16 September 2023

Finding and Using Archives of Michigan County Guides

Michigan has eighty-three counties and Michigan's genealogy research is done at the county level. A couple of years ago a decision was made that county records older than fifty years go to the Archives of Michigan for preservation. Staff at the Archives of Michigan have been going to the individual counties and collecting records. Are you looking for tax assessments, naturalizations, probate files, occupational certifications, or something else? Records at the archives vary depending on the county. How do you know what the archives have for the county you are researching? Check out the county guides.

The Michigan county guides are found on the Archives pages at michigan. gov. They are updated and continue to be updated as new material is added. County guides show what is available at the Archives of Michigan for each county. Records are housed at the Archives of Michigan in Lansing unless otherwise noted in the guide. Each .pdf county guide has a brief explanation of the county followed by records available.

For example, the county guide for Houghton County, Michigan third paragraph says, "Some of the collections below are housed at the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper County Historical Collection in Houghton-these are indicated with a * after the RG number. For assistance with these records, please contact the Michigan Technological University Archives directly." When you see the records list look for the * after the record group (RG) number.

The county guides gives you the information you need to find the records housed at the Archives of Michigan or one of their other sites. You can visit the archives or contact them via their website for more information about getting a copy of the record you need.


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