Saginaw County was created on 10 Sep 1822 (Organized in 1835) and was formed from St. Clair County and Unorganized Land. Some early records before 1835 may be located in Oakland County. The County was named for two possible derivations: from "Sace-nong" or "Sak-e-nong" (Sauk Town) because the Sauk (Sac) once lived there, or from Chippewa words meaning "place of the outlet" from "sag" (an opening) and "ong" (place of). The County Seat is Saginaw . See also County History for more historical details.
Counties adjacent to Saginaw County are Bay County (northeast), Midland County (northwest), Tuscola County (east), Gratiot County (west), Genesee County (southeast), Shiawassee County (south), Clinton County (southwest). Townships found in Saginaw County include Albee, Birch Run, Blumfield, Brady, Brant, Bridgeport Charter, Buena Vista Charter, Carrollton, Chapin, Chesaning, Frankenmuth, Fremont, James, Jonesfield, Kochville, Lakefield, Maple Grove, Marion, Richland, Saginaw Charter, Spaulding, St Charles, Swan Creek, Taymouth, Thomas, Tittabawassee, Zilwaukee Townships. Cities, Towns and Communities include Birch Run, Birch Run, Brant, Bridgeport, Burt, Carrollton, Chesaning, Frankenmuth , Freeland, Hemlock, Merrill, Oakley, Saginaw, Saint Charles, Zilwakee.
Researchers often overlook the importance of court records, probate records, and land records as a source of family history information.
PLEASE READ FIRST!!!! Please call the clerk's department to confirm hours, mailing address, fees and other specifics before visiting or requesting information because of sometimes changing contact information.
All departments below at located at the Saginaw County Courthouse, 111 South Michigan Avenue, Saginaw, MI 48602 , 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.
Saginaw County Clerk has the following Records for: Births & Deaths: 1867 to present, Marriages: 1867 to present, Divorces: ? to present (Staff researches divorce records when names are provided. Requestor is notified by phone when records are located). The Office is located at the County Courthouse, see address above for contact information. Phone: 989-790-5251 .
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.
Saginaw County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1836 and is located at the County Courthouse, see address above for contact information. Phone: (989)790-5270 .
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.
Saginaw County Clerk of the Probate Court has Probate Records from 1800 and is located at the County Courthouse, see address above for contact information. Phone: (989)790-5320 .
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.
Saginaw County Clerk of the Circuit Court has Court Records from 1843 and is located at the County Courthouse, see address above for contact information. Phone: (989)790-5471 .
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.
Below is a list of online resources for Saginaw County Court Records. Email us with websites containing Saginaw 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 Saginaw County Vital Records. Email us with websites containing Saginaw 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 Saginaw County, Michigan are 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890 (fragment, see below), 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930.
Other Federal Schedules to look at when researching your Family Tree in Saginaw County, Michigan are Industry and Agriculture Schedules availible for the years 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. The Mortality Schedules for the years 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. 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 Saginaw County Census Records. Email us with websites containing Saginaw 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 Ohio 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 Saginaw County Maps. Email us with websites containing Saginaw 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 Saginaw County Military Records. Email us with websites containing Saginaw County Military Records by clicking the link below:
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.
Numerous early tax assessment and general tax rolls are available at the State Archives of Michigan. Organized by county, the records include the name of the owner or occupant of the property, legal description and number of acres, value of land and personal estate, and amount of tax levied. There are tax rolls for some counties for the late 1830s, but most are for the last half of the nineteenth century.
The National Archives/Great Lakes Region in Chicago holds numerous federal personal property and corporate tax assessment lists for the state of Michigan
Below is a list of online resources for Saginaw County Tax Records. Email us with websites containing Saginaw County Tax 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 Saginaw County Genealogical Addresses. Email us with websites containing Saginaw 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 Saginaw County. Some transcriptions are online. A great site is the Saginaw 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 Saginaw County Cemetery & Church Records. Email us with websites containing Saginaw 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 Saginaw County Family Trees, web forums and other family type information. Email us with websites containing Saginaw County Family Trees, web forums and other family type information by clicking the link below:
Saginaw County is located in eastern mid-Michigan. It is comprised of 812 square miles. The county was first settled in 1816 and incorporated in 1857 from the parent county of Oakland. The county seat is the city of Saginaw. The Sauk Indians first inhabited this land. O-Sag-A-Nog means "land of the Sauks". The Sauk Indian tribes fled the area to escape the Iroquois. Eventually the land was occupied by the Chippewa, with whom Governor Lewis Cass signed the Treaty of Saginaw in 1819. This treaty ceded most of the eastern half of Michigan's lower peninsula to the United States Government. Fur trading was an important first industry for Saginaw. By 1864, there were 61 lumber mills operating in the Saginaw River Valley. Saginaw County boasts over 600 miles of streams and rivers.
Saginaw County contains three cities, 27 townships and five incorporated villages. The population of the County, according to the Federal Census of 1990, is 211,946, of which the City of Saginaw has 69,512. Saginaw County has 814 square miles of rich, fertile soil. It is one of the leading producers of sugar beets and beans in the nation. The top employers of Saginaw County include Delphi Saginaw Steering Systems, General Motors PowerTrain Division, St. Mary's Medical Center, Delphi Chassis Systems, Saginaw City School District, Ameritech and the State of Michigan. Saginaw County has 13 Public School Districts and total enrollment in public schools is 38,928. Saginaw County also has a Vocational Training Center called Averill Career Opportunities Center, Delta Community College, Saginaw Valley State University and Great Lakes College. The County is governed by a legislative body consisting of a 15 member Board of Commissioners, each of whom is elected for a term of two years from districts of approximately 14,000 people. The County Controller/Chief Administrative Officer oversees all of the daily activity within the County. Saginaw County employs approximately 750 full-time and part-time personnel and has a 1999 total operating budget of $120,939,203. The 1999 General Fund budget totals $36,338,724.
County Government in Michigan
There are more than 2400 counties, cities, townships, villages, and school districts in Michigan. Each of these has its own governing body elected by the people, and each has some power to collect taxes. This section briefly describes the ways in which counties may be organized and governed in Michigan.
579 School Districts
29 Community Colleges
Few counties are governed in exactly the same way, because the state is made up of very different counties. The kind of government a county has depends on its history, population, size, and geography. Counties are known as "local governments" because the people of each county decide for themselves, through locally elected officials what services the county will provide. Counties are also known as "general purpose" governments. General purpose means they provide a number of general services to their residents, such as a Court System, Clerk, Prosecutor, Public Works, Register of Deeds, Sheriff, and Treasurer. The State constitution provides a detailed framework for county government, and allows the State legislature to create more general and specific laws for each county. The county is the largest political subdivision of the state. Regardless of the size or kinds of services performed, most counties in the state have the same general form of government, except for three counties (Wayne is a charter county, Oakland and Bay counties have a unified elected manager form of government).
The County Board of Commissioners is the governing body exercising legislative and executive functions for the county. Each county is divided into districts with may vary from 3 to 35 based upon the county's population. A Commissioner is elected from each district for a two-year term. Saginaw County has 15 districts and 15 elected Commissioners, each representing about 14,000 people.
The County Clerk in many counties serves as the clerk of the court and handles much of the administrative work of the Board of Commissioners including the agendas and minutes. The clerk also may make sure that the proposed ordinances are properly advertised and marriage licenses and birth and death certificates are properly issued. The Prosecutor, like the Judges of the courts in which he or she appears, is more of a state official than a local one. This is because the administration of justice is a state function. The prosecutor is the chief law enforcement officer in the county. In many counties, the prosecutor serves as the legal advisor to the Board - drawing up contracts and ordinances in proper legal form, giving legal opinions, and representing the county in lawsuits. In other places, there is a separate official, usually called the county attorney who does the work. The Public Works Commissioner, sometimes called the Drain Commissioner in other counties, operates and repairs all the county drains. The Register of Deeds is the official recordkeeper of all real property transactions in the county. The Sheriff is in charge of the county jail. A sheriff delivers summonses (orders to appear in court). In addition, he is usually in a law enforcement officer. The Treasurer receives, invests, accounts for, and pays out all the county's money. Some counties have full-time Administrators, also known as Controllers, who handle the day-today operations of the county government. Usually, larger counties with complex issues and a wide variety of services need a full-time administrator. The Board of Commissioners in these counties usually focus on setting policy, while staff seek to implement the policy.
There are three different types of courts related to county government. All judges are elected to a 6-year term. The Circuit Court is the highest trial court in the state. It is made up of one to four counties, with 1-33 Judges per circuit, depending on the caseload. The court will hear civil cases over $25,000 (effective 1-1-98) and all felony criminal cases. It also hears appeals from lower courts. The District Courts are local courts that serve the population within their district. The number of Judges in each district is based upon the size of its population. It is the first court level for criminal and civil cases. The Probate Courts hear cases involving juvenile delinquents and dependents. They also hear civil cases involving wills and estates. There is usually one Probate Court per county with one or two Judges. Some counties will combine their probate courts and have several judges (Wayne County has 12). Some Counties will appoint a Court Administrator to Circuit, District, and Probate Courts. A court administrator is responsible for supervising the day to day operations of the court. This person also helps monitor the workload of each of the courts.
Saginaw County (Formerly Saginaw Township)
For a period extending over four years, between 1831 and 1835, the district known as the County of Saginaw formed a township attached to Oakland County for judicial purposes. The Legislative Council of the Territory ordained that "all that part of the county lying within the limits of the County of Sagana herefore be set off and established as the County of Sagana, be and the same hereby be set off into a separate township and the name thereof shall be Sagana. The first township meeting to be held in such a township shall be held at the fort of the Sagana, on the first Monday in April, which will be the year 1831". This act was approved July 12, 1830 , and came into force in 1831, when Gardner D. Williams was elected supervisor. The name Saginaw is derived from the language of the Chippewa and it means "Land of The Sauks". The entire Saginaw Valley was inhabited by the warlike Sauks. However, around the year 1520, the Chippewas invaded the territory in great force, and in a series of battles the Sauks were virtually annihilated. The bloodiest of these battles was fought on what has since been known as Skull island in the Saginaw River and on a bluff on the Flint River about a mile from the present Village of Flushing.
Saginaw Becomes A County
The boundaries of the County of Saginaw were set by proclamation of Governor Cass on September 10, 1822. These boundaries were subsequently changed by an act of the Legislative Council, approved, March 2, 1831. During 1834, the question of conferring on the township of Saginaw the status of a County was discussed and a resolution of the Council was passed to the effect: "That the County of Saginaw shall be organized when this act takes effect" -- This act of organization was approved January 28, 1835, and put in force the second Monday of February, 1835.