Branch County, Michigan Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png Michigan Gotoarrow.png Branch County

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

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Branch County, Michigan
Map
Map of the U.S. highlighting Michigan
Location of Michigan in the U.S.
Facts
Founded October 29, 1829
County Seat Coldwater
Courthouse
Address Branch County Courthouse
31 Division St.
Coldwater, MI 49036
Phone: (517) 279-4300
Branch County Website


County Information

Branch County, Michigan Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1867 1833 1867 1820 1833 1833

County Courthouse


County Clerk has birth and death records from 1867,
marriage records from 1833, divorce records,
court records from 1848 and naturalization records from 1847.
Probate Court has probate record.
Register of Deeds has land records.
City & Town Clerks have burial records. [2]

History

Branch County is near the middle of the state near the border of Indiana and Illinois, and largely borders Indiana.  The county includes the communities of Coldwater, Kinderhook, and numerous other small towns.

Parent County

1829--Branch County was created 29 October 1829 from Lenawee County and unorganized territory. It was attached to St. Joseph County prior to organization 1 March 1833.
County seat: Coldwater [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 MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Places/Localities

Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Calhoun  • Hillsdale  • Kalamazoo  • LaGrange County, Indiana  • St. Joseph  • Steuben County, Indiana

Calhoun CountyKalamazoo CountySt. Joseph CountyDeKalb CountyNoble CountyElkhart CountyFulton CountyDefiance CountyWilliams CountyKosciusko CountyLa Grange CountySteuben CountyCass CountyAllegan CountyBarry CountyJackson CountyBranch CountyLenawee CountyWashtenaw CountyHillsdale CountyMIBranch.JPG


Resources

Cemeteries

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
USGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
MIGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
MIInterment
MIGravestones
EPodunk
Billion Graves
See Michigan Cemeteries for more information.

BillionGraves:

Census

State Census

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.

Court

Emigration and Immigration

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 Branch 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.

Maps

Mibranch.jpg

Military

Civil War

Civil War service men from Branch 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 Branch County.

- 17th Regiment, Michigan Infantry, Companies C and H

Newspapers

Finding More Michigan Newspapers

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

Obituaries

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 FamilySearch Catalog lists films of probate records. To find the records for this county, use the Place Search for Michigan, Branch 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

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.

Births
Marriages
  • 1868-1925 - Michigan Marriage Registrations, 1868-1925 -- Free name indexes at FamilySearch.  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.
Deaths
  • 1867-1897 - Michigan Death Registrations, 1867-1897 --  Free name indexes and images at FamilySearch.   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.
  • Branch County Government has added a death record search for deaths that occurred in Branch County. This is the reference: http://74.113.24.31/deathsearch3.taf.
  • Seeking Michigan gives indexes to Michigan Death Certificates here: http://seekingmichigan.org/discover.

Societies and Libraries

Branch County Genealogical Society
PO Box 443
Coldwater 49036

Branch County Historical Society
PO Box 107
Coldwater 49036

Branch County Genealogical Society
27 South Jefferson
Coldwater, MI 49036
Telephone Number: 517-278-2871
Website

Union City Genealogical Society
510 St. Joseph St.
Union City 49094

Union City Historical Society
407 Broadway
Union City 49094


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

References

  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), Branch 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).