Washtenaw County, Michigan Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png Michigan Gotoarrow.png Washtenaw County'

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


Washtenaw County, Michigan
Map of Michigan highlighting Washtenaw County
Location in the state of Michigan
Map of the U.S. highlighting Michigan
Location of Michigan in the U.S.
Founded September 10, 1822
County Seat Ann Arbor
Address Washtenaw County Courthouse
200 N Main St.
Suite 120
P. O. Box 8645
Ann Arbor, MI 48107-8645
Phone: (734) 222-6700
Washtenaw County Website

County Information

Washtenaw County, Michigan Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1867 1833 1867 1820 1835 1827

County Courthouse

County Clerk has birth, marriage and death records
from 1867, divorce, court and land records,
naturalization records and supervisors records from 1835. [2]

A Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County volunteer is at Vital Records Office every Thursday (except holidays) between 10a.m.-2p.m. to assist people using death and marriage records. 


Washtenaw County is directly west of Detroit, and is situated on the old 'Chicago Road' which today is US Highway 12. One of the first things that took place after the town of Ann Arbor was formed was to start the University of Michigan, which is today one of the largest in the United States. It contains a significant collection of historical documents in its library given the nearly 200 years it has been in existence, having been formed in the 1820s.

Parent County

1822--Washtenaw County was created 10 September 1822 from Wayne and Oakland Counties. It was attached to Wayne County prior to organization 31 December 1826. County seat: Ann Arbor [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.


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Ingham  • Jackson  • Lenawee  • Livingston  • Monroe  • Oakland  • Wayne

Wayne CountyBranch CountyMonroe CountyLenawee CountyHillsdale CountyIngham CountyIonia CountyJackson CountyCalhoun CountyEaton CountyClinton CountyOakland CountyLivingston CountyMacomb CountyWashtenaw CountyMIWashtenaw.JPG



  • Dolph Funeral Home Records: Courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan. this funeral home is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Coverage: June, 1937-September, 1952.


Federal Census

State Census


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.

LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Ann Arbor


Washtenaw Clerk/Register of Deeds Vital Records
Phone: 734-222-6720
200 N. Main
P.O. Box 8645
Ann Arbor, MI 48107
Phone: 734-222-6700
Fax: 734-222-6528

Washtenaw County Courthouse
200 North Main Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48107


American Indian

The Indians of Washtenaw County, Michigan. By Wilbert B. Hinsdale. FHL| 45162 | FHL book 970.1 H596i WorldCat

Emigration and Immigration


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 Washtenaw 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 Washtenaw 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 Washtenaw County.

-1st Regiment, Michigan Cavalry, Company E
-14th Regiment, Michigan Infantry, Company H
-17th Regiment, Michigan Infantry, Companies B and E
Spanish American War


Finding More Michigan Newspapers

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Washtenaw 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, Washtenaw and search for Probate records in the list.

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

Older probate records are located at the Archives of Michigan in Lansing.

Probate Court
101 East Huron St. - Rm 314
PO Box 8645
Ann Arbor, MI 48107-8645
Telephone: (734) 222-3072
email: probate@ewashtenaw.org

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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Washtenaw County Death Resources. MiGenWeb Project

Societies and Libraries

Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County, Michigan, Inc.
PO Box 7155
Ann Arbor, MI 48107-7155

Washtenaw County Historical Society
PO Box 3336
Ann Arbor 48106-3336

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), Washtenaw County, Michigan page 351, 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).