Alger County was created on March 17, 1885 and was formed from Schoolcraft County. The County was named for Russell A. Alger, governor of Michigan at the time (1885-1886) and later U.S. senator (1902-1907). The County Seat is Munising.
Counties adjacent to Alger County are Luce County (east), Schoolcraft County (southeast), Delta County (south), Marquette County (west). Townships found in Alger County include Au Train, Burt, Grand Island, Limestone, Mathias, Munising, Onota, Rock River Townships. Cities, Towns and Communities include Au Train, Chatham, Deerton, Eben Junction, Grand Marais, Munising, Rumely, Shingleton, Trenary, Wetmore.
Researchers often overlook the importance of court records, probate records, and land records as a source of family history information.
All departments below at located at the Alger County Courthouse, 101 Court Street., Munising, MI 49862 , unless a different address is listed below. NOTE: 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. See also the Alger County Courthouse History
Alger County Clerk has the following Records for: Births: 1884 to present. Birth records are available only to the individual named on the birth record (registrant), the parents of the registrant, a legal guardian of the registrant, a legal representative of the registrant or an heir of the registrant. Deaths: 1884 to present. Marriages: 1887 to present. Divorces: 1887 to present and is located at the County Courthouse, see address above for contact information. Phone: 906-387-2076, Fax: 906-387-2156. Comments: Office space allows for three genealogists at one time. Children are allowed.
The County Clerk is responsible for keeping records of births, deaths, assumed names, co-partnerships, issuing and filing marriage licenses, gun permits, notary bonds and processing passports.
Alger County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1884 and is located at the County Courthouse, see address above for contact information. Phone: 538 (906)387-2076.
The Register is the County's official recording officer for all legal documents pertaining to the transfers and encumbrances of all real estate property within the County. The Register also provides permanent storage for approved original subdivision plats, condominiums, land surveys and section corners.
Alger County Clerk of the Probate Court has Probate Records from 1889 and is located at the County Courthouse, see address above for contact information. Phone: (906)387-2080 .
The Court Adjudicates and disposes of cases involving property of persons who have died or become incompetent, interprets wills and trusts, commits the mentally ill when necessary and appoints guardians and conservators for minors, incapacitated individuals and individuals with developmental disability.
Alger County Clerk of the Circuit Court has Court Records from 1885 and is located at the County Courthouse, see address above for contact information. Phone: (906)387-4636 .
The Clerk provides a variety of functions for the court such as, but not limited to: filing and maintaing the official record for all cases that come before the court; providing staff to assist in the operation of the court; working with the Jury Commission and notifying all potential jurors to appear for jury duty; and, processing felony criminal cases bound over from the District Court.
County Treasurer - Property tax records at the county level usually date back to the first land records. Either the county treasurer or the register of deeds will be the custodian of these records.
Below is a list of online resources for Alger County Court Records. Email us with websites containing Alger County Court Records by clicking the link below:
Birth, marriage, and death records are connected with central life events. They are prime sources for genealogical information.
The State of Michigan Vital Records Office is located at 201 Townsend Street, Capitol View Bldg, 3rd Floor, Lansing MI 48913 (across the street from the state capitol - south side). The office hours are 8:00 am - 5:00 pm Mon-Fri, except for State holidays. They are open thru the lunch hour. If applying in person, you must submit your request by 3:00 pm in order to obtain same-day service. It can take up to 1-3 months to get a vital record from Michigan.
Below is a list of online resources for Alger County Vital Records. Email us with websites containing Alger County Vital Records by clicking the link below:
Few, if any, records reveal as many details about individuals and families as do government census records. Substitute records can be used when the official census is unavailable
Countywide Records: Federal Population Schedules that exist for Alger County, Michigan are 1890 (fragment, see below), 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930. There are free downloadable and printable Census forms to help with your research. These include U.S. Census Extraction Forms and U.K. Census Extraction Forms.
Below is a list of online resources for Alger County Census Records. Email us with websites containing Alger County Census Records by clicking the link below:
Genealogy Atlas has images of old American atlases during the years 1795, 1814, 1822, 1823, 1836, 1838, 1845, 1856, 1866, 1879 and 1897 for Michigan and other states.
You can view rotating animated maps for Michigan showing all the county boundaries for each census year overlayed with past and present maps so you can see the changes in county boundaries. You can view a list of maps for other states at Census Maps
You can view rotating animated maps for Michigan showing all the county boundary changes for each year overlayed with past and present maps so you can see the changes in county boundaries. You can view a list of maps for other states at County Maps
Below is a list of online resources for Alger County Maps. Email us with websites containing Alger County Maps by clicking the link below:
Military and civil service records provide unique facts and insights into the lives of men and women who have served their country at home and abroad.
The uses and value of military records in genealogical research for ancestors who were veterans are obvious, but military records can also be important to re-searchers whose direct ancestors were not soldiers in any war. The fathers, grandfathers, brothers, and other close relatives of an ancestor may have served in a war, and their service or pension records could contain information that will assist in further identifying the family of primary interest. Due to the amount of genealogical information contained in some military pension files, they should never be overlooked during the research process. Those records not containing specific genealogical information are of historic value and should be included in any overall research design.
Below is a list of online resources for Alger County Military Records. Email us with websites containing Alger County Military Records by clicking the link below:
The Repositories in this section are Archives, Libraries, Museums, Genealogical and Historical Societies. Many County Historical and Genealogical Societies publish magazines and/or news letters on a monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual basis. Contacting the local societies should not be over looked. State Archives and Societies are usually much larger and better organized with much larger archived materials than their smaller county cousins but they can be more generalized and over look the smaller details that local societies tend to have. Libraries can also be a good place to look for local information. Some libraries have a genealogy section and may have some resources that are not located at archives or societies. Also, take a special look at any museums in the area. They sometimes have photos and items from years gone by as well as information of a genealogical interest. All these places are vitally important to the family genealogist and must not be passed over.
Below is a list of online resources for Alger County Genealogical Addresses. Email us with websites containing Alger County Genealogical Addresses by clicking the link below:
Obituaries can vary in the amount of information they contain, but many of them are genealogical goldmines, including information such as names, dates, places of birth and death, marriage information, and family relationships.
There are many churches and cemeteries in Alger County. Some transcriptions are online. A great site is the Alger County Tombstone Transcription Project.
The earliest religious denomination in Michigan was the Roman Catholic church, established through a mission in 1668 at Sault Ste. Marie. Ste. Anne's, in Detroit, has parish records beginning in 1703.
Michigan Historical Collections in Ann Arbor holds large collections from the Presbyterian Church and the Protestant Episcopal Church, in addition to other denominations. Dutch Reformed church records are at Calvin College and Seminary Library in Grand Rapids; Finnish church records are deposited at the Finnish-American Historical Archives at Suomi College in Hancock. The Upjohn Library at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo has a large collection of Baptist archive material. Many early Detroit churches have their records deposited at the Burton Historical Collection-Detroit Public Library. The Michigan Historical Records Survey, WPA, completed an Inventory of the Church Archives of Michigan, and many of the church records from this inventory were published from 1936 through 1942.
The Library of Michigan in Lansing and the Burton Historical Collection have over 1,000 books of transcribed or published tombstone readings from Michigan cemeteries. To locate a cemetery in the state, consult the Michigan Cemetery Compendium. It lists most cemeteries in Michigan.
Below is a list of online resources for Alger County Cemetery & Church Records. Email us with websites containing Alger County Cemetery & Church Records by clicking the link below:
The use of published genealogies, electronic files containing genealogical lineage, and other compiled sources can be of tremendous value to a researcher.
When view family trees online or not, be sure to only take the info at face value and always follow up with your own sources or verify the ones they provide. Below is a list of online resources for Alger County Family Trees, web forums and other family type information. Email us with websites containing Alger County Family Trees, web forums and other family type information by clicking the link below:
Early English-speaking explorers named the cliffs the "Pictured Rocks" for the multitude of colors and patterns on their facades. The Rocks did have some minor religious significance to the Indians and they called the area Ishpabecca, meaning "high rocks." As was common in aboriginal cultures, they attached religious significance to inanimate objects. Thus the rocks and caves of the cliffs were personified as devils, ghosts, etc. Certainly many of the stories grew as the newly arriving Europeans embellished the original Indian legends. Many of these tales are retold in Beatrice Castle's book Grand Island Story. Prior to the first white settlers, fur traders and fishermen explored the area. It isn't certain who the first Europeans to see the land that is today called Alger County, but it could have been the French explorers Etienne Brule and a man known to history only as Grenoble. Some time around 1622 the intrepid pair reached a previously unknown lake above Huron, Lake Superior, but what they saw was ill-recorded. The first Europeans definitely known to have explored the Alger County area were the legendary French voyager Pierre Esprit Radisson with his brother-in-law, Medard Chouart Sieur des Groseilliers, in 1659. The pair were searching for new sources of fur, an effort that reaped them tremendous reward. Other famous men also coasted the area. In 1660, Jesuit priest Rene Menard passed with Jesuit Claude Allouez following in 1664. Jacques Marquette, another old Jesuit, passed in 1669 en route to his La Pointe mission. Curiously, the French rejected the discovery of the seemingly limitless bounty of Superior, leading Radisson to join the British and help to found the famous Hudson's Bay Company.
It's not unlikely that the two travelers camped somewhere along the coast between Grand Marais and Au Train. The great fleets of voyageurs that later followed certainly did. By 1668 the French were well familiar with Superior's south shore and considered all of it part of New France. With the Peace of Paris in 1763 the area was ceded to the British, and in 1783 the region became part of the fledgling United States. The American Fur Company built a post on Grand Island in the mid 1820's. Most of Alger county land was included in the transfer of lands by the Chippewa to the US Government in 1836. Alger County was settled in the mid-1800s as a booming area for iron and lumber mining however, it now relies on a different natural resource ~ its scenic Lake Superior shoreline in the northern Upper Peninsula. Alger became a county on March 17, 1885 and got its name from Russell Alger, Governor of Michigan from 1885-86. Today forest-related industries are still a major part of Alger county. Although noted mostly for tourism other industries include farming, dairying, sand and gravel. The Hiawatha National Forest comprises most of the County, which include many waterfalls, trout streams and inland lakes.