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to Journey to the Past, I'm Brenda (Glover) Leyndyke and I believe researching your family history is a fascinating journey.

6 Research Gems in Michigan-Follow Friday

15 June 2012


I have said before how lucky I am to live in the same state that my eight great grandparents settled in-Michigan.  My Michigan research has been relatively easy (most of it) because I am in close proximity to some pretty good resources.  Here are six genealogical research gems in Michigan:

  1. Library of Michigan-The Library of Michigan is a wonderful place to do research.  It is easy to get to, has plenty of parking, and the resources are wonderful.  The library holdings focus on the Great Lakes region and East of the Mississippi River.  The Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec are included in this.  There is so much here that I can't do it justice, but here are a few of my favorite research items:  county and local histories, vital records, city directories (1860-1935), Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, Newspapers (my all time favorite) from the early 1800's from most Michigan cities and more.  Be sure to check out their website and online card catalog (answer) for more information.  The library can be found at 702 W. Kalamazoo, Lansing, Michigan 48909  517 373-1300.
  2. Archives of Michigan-You can make a day or two of it by visiting the Archives of Michigan and Library of Michigan, they are just steps from each other.  They are both in the Michigan Historical Center.  Be sure to check before you go to see what days and times they are open.  The archives and library have different hours.  My experience here was great.  I found Michigan naturalization's and a will for a friend.  Other resources here include circuit court records, military records, correctional facilities, historic photographs and more.  Be sure to take a photo ID or you won't be allowed to use the archives.
  3. Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library-The Detroit Public Library and Burton Historical Collection can be found at 5201 Woodward Ave., Detroit, Michigan 48202 313 833-1480.  I have barely touched the surface of this collection.  Some of the records here include family histories, cemetery transcriptions, church records including the Archdiocese of Detroit records, probate records, map collection, manuscript collection, and the Wayne County Death Index.
  4. Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan-I haven't personally visited this library, although it is on my to-do list.  It is at 1130 Beal Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 734-764-3482.  Some of the collections here relate to the University of Michigan and resources for Washtenaw county, which Ann Arbor is in.  Other materials found here include city directories, plat books, and newspapers.  A genealogy page can be found here.
  5. Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University -Fire Up, Chips! [for my son and hubby who are alumnus.]  The Clarke Historical Library can be found at 250 Preston, Mount Pleasant, MI 48859. 989 774-3352.  If you can abide by the library's rules then this is a good source for information.  Unfortunately, the stacks are closed, so everything has to be brought to you by a staff member.  If you need a lot of references, this could take some time.  Some of the resources you will find here are resources for the Mid-Michigan area, obituary index for Mount Pleasant newspaper, Native American information (the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe is in Mt. Pleasant), Central Michigan University and Michigan newspapers.
  6. Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections-1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, Michigan 49931.  906 487-2505.  A review of Michigan resources has to include one from the U.P. (Upper Peninsula).  I haven't visited this archive, but if you have ancestors who settled in the Upper Peninsula or worked in the copper mines there, this will be of interest to you.  Their collection focuses on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, especially Keweenaw Peninsula, which has Keweenaw, Houghton, Baraga and Ontonagon counties in it.  Resources include mining company records, area towns and cities records and histories, regional newspapers, local history books, tract books and more.  Check this nine page pdf. out for more genealogical records housed here. 
I hope you find the resources above beneficial in researching your Michigan roots.  Click on the blue letters to be taken to the website for that resource.  Have fun!

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