Michigan County Church and Cemetery Records

See Also Research In State Church & Cemetery Records - Church records rank among the most promising of genealogical records available. Indeed, for periods before the advent of civil registration of vital statistics (a very late development in many American states) , church records rank as the best available sources for information on specific vital events: birth, marriage, and death. They are also among the most under-used major records in American genealogy. Part of the reason lies in the number of denominations-there are hundreds of them. Identifying and locating the records of these various churches makes even professional genealogists hesitate......

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. The Moravians, the first Protestant group in Michigan, assembled in Mount Clemens in the late 1770s. The Congregationalists in 1800 and the first Michigan Methodist minister in 1803 followed them.

Michigan Historical Collections in Ann Arbor holds large collections frm 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 records for the Central Methodist Church and St. Paul's Cathedral begin in 1820. The St. Joseph, Michigan Catholic Mission records of 1720-72 are at this repository.

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.

  • Obituary Records at Archives.com
  • Michigan Church Books at Amazon.com

Search Michigan Historical Records - Databases include Court, Land, Wills & Financial Records; Birth, Marriage & Death Records; Voter Lists & Census Records; Immigration & Emigration Records; Obituary Records; Military Records; Family Tree Records; Pictures; Stories, Memories & Histories; Directories & Member Lists and much more....

Cemeteries - 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.

  • Cemetery Records at Archives.com
  • Michigan Tombstone Transcription Project
  • Find A Grave - Michigan
  • Michigan Cemeteries at Internment.net
  • Michigan Cemetery Books at Amazon.com

Cemetery records and gravestone inscriptions are a rich source of information for family historians. Cemetery and other sources of information associated with death include:

  • Biographical works
  • Burial permits
  • Church burial registers
  • Cemetery records (often several different kinds are kept)
  • Cemetery indexes (often compiled by genealogical societies)
  • Cemetery sextons’ records
  • Cemetery deed and plot registers
  • Death certificates
  • Death indexes
  • Family bibles
  • Family burial plots
  • Funeral director’s records
  • Grave opening orders
  • Gravestone (monument) inscriptions
  • Military records
  • Monuments and memorials
  • Necrologies
  • Newspaper death notices
  • Obituaries
  • Probate records
  • Published death records
  • Religious records
  • Transcriptions of cemetery inscriptions
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