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Guide to Clare County, Michigan ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.


Clare County, Michigan
Map of the U.S. highlighting Michigan
Location of Michigan in the U.S.
Founded April 1, 1840
County Seat Harrison
Address Clare County Courthouse
225 West Main
P. O. Box 438
Harrison, MI 48625
Phone: (989) 539-4934
Phone: 517-539-7131
Clare County Website


County Information

Clare County, Michigan Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1870 1871 1878 1820 1868 1872

County Courthouse

County Clerk has birth, marriage, death, burial, divorce, court and land records. [2]


Parent County

1840--Clare County was created 1 April 1840 from Mackinac County.  It was formerly Kaykakee County, until the name changed to Clare County 8 March 1843. It was attached to Saginaw, Midland, Isabelle, and Mecosta Counties prior to organization 13 March 1871.
County seat:  Harrison [3]

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 website.

Record Loss

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


Populated Places

  • Cities: Clare . Harrison
  • Village: Farwell
  • Townships: Arthur . Franklin . Freeman . Frost . Garfield . Grant . Greenwood . Hamilton . Hatton . Hayes . Lincoln . Redding . Sheridan . Summerfield . Surrey . Winterfield
  • Communites: none

Neighboring Counties

Gladwin  • Isabella  • Mecosta  • Midland  • Missaukee  • Osceola  • Roscommon

Osceola CountyClare CountyMissaukee CountyWexford CountyLake CountyNewaygo CountyMecosta CountyMontcalm CountyRoscommon CountyMidland CountyIsabella CountyGratiot CountySaginaw CountyBay CountyArenac CountyOgemaw CountyCrawford CountyKalkaska CountyGrand Traverse CountyGladwin CountyMIClare.JPG




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.

Clare County is part of Roman Catholic Diocese of Saginaw



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 Clare County, Michigan Genealogy. 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.




Civil War

Civil War service men from Clare County served in various regiments. Men often joined a regiment or a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are the military units that were formed in or had many men from Clare County.



Finding More Michigan Newspapers

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Clare County, Michigan Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:


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 FamilySearch Catalog lists films of probate records. To find the records for this county, use the Place Search for Michigan, Clare and search for Probate records in the list.

Note: Not every county in Michigan will have Probate Records in the FamilySearch Catalog.

Online Probate Records


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.

Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See Family History Center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

Web Sites


  1. Alice Eichholz, Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, Revised ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992), 369-384. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 1992
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Clare County, Michigan page 344, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).


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  • This page was last modified on 29 January 2016, at 03:26.
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