331837unorganized *Kalamazoo/*St. Joseph 186718381867183518351832
D6 Emmet200 Division St., Petoskey 49770-24861840 (1853) (as Tonedagana; renamed 1843) Mackinac186718671867185318671867
Forest 1913 (abolished)Cheboygan/Presque Isle
H7 Genesee900 S. Saginaw St., Flint 48502-14281835 (1836)Lapeer/Saginaw/Shiawassee *Oakland186718671867181918361835
G6 Gladwin401 West Cedar Ave., Gladwin 48624-20581831 (1875) unorganized *Saginaw/*Midland187518751875188618891880
C1 Gogebic200 N. Moore St., Bessemer 49911-10521881 Ontonagon188718871887188718871887
E5 Grand Traverse400 Boardman Ave., Traverse City 49684-25421851 Omeena185618531867185318751882
H6 Gratiot214 E. Center St., Ithaca 48847-04371831 (1855) unorganized *Saginaw/*Clinton186718671867184718671867
K6 Hillsdale29 N. Howell St., Hillsdale 492421829 (1835) unorganized *Lenawee186718351867183518351846
B2 Houghton401 E. Houghton Ave., Houghton 49931-20161845 Marquette/ Ontonagon/ Schoolcraft186718551867184818721848
G8 Huron250 E. Huron Ave., Bad Axe 48413-11391840 (1859) Sanilac *St. Clair/*Tuscola186718671867183718611867
J7 Ingham341 S. Jefferson St., Mason 48854-16521829 (1838) Shiawassee/Washtenaw186718371867183518351839
H6 Ionia100 W. Main St., Ionia 48846-16511831 (1837) Michilimackinac *Kent186718371867183618351845
F7 Iosco422 Lake St., P.O. Box 7781840 (1857) unorganized *Cheboygan/*Saginaw186718581867184018591859
Iowa 1830Crawford
Became part of Wisconsin Territory in 1836; now Wisconsin.
C2 Iron2 S. Sixth St., Crystal Falls 49920-14351885 Marquette/Menominee189518951895185518861895
G6 Isabella200 N. Main St., Mount Pleasant 48858-23901831 (1859) unorganized/Michilimackinac *Saginaw/*Ionia/*Midland186718591867183818591880
Isle Royale 1875 (attached to Houghton, 1885; Abolished, became part of Keweenaw, 1897) Keweenaw
Disbanded 1885, attached to Houghton; Eliminated in 1897; absorbed by Keweenaw.
J6 Jackson312 S. Jackson St., Jackson 49201-13381829 (1832) Washtenaw/unorganized186718671867183018341830?
J5 Kalamazoo201 W. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo 49007-37261829 (1830) unorganized *St. Joseph186718311867182418301847
F6 Kalkaska605 N. Birch St., Kalkaska 49646-07801840 (1871) (as Wabassee; renamed 1843) *Grand Traverse/*Antrim187118711871185318741871
Kanotin 1840 (renamed Iosco, 1843) unorganized *Mackinac
Kautawaubet (Kautawbet) 1840 (renamed Wexford, 1843) Mackinac
Kayakee (Kaykakee) 1840 (renamed Clare, 1843) Mackinac/unorganized *Saginaw
H5 Kent300 Monroe NW, Grand Rapids 49503-22061831 (1836) Michilimackinac (as Wabassee; renamed 1843) *Grand Traverse/*Antrim186718451867186018981854
Keskkauko (Keshkauko,Reshkauko) 1840 (renamed Charlevoix,1843) Mackinac
A3 KeweenawHC1, Box 607, Eagle River 49924-97001861 Houghton186918691869186118661861
G5 Lake800 Tenth St., Baldwin 49304-79701840 (1871) Mackinac *Mason/*Newaygo187018701870187218721871
H8 Lapeer255 Clay St., Lapeer 48446-22051822 (1835) Oakland/St. Clair/unorganized186718311867183518381835
E5 Leelanau301 E. Cedar St., Leland 49654-11071840 (1863) Mackinac *Grand Traverse186718671867185118821879
K7 Lenawee425 N. Main St., Adrian 49221-21031822 (1826) Monroe186718531867182718271870
J7 Livingston200 E. Grand River Ave., Howell 48843-70411833 (1836) Shiawassee/Washtenaw/ *Oakland186718361867183418371837
C5 Luce407 W. Harrie St., Newberry 498681887 Chippewa/Mackinac188718871887188718881887
C6 Mackinac100 N. Marley St., St. Ignace 49781-14571818 Wayne187318671873178518511808
J8 Macomb40 N. Main St., Mt. Clemens 48043-23061818 Wayne186718191867181818491818
F5 Manistee415 Third St., Manistee 49660-16061840 (1855) Mackinac *Ottawa/*Grand Traverse186718671867186818811855
Manitou 1855 (abolished 1895) Emmet/Leelanau
In 1861 the county government was disorganized, and Manitou was attached to Mackinac. In 1865 it was attached to Leelanau, then again attached to Mackinac in 1869. Finally, in 1895, Manitou was abolished and was absorbed by Charlevoix and Leelanau counties.
C3 Marquette234 W. Baraga Ave., Marquette 49855-47511843 (1848) Chippewa/Houghton *Houghton186718501867185118541852
G4 Mason304 E. Ludington Ave., Ludington 49431-21211840 (1855)(as Notipekago; renamed 1843)Mackinac *Ottawa186718671867184018551867
G5 Mecosta400 Elm St., Big Rapids 49307-18491840 (1859)Mackinac/Oceana *Kent/*Newaygo186718591867186718671859
Meegisee 1840 (renamed Antrim, 1843) Mackinac
D3 Menominee839 Tenth Ave., Menominee 49858-30001861 (as Bleeker; renamed 1863) unorganized186318671860185018681861
Michilmackinac 1818 (renamed Mackinac, 1837) Wayne
G6 Midland220 W. Ellsworth St., Midland 48640-51941831 (1850)Saginaw/unorganized186718671867185518561839
Mikenauk 1840 (renamed Roscommon, 1843)Mackinac/unorganized
Milwaukee 1834 (1835)Brown
Became part of Wisconsin Territory in 1836; now in Wisconsin.
F6 Missaukee111 S. Canal St., P.O. Box 800, Lake City 49651-08001840 (1871)Mackinac *Manistee/*Grand Traverse/*Wexford187018711870187118711872
K7 Monroe106 E. First St., Monroe 48161-21151817Wayne187418181867180618171805
H6 Montcalm211 W. Main St., P.O. Box 368, Stanton 48888-03681831 (1850)Michilimackinac/unorganized *Ionia186718671867183818551860?
E7 MontmorencyP.O. Box 789, Atlanta 49709-07891840 (1881) (as Cheonoquet; renamed 1843) Mackinac/unorganized *Cheboygan/*Alpena188118811881194319431940
H4 Muskegon990 Terrace St., Muskegon 49442-33951859 Ottawa/unorganized 186718671867183918671856
G5 Newaygo1087 Newell St., P.O. Box 885, White Cloud 49349-87951840 (1851)Oceana/Mackinac *Kent/*Ottawa 186718511867184018801893
Negwegon (Neewago) 1840 (renamed Alcona, 1843) unorganized *Mackinac
Notipekago (Nontipekago) 1840 (renamed Mason, 1843) Mackinac *Ottawa
J8 Oakland1200 N. Telegraph Rd., Pontiac 48341-10321820Macomb 186718271867182118221826
G4 Oceana100 State Street, P.O. Box 653, Hart 494201831 (1851)Michilimackinac *Kent/*Ottawa 186718671868184619001859
F7 Ogemaw806 W. Houghton Ave., West Branch 48661-12781840 (1875)unorganized *Mackinac/*Iosco/*Cheboygan 187918761876187618771876
In 1867 Ogemaw was abolished and absorbed by Iosco. In 1873 it was re-created from part of Iosco.
Okkuddo (Okkudo) 1840 (renamed Otsego, 1843) Mackinac
Omeena 1840(abolished , 1853; became part of Grand Traverse) Mackinac
B1 Ontonagon725 Greenland Rd., Ontonagon 49953-14231843 (1848)Chippewa/Mackinac *Houghton186818531868185018531854
G5 Osceola301 W. Upton Ave., Reed City 49677-11491840 (1869) (as Unwattin ; renamed 1843)Mackinac *Mason/*Newaygo/*Mecosta 186918691870185318701870
F7 Oscoda310 Morenci St., P.O. Box 399, Mio 48647-03991840 (1881) Mackinac *Iosco/*Cheboygan/*Alpena/*Alcona 188018811880185018811881
E6 Otsego225 W. Main St., Gaylord 49735-13721840 (1875) (as Okkuddo; renamed 1843) Mackinac *Cheboygan/*Alpena/*Antrim187518951875186418761875
H5 Ottawa414 Washington St., Grand Haven 49417-1473 1831 (1837)Michilimackinac/unorganized *Kent186618481867183418441839
E7 Presque Isle151 E. Huron Ave., Rogers City 49779-1316 1840 (1871)Mackinac *Cheboygan/*Alpena187118721871185618741872
Reshkauko (see Keskkauko)
F6 Roscommon500 Lake St., Roscommon 48653-7664 1840 (1875) (as Mikenauk; renamed 1843) Mackinac *Cheboygan/*Midland187418771874187518751875
H7 Saginaw111 S. Michigan Ave., Saginaw 48602-0000 1822 (1835)St. Clair/unorganized *Oakland 18671867186718361800?1843
H8 St. Clair201 McMorran Blvd., Port Huron 48060-4006 1820 (1821)Macomb186818371868182118281833
K5 St. Joseph125 W. Main St., P.O. Box 189, Centreville 49032-0189 1829 (1829)unorganized186718321867183018321842
G8 Sanilac67 W. Sanilac Ave., Sandusky 48471-1060 1822 (1848)St. Clair/unorganized *Lapeer/*Oakland186718671867183418571850
C5 Schoolcraft300 Walnut St., Manistique 49854-1495 1843 (1871)Chippewa/ Mackinac Houghton/ Marquette/*Houghton/187018701870187118741881
Shawono (Shawano, Shawona) 1840 (renamed Crawford, 1843) Mackinac
H7 Shiawassee208 N. Shiawassee St., Corunna 48817-1447 1822 (1837)Oakland/St. Clair/unorganized *Genesee186718671867183618401848
Tonedagana 1840 (renamed Emmet, 1843) Mackinac
H8 Tuscola440 N. State St., Caro 48723 1840 (1850)Sanilac *Saginaw186718511867185018521887
Unwattin 1840 (renamed Osceola, 1843) Mackinac *Ottawa
J5 Van Buren212 Paw Paw St., Paw Paw 49079 1829 (1837) unorganized *Lenawee/*Cass186718361867183618371844
Wabassee 1840 (renamed Kalkaska, 1843) Mackinac
Washington 1867 (declared unconstitutional) Marquette
J7 WashtenawP.O. Box 8645, Ann Arbor 48107-8645 1822 (1826) Wayne/Oakland186718331867183518271835
J8 Wayne (excl. Detroit)201 City County Bldg., Detroit 482261796 original186718421867170317971818
In 1796 Wayne County was created as part of the Northwest Territory; in 1815 it became part of the Michigan Territory.
J8 Wayne (Detroit only)1151 Taylor St., Detroit 182021796 original18671867
F5 Wexford432 E. Division St., Cadillac 49601-19701840 (1869) (as Kautawaubet;renamed 1843) Mackinac *Manistee/*Grand Traverse186718641867186918691869
Wyandot 1840 (abolished 1853; became part of Cheboygan) Mackinac
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