Muskegon County, MichiganEdit This Page

From FamilySearch Wiki

United States Gotoarrow.png Michigan Gotoarrow.png Muskegon County

Guide to Muskegon County Michigan genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

Hand and keyboard.jpg Michigan
Online Records


Muskegon County, Michigan
Map
Map of the U.S. highlighting Michigan
Location of Michigan in the U.S.
Facts
Founded February 4, 1859
County Seat Muskegon
Courthouse
Address Muskegon County Courthouse
990 Terrace St.
Muskegon, MI 49442
Phone: (616) 724-6221
Muskegon County Website

Contents

County Courthouse


County Clerk has birth, marriage, death, divorce and court records from 1859.
Probate Court has probate records.
Register of Deeds has land records. [1]

History

Muskegon County is located on the western side of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and borders Lake Michigan.Muskegon County was originally inhabited by the Ottawa Indians. The first visitors to the area now known as Muskegon County were the fur traders and missionaries in the late 1700s and early 1800s. The trading posts came and went during this period but regard is given to Jean Baptiste Recollett's trading post that was opened near the mouth of Bear Lake in 1812. Louis Baddeau bought a trading post in 1834 which is the present site of the Indian Cemetery on Morris Ave. Mr. Baddeau is generally given the distinction of being the first permanent white settler in the area. Muskegon's name comes from the Chippewa word - Muskego - meaning "river with marshes".
The fur trading era, 1810 thru the late 1830's, was followed by a booming lumbering era from the late 1830's until 1900. The first sawmill construction, built by Benjamin H. Wheelock, began in 1837 on Muskegon Lake with operations commencing in 1838 and by the 1870s 26 mills were in operation .

Fire was a major problem for the area with wooden buildings, white pine lumber and huge saw dust piles. A fire in 1874, destroying a quarter of the business district and 200 homes, triggered Muskegon to established a professional fire department which it had debated since 1871. Two more devastating fires occurred in Muskegon, the first being in March, 1887, destroying many buildings on Pine Street at Webster. The fire of May 16, 1891, known as the Pine Street fire, destroyed 17 city blocks and 250 buildings including the original court house.

Parent County

1859--Muskegon County was created 4 February 1859 from Ottawa County. County seat: Muskegon [2]

Boundary Changes

For animated maps illustrating Michigan county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Michigan County Boundary Maps" (1790-1897) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss

For a list of record loss in Michigan counties see: Michigan Counties with Burned Courthouses

Places/Localities

Populated Places

  • Townships: Blue Lake Casnovia Cedar Creek Dalton Egleston Fruitland Fruitport (Charter Township) Holton Laketon Montague Moorland Muskegon Ravenna Sullivan White River Whitehall
  • Cities  Montague Muskegon Muskegon Heights North Muskegon Norton Shores Roosevelt Park Whitehall
  • Other Place Names in Muskegon County: Bailey Berry Junction Brunswick Canada Corners Casnovia Cloverville Dalton Fruitport Holton Lakewood Lakewood Club Maple Grove Michillinda Moorland Ravenna Slocum South Whitehall Sullivan Sylvan Beach Twin Lake Updyke Wabaningo Wolf Lake

Neighboring Counties

Kent  • Newaygo  • Oceana  • Ottawa

Muskegon CountyOceana CountyIonia CountyOttawa CountyMissaukee CountyAllegan CountyBarry CountyKent CountyMontcalm CountyMecosta CountyNewaygo CountyManistee CountyLake CountyOsceola CountyWexford CountyMason CountyMIMuskegon.JPG


Resources

Cemeteries

Church

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Michigan denominations, view the Michigan Church Records wiki page.

Lutheran
  • Records of the Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Muskegon, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

Court

Land

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Michigan Land and Property for additional information about early Michigan land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse and where records are currently housed.

Local Histories

Local histories are available for Muskegon County, Michigan. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Michigan Local Histories.

Maps

Military

Newspapers

The Saginaw News[1]

Probate

In most counties in MIchigan, probate records have been kept by the county judge. They include wills, fee books, claim registers, legacy records, inheritance records, probate packets, and dockets. The records are available at the county courthouse.

The Family History Library Catalog lists films of probate records. To find the records for this county, use the Place Search for MIchigan - Muskegon - Probate records.

Taxation

Vital Records

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased as shown below:

Birth Records and Death Records from the Michigan Department of Community Health (from 1867) or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred.
Marriage Records (from 1867) and Divorce Records (from 1897) from the County Clerk.

  • How to order Michigan Vital Records
  • Michigan Birth Registrations, 1867-1902 -- Free name indexes and images at FamilySearch Record Search. Records include such information as name of child, birthdate and place, if still-born, illegitimate or twin, gender, race and record number.
  • Michigan Marriage Registrations, 1868-1925 -- Free name indexes at FamilySearch Record Search.  Records include such information as names of bride and groom, date of license, ages, race, residences, birthplaces, occupations and names of the fathers of the bride and groom.
  • Michigan Death Registrations, 1867-1897-- Free name indexes and images at FamilySearch Record Search.   Records include such information as name of deceased, date and place of death, gender, color, marital status, age in years, months and days, disease or apparent cause of death, birthplace, names and occupations of parents, and the date the record was made.

Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers

Web Sites

References

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Muskegon County, Michigan page 349, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).

 

Need additional research help? Contact our research help specialists.

Need wiki, indexing, or website help? Contact our product teams.


Did you find this article helpful?

You're invited to explain your rating on the discussion page (you must be signed in).

  • This page was last modified on 25 June 2014, at 01:59.
  • This page has been accessed 4,856 times.